Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spotlight Interview - Rachel aka Huggermugger!

By now, you already know that I sell on Etsy, a worldwide marketplace for handmade goods, vintage items and supplies for crafters.  We have a fantastic community there, and there are lots of Etsy teams who have banded together with common similarities.  One of my teams is the BusyMomsTeam! (go figure, eh?)  and one of my team members is the lovely lovely young lady and mom that I have interviewed below!   I absolutely love doing these Business Spotlights for other women entrepreneurs and work at home moms and artists and people who inspire me!  Rachel has befriended me on the Mom's Team so I wanted you to read her story!  She is 29 years old, the mother of one busy young man with another on the way.  But she has found a way to both work at home, make an income, be a friend and still network with others, be an avid reader, a woman of faith and a stay at home mommy!  I applaud you, Rachel!

So let's get to the interview; grab a cup of tea and enjoy!

Kelly:   Hello, Rachel, and thank you for joining me here today! Tell us, how young are you?

Rachel:  I'll be 29 for a few more months yet.

Kelly:  What is the name of your business?

Rachel:  Huggermugger. It's an old word that means, among other things, "jumble," and my store is definitely a jumbled mix of different items.

Kelly:   When did you begin?

Rachel:  I joined Etsy in September of 2008 and started my shop in October. But I began crafting pretty much as soon as I was allowed to use crayons, scissors, and glue.

Kelly:   Do you have any background in business and/or art?

Rachel:  I took Business 101 in college, does that count? And I took a lot of art lessons when I was in grade school and high school. I also co-owned a face-painting business when I was in high school -- a friend and I painted faces at all sorts of local festivals for several years. It was a great introduction to running a small business and also to the world of craft shows.

Kelly:   What motivated you to start Huggermugger? ( What inspires you to create?

Rachel:  In the spring of 2008, I realized I needed a sun hat for my son, who was about six months old at that time. I looked at hats in stores, looked at sewing and crochet patterns, and decided I didn't like any
of them, so I made up my own crochet pattern for a sun hat. I really enjoyed making it, and made several sizes as he kept growing. Then I just kept making more, and some wintery hats for babies too, but I didn't know what to do with them. My best friend Julie had just started an Etsy store and was really loving it, and she said I should sell my hats on Etsy too. I hemmed and hawed for a few months, then decided to give it a shot.

All the things I sell in my shop are inspired from real life needs,just like my baby sun hats. I'm a writer, and I use a lot of journalsand notebooks. I've always loved to create collages, and in college Istarted using them to decorate notebook covers, either to use myselfor give to my writer-friends. I knew when I started Huggermugger that I would definitely be selling those in my store as well. My other products, from "instant canteen" water bottle carriers to crocheted scrunchies to finger puppets, have all sprung from things I needed to use myself and then thought maybe other people might like too.

Kelly: What is your favorite product?

Rachel: I love my journals, and my favorite right now is the Once Upon a Time Journal

.Kelly:  What are this product's features?

Rachel:  I decorated this particular journal with a theme of taking time toread and savor books, one of my favorite activities. The covers arelaminated so the collages won't come loose or be damaged. Inside are     60 unlined sheets (120 pages) just waiting to be filled up. The journal as a whole measures 7" by 5" and is 3/8" thick. To me, this would be the ideal place to keep a record of books you want to read or have read, or even to write down favorite passages you want to remember. And of course, it would be great for every-day journaling  too, especially for a book lover.

Kelly:   What are your business goals this year?

Rachel:  I'd like to survive! Okay, I'm somewhat kidding, but I have a two-year-old son who's very active, and I have a baby on the way, due at the end of February. So I'm hoping not to be overwhelmed bykeeping my shop moving and growing while at the same time doubling my mommy load.

Kelly:   How do you get traffic to your website?

Rachel:  I have a blog,  where I post not only news about my crafting and my shop, but also recipes and book  reviews, and features of other Etsy crafters. I also try to find cool blogs like this one that are willing to feature my shop. I had a booth at a few craft fairs this fall, to try to build up some local  awareness of my business. And I hand out my business card to anyone who admires a hat I or my son is wearing, things like that.

Kelly:   How do you juggle work/life balance? For instance, you have a two-year-old boy and a baby on the way. How do you “do” all that you “do”?!?

Rachel:  I call myself a time thief. I steal time here and there, the wasted minutes that would otherwise be lost. I crochet in the car while my husband drives us to church and back. I work on collages while watching a movie when my son is napping. I combine taking my son on a walk in the stroller with taking sold items to the Post Office.  Basically, I just utilize my time as well as I possibly can.

Kelly:  Can you share some of your frustrations?

Rachel:  I think my biggest frustration is coming up with an idea for a new  product, making several of them, and then having them be ignored in my shop. What I like isn't always what other people like, and that can
be really tough to accept. I tend to fall in love with everything I make, especially my journals and notebooks, and then to have them  either get few views or else sit in my shop for months can be very frustrating.

Kelly:   What is the most valuable lesson you have learned?

Rachel:  Be willing to fail. I'm a perfectionist, and failure is not something I deal with well, but I'm trying to learn to accept that not every idea I have is brilliant.

Kelly:   What role does your faith play in your business?

Rachel:  First Corinthians 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." God gave me my creative abilities, and I try to use them to his glory however I can. If that means crocheting the best hat I possibly can, then that's how I will  praise and serve my Creator and Redeemer.

Kelly:   What word of encouragement can you give a person who wants to also start their own business?

Rachel:  Jump in! But look before you leap. Do some research, see what kind of competition you'll have, and then keep improving your products and yourself.

Kelly:   Any other thing you would like to share with us?!

Rachel:  Never underestimate the power of a happy customer! My biggest custom order yet came because someone saw a child wearing one of my hats, asked the mom where she got it, and then ordered some from me for themselves.

Kelly:   Thank you so much, Rachel, for taking the time to be a guest on my Blog!  I wish you much success in your business, and multiplied blessings with the birth of your Baby #2!   Each new child bring promises of blessings and added joys to life!  I pray you will be a mother of mothers! 

It appears to me that you are a woman of excellence and we both know that in the Scriptures there is another lady who burns the midnight oil, who does not eat the bread of idleness, and if she had a car, she would probably be crocheting in it too! LOL!  She was prosperous and very industrious!   I pray you will be a mother of mothers!   And, Happy upcoming 30th Birthday to you!

Any of you MOMMIES out there need some cool warm hats for your babies?  Or friends, or newborns!  I have just been browsing Rachel's shop, and let me tell you, these are quality items!  Why don't you take a second and go on over to Rachel's Etsy shop and see what treasures YOU can find!

Kelly:  This concludes our Spotlight Interview #4.  Next week, stay tuned for interview. 
Be blessed, peaceful, productive, and prosperous this year! 

Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

Rachel Kovaciny said...

Thanks for this great feature, Kelly! I'm honored.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...