Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WAHM - Meet Tricia Anson of Gettin' Crafty Too

~What is the name of your business and what do you make?
My name is Tricia Anson and my business is called Gettin’ Crafty Too. My friend Emily Robertson and I make handmade accessories for all ages. We have a huge array of hair bows, flower clips, flower pins, button clips, with three different types of headbands available to clip your accessories onto to mix and match for added versatility, and more. We make bows with ribbon, felt, and even duct tape! Recently, we started making bottlecap bows and corker bows as well. Our flower clips and pins are made out of artificial flowers, felt, and fabric. We are working on tons of new products and ideas—including pacifier clips and some fun things for little boys are in the works as well.

~Tell us how you decided to begin creating what you do and how it has changed your life.
I have always been a “crafty” person and had a passion for art and just creating my own things as well as a great interest in the business world. I took art all through high school and was the president of the Business Professionals of America club and class my senior year. However, after getting an associate’s degree in business management, getting married, and having my son all before I turned 22, let’s just say my craftiness was not on the forefront of my priorities! However, my friend, Emily Robertson, and I started trying out some hair bow ideas just for ourselves because, well, we’re both on pretty tight budgets! It turns out, we were pretty good at it and just for fun, we would post pictures of our creations on facebook. We kept getting compliments and some friends were asking if we were selling them, so we thought, why not?! Thus, Gettin’ Crafty Too was born as a way to earn some extra income for our families. We chose that name because we always said we were “gettin’ crafty” whenever we were making bows and it just seemed perfect!
                We launched our facebook page and started an Etsy shop in mid September of this year, and boy, it has been exciting! We have learned so much and come up with so many new products in the short time we’ve been selling and it has sure kept us busy. We’ve done a couple craft fairs, have a handful more scheduled, and we are currently working on opening a new shop to sell from on storenvy.com. Learning to balance my 13 month old, housework, and other responsibilities has been quite interesting, to say the least, and the business has been a whole new dynamic to Emily and I’s friendship as well. A lot of heartfelt discussions are had while “gettin’ crafty’ and though it is challenging, it has been extremely rewarding to have other people love your handmade creations.

~Tell us about your family…kids, husband, pets, etc
                I am a mother to an amazing 13 month old, blonde haired, blue eyed, little boy named Noah and I’ve been married to my best friend, Benjamin, for three years now. I am 22 years old and I love being a stay at home mom. My husband and I teach the Primary Church every Sunday at our church for kids ages four to eight and we just love it. Our church is just a block away from our house and it is a second home where we are thrilled to be raising our baby boy and, hopefully, more children in the future! Being a stay at home mom is one of the most important things I believe I can do for my family, so being able to help with our finances (besides being a cloth diapering, homemade everything momma) with our business not only fulfills my creative needs but helps my husband make ends meet. 
Emily has been married to her husband, Justin, for two years and is 23 years old. She is a full time nanny for a great family and plans to be a stay at home mom when the time comes as well. She also teaches Children’s Church at her church on the south side of Chicago and loves working with little ones—she is ”Auntie Emmy” to my little guy.

~Tell us about how you are able to do what you do and balance your family life…how do you make it work?
                The balancing act is an everyday, on-going learning process but as long as you keep your priorities in line, it is doable. Some days, I get chores done during my son’s first nap and bows made during his second nap—and then some days, I get a nap instead on accident! My husband has been amazing with wrangling Noah to let me get work done if I’m behind or even (gasp!) helping with chores! Emily and her husband come over in the evenings frequently and as soon as I put the little dude to sleep, we get working while our hubbys play video games. Works for all of us! Emily takes a lot of the computer work home with her and edits pictures while she nannies. I am truly blessed to have such a great support system to keep this business going without losing sanity!

~Do you do anything in addition to your at-home business?
                I am a stay at home mom, but two days a week I babysit three of my friend’s boys at her house. Luckily, two of them are seven and nine so they go to school, but her two year old and my one year old hang out with me all day. I usually use the time at her house to get products made or try new things when the boys are occupied.  
                Emily nannies for a little girl five days a week, and as I said before, she brings a lot of the computer work with her to get done as she can. We both work for great families who are really supportive which is a huge help.

~Is there any advice you would give to other WAHMs or those that aspire to work at home?
                Plan, research, and be realistic. It is exciting to start something of your own—it becomes almost another child, but it will quickly fail if you do not do your research and set real goals. Realizing that your first month, really, your first year is not going to be amazingly profitable is key. Otherwise, you will soon get discouraged. Research other businesses, research pricing, research ideas, research marketing, research everything! Knowing what you are spending and how much you need to price things to actually turn a profit is something a lot of newcomers fail to do and that will bring you straight to failure. Numbers aren’t fun, but they are important. As long as you stay knowledgeable, keep short term goals to reach, have a good support system, and like what you do, you can definitely be successful and have fun doing it! The challenge is refreshing and it is amazingly rewarding to know you can accomplish such a thing yourself!  

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