Tell us about yourself.
My name is Melissa. I'm a wife, mom of 3 and a couple of mornings a week, I'm a school psychologist. I am an Internet addict and spend way too much time looking up information about random thoughts. I love to cook and blog about it. I also am a wannabe runner and photographer.
Tell us about your shop. What do you sell?
My shop is Love Bubs and I sell scented play dough.
The name came quite quickly to me. I call my son Bubby and I wanted a shop name that said Loves Bub. Etsy wouldn't let me take it for a reason I can't remember, so I switched it to Love Bubs. My little ones are my love bubs, so it fit.
When did you start creating? Why?
I'm very new to the craft world and I still laugh to myself that I'm even here. I call myself the Accidental Dough Maker. I am one of the most uncrafty people I know. I can't draw, sew, paint or decorate. I was secretly relieved when my son didn't seem interested in my half-hearted attempts at crafts I'd put in front of him. So, imagine my surprise when I found myself raising my hand to make play dough for my son's preschool class when the teacher asked for volunteers last September. Even my husband looked at me funny. But I did it and found it fun. The seed was planted and I found myself wondering if I could make it scented. And Love Bubs was born.
It's somewhere in between and I'm still trying to figure that out. First I wanted to see if I could sell it at all. Now I'm trying to add more types of products, like play dough kits, and expand my party favor line. This summer I will start selling at the local farmer market with a friend. I'm also always trying to find more brick and mortar stores to partner up with. Love Bubs currently in 4 local stores.
How do you balance your business with your family?
That can be tricky, but I can chat with my children when I'm making dough. My 2 year old will see me at the stove and will ask "Mommy make play dough? Me watch." and will pull up her chair to watch. My 4 year old thinks I go to school for my school psychologist job to make play dough. I think my husband wishes I did most of my work for the business when he's at work so I can relax in the evening with him, but that's not always possible.
Well, I used to have a dining room table, but it got taken over (as well as the top of my dryer). I have plastic bins with dough, labels, kit supplies and packing materials. I make my dough in the kitchen and pack it up wherever it's the quietest or in front of the television when I'm home alone (and little fingers aren't likely to get in the dough!).
What has been the most difficult aspect of being a Mommy with a Small Business?
Feeling that I can be a bit distracted at times. It's like that when I do work for my day job. Even though the kids are happy playing, I find the business from home can take up time I would be using to play with the kids or do housework. Balancing it all can be stressful during busy times.
The feeling of pride and accomplishment that I get when I see I have an order and from the glowing feedback my buyers leave about my product.
Do you have any tips for other moms with a small/home business?
Don't let work slip. Don't put off orders or work thinking you'll catch up later. I find it so stressful when I have orders due the next day and the family need me to or I have responsibilities for my day job. Then I'm rushing through my order and grumpy with the family. No fun. Have a good work flow with redundant tasks eliminated to be efficient and have more time for yourself and your family.
Thanks and have a great weekend!