Today is Marker Monday y'all! I am so happy to share an interview I did with Vibeka of Gentry's Closet. If you read all the way to the end she shares her tips for being a mom entrepreneur and a coupon code for my readers. So be sure to give her some love in the comments below and check out Gentry's Closet.
1. Name and are you married?
Vibeka and I am married to my high school sweetheart, biggest supporter and all around favorite guy. We have been married almost 6 years and together for over 10!
2. Number of children?
We are raising two little wild princesses, Gentry (4) and Chloe (14 months).
3. Shop Name? What do you make/sell?
My shop is Gentry's Closet. I offer embroidered items and accessories for babies, toddlers, children and adults. I offer mostly holiday shirts, headbands and lots of monogrammed items including baby gifts and women's totes, purses and bags!
4. How long have you been in business and how did you get started?
I opened my Etsy shop in July of 2011 after a little coaxing from my friends. I was making tons of baby headbands for our oldest, Gentry and then decided to offer them in my new store. The business just grew from there and now offers embroidered and heat pressed monograms.
5. What would you say are the biggest challenges of being a mom entrepreneur? How have you overcome them?
I would say the biggest challenge to being a mom entrepreneur is keeping a balance between work and home. It's hard for me to "turn off the business" as I am always answering an email, working on orders, shipping or posting to social media. While it's something I am constantly working on, I try to focus 110% on my business during the day when the girls are not home and then dedicate the evenings to them exclusively. I then get back to work most evenings after they have gone to bed.
6. What are 3 things you need to be a successful mom entrepreneur? 3 things to be successful?
I would say the number 1 thing is to be motivated. I have so many people ask how I got started and my tips to running a successful shop but it really comes down to the motivation that I had to make this business work. I have spent years fine tuning my everything from pictures, to listings, keywords and so much more (and I still have a long way to go). I have read blogs and researched my products carefully. There's no magic solution, it takes time and hard work. I truly believe you will only get out of it what you put into it. Secondly, I would say that it's so important to take help when it's offered to you. I have a hard time giving up control and delegating but I have learned that if someone offers to help out (with packaging, running an errand, watching the kids) you jump on the opportunity. You only have so many hours in the day and you want to fill them as best you can to ensure you get the most accomplished. I guess the final thing (and this sounds so cliché) is never give up on your dream. Keeping the focus on why you do what you do. For me, it was so that I could do the best for my girls. I can make a flexible schedule so that I can be there for fieldtrips and sick days. They are my motivation and my inspiration.
7. What does a typical day look like for you?
Mornings are a little hectic trying to get everyone out the door, I drop both girls off and then it's back home to answer emails & Etsy conversations and work on orders. I am embroidering and designing as well as ironing and packaging all at the same time. I run two commercial 16 needle machines so I can embroider quite a few things in a day. Lunch is squeezed in there somewhere or happens while picking up the girls in the afternoon. Then it's home for snack, maybe a TV show and I try to get some more emails answered (this is really the calm before the storm). By 5 o'clock all bets are off. Both girls are tired and hungry and it's melt down time. I work on dinner, we have some play time and hubby gets home about 6:30. It's dinner, kids to bed, prep for the next day and a little more work while catching some of our fave shows and we start it all over the next day :)
8. If you could share one piece of advice with other mom entrepreneurs what would it be?
This goes with #6 but stay motivated! Have a goal and stick with it.
9. When you are not working what do you like to do?
Anything involving the girls. We have two big dogs and like to take them out for walks and play outside. A pedicure and a date night with hubby are always a good idea, too!
10. Here at Emily and Eden we have a saying, celebrate the everyday. We believe that simple, everyday moments should be celebrated because these are the things that make life awesome. Thinking about your family and business, what are three things you are celebrating today?
Two happy & healthy little girls, a wonderful husband and a successful business that I love.