Meredith is the mom of three daughters (16, 15, 8) and has a few shops on Etsy you must check out! The beauty of her work and VARIETY is astonishing. She also sells her jewelry wholesale and is trying to expand there to grow her business.
tilleyjewels.etsy.com for jewelry
tilleyjewelsbride.etsy.com a new bridal accessories shop
tjdestashinstuff.etsy.com for supplies, of course (Um, p.s. We called our last cat "T.W. Muffinstuff" so I got a good laugh out of this name!!)
When asked about her business, Meredith said, "I make handcrafted jewelry and hair accessories, specializing in bridal and formal pieces. I can' t remember a time that I wasn't creating something, but since 1997 I've been working almost exclusively with beads and wire. I was raised in the craft show circuit by my basket-weaver mother. She used to let me sell my work in her booths (when it was allowed) so when I branched out on my own as an adult I started out by doing shows. We used to travel 2-3 weekends a month and after a while it got to be too physically demanding for me. I had many customers ask if I sold online so they could find my work between shows. I was trying to figure out how to start a website when I discovered Etsy in 2006, still in it's infancy. It became the perfect solution that allowed me to cut back on travelling and start concentrating more on online and boutique selling. Less travelling equals more creative time!"
This next story is one I have to share word for word. I think there are so many moms out there who could benefit from this:
"I'm a WAHM in more than one aspect. Yes, I run my business from home, but I am fortunate enough to have a “real” job that allows me to work from home also. I've been employed as a designer for a bridal manufacturing company since 1998. When I was expecting our youngest in 2001 I made arrangements with them to work at home for a few months after she was born. That was such a thrill for me because I didn't have that opportunity when the older girls were little. The day I was supposed to go back to the office was extremely emotional—I got there that morning and burst into tears. The office manager decided that I could keep working at home and we'd see how it went. She had plans that when Katie started kindergarten I would have to come back in to start working there again. Fortunately for me she left to start her own business and another lady took over running the office—her philosophy was 'If it isn't broke there's no need to fix it', so I continue to happily work at home."
Meredith has family close by and enjoys their help! She also offers this lovely piece of advice to other WAHMs: "Get your kids involved as early as possible. They need to know that Mom is doing something important and not just playing around or trying to get away from them. Even if it's something as simple as putting stickers on bags or color sorting beads into bowls they'll feel like they are a part of what you are doing and it will become important to them also. Some business things can be great learning tools also. For example, I have a map that we mark every time I sell to a new state or country—a simple visual geography lesson."
I'm off to find a map... Seriously, what a fantastic idea! (I'm a bit of a geography nerd, so please excuse my excitement!)
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