Etsy: Meet the Maker of Punk Rock Twins

This week are featuring Jessica, one of the owners and crafters from Punk Rock Twins. This etsy shop features, fun key fobs, hand knitted hats, sewn blankets for children and adults and more.

Jessica-PunkRockTwinsTell us a little bit about yourself and about your shop.

Hi I’m Jessica and I run Punk Rock Twins on etsy. I’m a sahm of three obnoxious young’uns ranging from 12-4 yrs. I have been sewing since 2009 and knitting since summer 2010. I love to knit and I spend most of my free time when I’m not playing with the kids, or doing college school work, knitting. I sew on a pretty sporadic bases right now. I currently don’t have a sewing or craft room so when you walk into my house you what can see all my craft supplies on display, lol. I work hard at what I do and take pride in everything I make. If I don’t feel that way about something then I will usually redo it. Knitting and sewing are my passion and I truly love sharing it with others. My shop is a combination of my knitting and sewing and my friend Amy’s crochet. Sometimes we even go in together to produce a set. We currently have a table at our local Downtown Market Days here in Columbus, GA and we strive to make things for our store and table every day.

 

What are the inspirations for your designs?

My inspirations for my designs are usually family events. Like births and weddings. I generally get an idea of what I want to do and then go searching for a pattern. We sometimes come up with patterns of our own and make them. But generally it’s something I found on ravelry that has no copyright and I make it and fall in love. Ideas come from all over and I strive to find new and exciting things to make for the store and for my own pleasure. When I look at a skein of yarn it just magically transforms into this great work of art right in front of my eyes and I’m so enthralled by the simplicity of it all. Most people I meet say “I couldn’t knit, it’s too hard.” But really it’s not. Like I say it’s simply making loops out of loops, just don’t drop the first loop till you have the second one on a needle.

 

Do you welcome custom orders?

We gladly welcome custom orders, in fact most of our stuff is custom order since we have to know sizes and all that most the time to make it to fit properly.

 

Do you have a favorite piece from your collection? If so, is there a reason it’s your favorite? Whether it’s the colors, the shape or a story connected to the piece?

I would have to say that the yellow baby boy’s sweater set with booties is my favorite piece right now. It’s such a unique piece of work and the yarn choice was amazing.  I love the texture and the lines and especially the colors. It blends well and the buttons just set it off, then add on top of that the booties that are so darling and I melt every time  I think of a little boy wearing that to church or outing with family.

 

When your not creating, what do you do?

When I’m not crafting I take time to hang with friends and play with my kids and dog Soma. We have a very hectic life and when I’m not doing school or building my blog or etsy store then I’m knitting. So there isn’t to many times I’m not crafting.
Do you have any “words to live by”? 

Crafting is the key to your soul, craft fiercely and with passion and you will always have heart and soul.

 

Do you have a current promotion you would like to share?

Our current promotion is receive 10% off your first order of $20.00 or more on any items. Use code prt10 this is valid till August 15. It’s our summer promotional.

 

Where can our readers find you?

http://etsy.com/shop/punkrocktwins

http://punkrocktwinsknitting.com

http://yarnovershop.com

http://facebook.com/punkrocktwins

http://facebook.com/yarnovershop

@prtwinsknitting on twitter

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108256478269080682386/posts

Mompreneur Interview: Michelle from Toddler Tech USA/Dapper Snappers

Mompreneur Name: Michelle Cazella

Company: Toddler Tech USA

Website: http://dappersnappers.com

Please tell us about Dapper Snappers:

Dapper Snappers Toddler Belts “Fix Droopy Drawers in a Snap!”

Dapper Snappers are the perfect Toddler Belts! Snaps in the back 3 belt loops for a hands-free comfortable fit. There’s no need to remove it for diaper changes or potty training. No buckles to fuss with! No belt loops? No problem! We now have Dapper Snappers Add-on Clips for pants/skirts without belt loops.
Dapper Snappers are:

  • Affordable
  • Versatile in a wide range of colors for girls and boys
  • Recommended for ages 9 mo-6 yrs and One Size Fits All
  • Perfect for kids who are in between sizes or wearing hand-me-downs!
  • Convenient – no need to remove for diaper changes & doesn’t impede potty training
  • Made in the USA
  • Mom-invented

Where did you come up with the name Dapper Snappers?

When I first came out with the product, it had a different name. Unfortunately, the name was too similar to another product and we didn’t want to two confused so a name change was needed. I sent an email out to all our friends and family and within 5 minutes we had a reply from a good friend of ours who just loves marketing. He’s a genius, don’t you think?

What did you do before Dapper Snapper was created? I did many things, but immediately before Dapper Snappers, I was a stay at home mom. Prior to that I did freelance bookkeeping.

What has been some of your greatest successes? Seeing my product being distributed into 14 different countries. The thrill of having Dapper Snappers sold all over the world is amazing!

What has been some of your greatest challenges? Getting our product in US stores. Canadian stores jumped right in, but it took some time to get US stores to bring us on. But now US stores are selling Dapper Snappers like crazy!

How do you manage your daily schedule of being a MomPrenuer and a mom? I’m realistic and know my limitations. I asked for help and I realize that not everything can get done. I know that if there’s a task that I can’t finish today, that’s ok because ultimately the world will not fall apart if it doesn’t get done. Sometimes I drop the ball. But my kids come first, always.

For moms, “Me time” is hard to come by.. what do you do during your “Me time”? Owning my own business and producing a product that I invented that is still technically in it’s infancy makes it very hard to come across “me time”. My husband works side by side with me and for us to ever leave work at work is very difficult. Realistically, I try to make an effort but am not always successful at getting just “me time”. I have no doubt that it will come.

What’s next for Dapper Snapper? Any big plans for 2011 or 2012? Any chance we could get some “sneak peek” info or images?

Big Kids Belts! We’re bringing belt fashion for the Big Kids back to the 70′s. Magnetic Buckle adjustable elastic belts for boys ages 5-9 and Bottle Opener Buckle adjustable elastic belts for girls age 5-9.

Making a Mid-life Career Change

Making a mid-life career change can be one of the most stressful decisions you will ever make. But don’t be scared, it’s not true that you “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and if you’ve found yourself wanting to try something new or are anxious to pursue that life-long passion to see if you can make a living at it, there’s no time like the present! The key is to be strategic and patient while making your transition.

Don’t get frustrated

Remember that making a career change is not as simple as finding a new job. You’re looking to break into a new field and that is not always easy, especially later in life. Start by asking yourself if this field is something that you’ll need to obtain specialized training, education or receive certifications in order to do. If the answer is yes, you have a longer path to your new career but don’t let that frustrate you. Find out what you need to do, go back to school, sign up for a training class or vocational program and start studying the field!

Use your existing contacts

If you’re a forty-something, you probably have a decent network of contacts from all walks of life. Think about who you know that may be able to give you some leads, make an introduction or provide some advice. If you want to go back to school to become a nurse, think of who you know if the medical field that might be able to give you some insight.

Carefully investigate the job market

No matter how passionate you are about the field that you’re about to get into, you’ll need to make sure that there is a market for it… unless you are independently wealthy. Before making your decision, investigate the job market. Are there lots of openings in this field within your area or within the area you are willing to relocate to? What are the growth opportunities? Average salary? How long would it take you to complete enough training or education in order to qualify for a position in this field?

Start at the bottom

Remember, that although you may be in mid-life, you’re starting over – and that means starting at the bottom. Consider applying for an internship or assistant-level position to get your foot in the door and to start learning the ropes. If you can afford to do so, volunteer.

Have your finances “in check” first

You’ll want to be prepared financially before making the leap. If you’re currently employed, begin building a cushion. Ideally, you should have 12 to 18 months’ living expenses in the bank before making the transition. And, if the career path you’ve chose requires education, you should find a way to pursue that education while still collecting an income from your current career, unless you have the savings or the financial support of a spouse.

AUTHOR BIO

Jade Evans is a freelance writer and mother of two who decided to pursue her passion for journalism after a successful career as a software engineer. She regularly writes for Uship, an online shipping marketplace that connects people with customer-reviewed transport companies and car shipping.

Mompreneur Interview: Lisa Cratty from Teagan and Mack

Mompreneur Name: Lisa Cratty
Company: Teagan and Mack
Website: www.teaganandmack.com

Please tell us about Teagan and Mack.

Teagan and Mack is an eco-friendly baby clothing and accessories line.  All of our products are 100% certified organic cotton.  We also have a strong give-back component to the company where we support moms both locally and internationally in our Recycling Program and Sisterhood Program. It’s a personal passion of mine to support women in need.  When I was creating my company it was a critical piece that I wanted to incorporate.

What did you do before
Teagan and Mack was created?
I was in technology for 15 years!  I was really tired of the corporate lifestyle and was looking to do something that was more meaningful and fulfilling to me. My husband and I planned for two years and were finally able to quit our jobs and move to a great community where we started a whole new life with our kids.  It was exhilarating.

What has been some of your greatest successes?
Carving out a new life for myself and my family, being able to do what I love while spending more time with my kids.

What has been some of your greatest challenges?
Giving up a corporate paycheck!  :)  In all seriousness, being a solo entrepreneur is tough, you are constantly trying to balance work and life because you’re handling all aspects of the business.  Finding a partner was the best decision I made to propel myself forward and find more balance.
How do you manage your daily schedule of being a MomPrenuer and a mom?

This is always a challenge.  In order to do this well I need to be organized.  This often means that everything needs to get scheduled – if it’s not on the calendar it doesn’t get done!  My calendar is full of appts for work, but also family time.  If you don’t make an effort to set that special time aside it can get overlooked and then life gets out of whack.

For moms, “Me time” is hard to come by.. what do you do during your “Me time”?

What’s “Me time”?   Just kidding…sort of….  I try to set aside time here and there that’s just for me.  Sometime’s I’ll leave the house (the only way to get true “Me time”) and go somewhere for a coffee and read a book.  My favorite thing to do at home is sit out on my balcony with a glass of wine and just “chill”.
“Me time” is critical and yet it’s always the thing that gets put on the shelf for another day – you just reminded me to dust it off and do something for myself again!!
What’s next for Teagan and Mack? Any big plans for 2011 or 2012? Any chance we could get some “sneak peek” info or images?
There are big plans for Teagan and Mack – most likely around the fall of this year.  We’re going to add some really cute printed T’s and launch some fun contests – details that I can’t share yet :) but stay tuned…

Momprenuer Interview: Trish Babb and Sharon Martin from Chalk Talk Glass

Mompreneur Name: Trish Babb and Sharon Martin
Company: Chalk Talk Glass
Website: ChalkTalkGlass.com

Please tell us about Chalk Talk Glass.

With Chalk Talk Glasses you don’t need wine charms to keep glasses from getting mixed up – guests simply write their name on their glass with chalk. At the end of the party simply wipe off the chalk, wash the glasses (top rack in your dishwasher or by hand) and you’re ready for the next party!

What did you do before Chalk Talk Glass was created?

Trish: Professionally; I’m in consumer marketing and have my MBA from Thunderbird Graduate School
of International Management. I’ve worked on some really great brands over the years including Pepsi, Visa, Coors, Sam Adams, Viacord and most recently the USPS. I fit Chalk Talk Glass in during my spare time on nights and weekends.

Sharon: Professionally, I am a high school math teacher. I went to Villanova undergrad and have my MTA from Tufts University. Teaching high school kids keeps me on my toes and more in touch with my own children.

What has been some of your greatest successes?

We both feel really proud about building this company. We’ve learned so much throughout this process – everything from kilning glass with paint to web design. Our biggest thrill was about a week after we opened for business and we got our very first web order from someone we didn’t know or have any connection to. When it came in we both sighed with relieve and said, ok, we can do this.

What has been some of your greatest challenges?

We’ve had to say no to a few opportunities because of inventory issues. Until just this past week our products have been hand painted individually so it took a really long time to build up our inventory levels for big sales. That is all changing now that we have brought on a partner to help automate the process.

How do you manage your daily schedule of being a MomPrenuer and a mom?

We have different challenges – Trish’s kids are still very little and need a lot of mom time. She has become an expert in writing website content will watching Mickey Mouse and finger painting. Sharon’s kids are older so we use them whenever we can to help with social media efforts and packaging orders for shipping. Of course, like all moms we never have enough time for everyone but as long as we don’t get too stressed we can usually laugh about how crazy things are.

For moms, “Me time” is hard to come by.. what do you do during your “Me time”?

I think we both wish we had more time together to just hang out as sisters and not moms, business partners, wives, etc. While we only live 45 mins apart it’s still hard to carve out time to do that so we often have a glass of wine together over the phone! It sounds crazy but it really helps us stay connected.

What’s next for Chalk Talk Glass? Any big plans for 2011 or 2012? Any chance we could get some “sneak peek” info or images?

Everything is new for Chalk Talk Glass since we’ve only been in business for 6months. We’re both really excited about the opportunities that our new automated process will open up. We are planning on running a big “group buying” promotion later this month and we just launched a new design “Girl Talk” to add to our collection.