Monday, January 31, 2011

Interview with Shelly Rose

This is Shelly Rose!
We're really excited to offer you a new product in the store.  All natural, handmade dryer balls from designer Shelly Rose.  Shelly is a WAHM who also follows natural parenting ideals, loves crafting, being with her kids, and is really excited to work with us too!  We decided that you, our customers, needed to know a bit more about our latest product designer, so without further ado, here is our interview with Shelly Rose.

Some of her beautiful, dryer balls!
-What started you making dryer balls?
~What started me making dryer balls really stems from me always thinking of what I can do to help my family and myself in my free time.  I don't like to be idle as I figure there is always something I can do...that'll be helpful.  I sold girl scout cookies and magazine/cd subscriptions in school.  

When I was 15 my friend and I saw some mistletoe in a tree and her father suggested that we might be able to sell it door to door in our small town.  So I put her on my shoulders and she gathered it up (as it is very high in the trees) and we took it home...and put wrapping paper ribbon on bunches and spray glitter on it.  We walked around in the cold Southern Oregon Coast rain door to door one Saturday afternoon and sold most of the bunches:) 

So after years of crafts and hobbies, my husband seeing me make a bunch of handbags said why don't you try to sell some...well my cousin had an Etsy site and she was doing I started that and stumbled upon some dryer balls:) 

I had seen those plastic dryer balls before (in my MIL dryer who has been my biggest supporter and my first and best customer:) but didn't like the thought of HOT plastic in my dryer and air and when I saw wool ones...and I had extra wool laying around...I just made a few sets and listed them and then tested them and they sold!  So I made more ...and they sold...and then I got serious! 

-What are the advantages of dryer balls over dryer sheets?
Dryer balls are better than dryer
1.  They won't leave a residue of chemicals on your your towels will actually absorb water better because they don't have any residue on them.
2.  They dry your clothes faster (dryer sheets don't dry faster.)
3.  They fluff your clothes.
-Are they difficult to make & how DO you make them?
Are they difficult to make...well they are very time consuming and energy consuming which I don't think people know:)  It takes me at least 15 minutes (without kid interruption) to make the first ball...and then I have to wrap it and then soak it and then felt it and then put in in the dryer and then take out of the wrap and then soak again at least 2 more properly felt them. 

So it is very time consuming, but the kids love to help me as they like to play in the soapy water and throw balls in the dryer:)  I always dry my balls in a load of wet laundry so as not to waste energy (plus dryers as expensive to run:) so some days my laundry piles up waiting for an order and some days my sheets get cleaned a day or two earlier than normal:)

-Do you think they help produce less lint in dryers?
Honestly I don't know if they produce less lint.  Maybe a tiny bit as there are pills that form on the balls, but really the main purpose of the dryer balls is to keep chemicals out and dry your clothes faster = less energy wasted:)

-I assume you're a WAHM, as am I, how do you find time to make these?
How to find time to make dryer balls:)  Well if I am really busy, I get up before the kids and hubby and can do quite a bit in the am make balls and answer emails and then the kids get up and I get them ready for school and make breakfast and then I do more dryer ball work and do some chores and then I get a shower and they get a bath after while the dryer balls are in the dryer for their first felt with a load of laundry and then lunch...and so on...some days I do stay up an extra hour or two after the kiddies go to bed to wrap things up if need be.  I don't like to take away from being a caretaker and mommy so I find time in between and when they are sleeping:)

-When and why did you decide to go into business for yourself?
I don't know if I ever really decided to go into my own business...I just did what was natural and that was making useful items and helping others out while helping my family.  One of my biggest moments in the beginning was buying a whole box of mailers!  It was only 250 envelopes, but at $100 or so it was a lot to me...then there was my first retailer and I am still in awe thinking that my balls are out there in the middle of America...literally...being sold:)  So...I just take it a day...a week...a month at a time.  I have enough supplies on hand for a few large orders and am thankful everyday for the small orders. 

I am just glad to help others and do my part in being green and am especially thankful that I can do it from home while raising my kids. :)  I still can't believe that I have a business...because I don't think of myself as being the "business type".  I feel bad if a customer has to wait more than a day of ordering to have their dryer balls sent out (even in snow and sickness), but I am very much aware of customers.

 I worked years in a craft retail store as a customer service manager, an ordering specialist, a trainer, and a store manager and have been a customer myself so this part of the business I know inside and out and I think that has helped me in countless ways. 

Thank you, Shelly Rose! We hope you, our customers, will check into her products with us and her!
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