by Stacy of By Simple
Before I had my family, I initially started creating and designing products for fun. My sister and I would sell our products at local art fairs and then we started selling them to retail stores. After my first baby was born, our focus changed and we decided to develop unique, handmade baby products and gifts. (the stuff you couldn't find at the stores). When I couldn't find something I liked for the nursery, I created it. I designed my vintage-styled piggy bank as an alternative to the traditional ceramic ones.
It's tough balancing a home-based business and family life. I've been lucky to have been able to be a stay-at-home mom for over five years. I would design and work before my kids got up in the morning and went to school, I would work during naps, and I have stayed up until the wee hours to complete an order or to meet a deadline.
Being your own boss gives you great flexibility in a daily schedule - you can set your own hours, go to school with your kids and pick them up in the afternoons. I find my greatest reward is seeing my products in print or hearing feedback from repeat customers about a product they bought or gave as a gift. Other Moms have even come up to me and said, "I didn't know you designed that."
I've always encouraged my two boys to be creative. When they were toddlers, they were always welcome to paint or draw side by side, next to me when I was working. My youngest son is quite an artist - he creates his own monsters and has a vivid imagination. We also have a lot of their artwork around our home and on display for our family to enjoy!