Friday, October 21, 2011

WAHM - Meet Shelly of Shelly Rose Designs

~What is the name of your business and what do you make?
My business name is Shelly Rose Designs, sometimes referred to as Green Belle as that is what I named my shop on Etsy...and can’t change now my Etsy shop is “The Green Belle Shoppe by Shelly Rose Designs.  I often label my dryer balls as Green Belle Dryer Balls by Shelly Rose Designs.  I know confusing right?  I make a bunch of things but have limited what I sell to baby blankets, scarves, cowls, and dryer balls.  I make all items with as much natural materials as possible, i.e. all my dryer balls are made out of 100% wool, and all yarn is either cotton, wool, silk, blends.  
~Tell us how you decided to begin creating what you do and how it has changed your life.
I started creating when I was a child really.  I was always writing, painting, coloring...and as soon as I learned how to crochet, I was making barbie doll dresses.  I took a break from the crafting part in high school and college where I got the impression that “real art” was painting and sculpture and such.  I first went to college and majored in something practical though as art is  I started in psychology and math, then changed to pre-pharmacy, biology, and chemistry.  I liked it all, but was never really satisfied.  So after having my first child (and many years of working in management at a large craft store) I finally majored in Fine Arts with minors in Art History and English (I love reading, writing, and poetry).  Well to my surprise I loved it and was happy.  I started staying home full time when I had my third child.  We just couldn’t afford 3 kids in day care.  

I started getting restless and got back into my crafts.  I started quilting which I love, but it very hard to do with babies.  Then I made a couple of totes and pillows.  My husband as always told me I should sell my stuff so I found Etsy and sold my first quilted handbag.  Then I got back to my yarn roots.  I love yarn as I can take it everywhere with me and the only “machine” I need are my hands and a hook.  I can crochet while the park...and my kids’ athletic events, etc.  I was making scarves and baby blankets when I ran across some wool dryer balls online.  I had seen the plastic ones so I knew about dryer balls, just not wool ones.  So I made a couple and then a couple more and then on a whim put up a set on Etsy.  They sold!  So a few more and a few more and some experimentation and improvements and it literally just took off.  In 4 months I had my first retailer and now I have 10 and am so grateful!  I am looking at expanding a bit, but not a ton right now as I don’t want to overburden myself and have no time for my family.  I also pride myself on getting an order out within a week, and shorter for smaller orders.  I figure that if I don’t like to wait, my customers don’t either J There’s the balancing act again.  I’ll be able to add a lot more when my youngest goes to school.
I love helping my family out financially.  It isn’t much, but it is more than nothing and every bit helps now days. I feel good about it and take pride in being a stay at home mom and a work at home mom more now.  Having a creative outlet doesn’t hurt either!
~Tell us about your family…kids, husband, pets, etc
I have been married for 8 ½ years to my husband and have known him for 14 years this fall.  I met him in my first class in college actually--math class.  Five years later we married and had our first baby  boy 9 ½ months later J; then another little baby boy 2 ½ years later and finally a baby girl 2 years after that.  My family is my life and is great.  My husband is probably my biggest fan and my kids love helping me make dryer balls or helping me pick out yarn for a baby blanket.  I cannot wait for the day to teach them how to crochet, then they maybe they can open their own shop and make some money for themselves and learn some business aspects. They know that I don’t go to work like daddy but they do know that if I make x amount of dryer balls I get to buy this.  Once my son asked for $10 for a DS game and I told him he could earn it by making a couple of dryer balls J
~Tell us about how you are able to do what you do and balance your family life…how do you make it work?
My family comes first of course and my business right behind that, but as long as I take the off times when my family doesn’t need me and balance them, I seem to make it work.  That means that some days I only have 5 minutes here and 10 there which means I am rarely idle.  I never watch a whole movie and if I do see most of it, you can bet that I made a few dryer balls or crocheted something while watching, in fact my office is a corner in the living room.  I keep most of my yarn and supplies upstairs, but I do all my work and my computer is in the living room so I can play with my kids at the same time.  I use my time to the fullest and take my yarn everywhere!  I am suspect that I may be that “weird lady” who knits/crochets all the time...except that I only in my early 30’s and not a grandma (no disrespect intended J).  
~Do you do anything in addition to your at-home business?
I don’t have a “real” job outside of the home job, but I do a lot of other things.  I take care of my daughter all day while her brothers are at school.  I do all the shopping, running around, taking kids to sports practices and games, dr.’s appointments, some lawn work, cooking, cleaning (you get it J) to give my husband a break since he works out of town often.
~Is there any advice you would give to other WAHMs or those that aspire to work at home?
Find something you love to do and do it well.  As you can tell I just kind of fell into it myself but I think I was meant to do this.  I crafted and did art my whole life.  My job to get me through college was working at a craft store and eventually in management in that craft store which taught me so much about the business aspect.  The funny thing is that with all those majors I never picked business.  My best boss ever told me I should major in business and management as I was good at it and I told him he was crazy.
...and look what happened I went into business...crafting!

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