Meet TheTrendyTot!

Posted Thursday, October 06, 2011

Today we introduce you to EtsyKids Team Member Jen of The Trendy Tot

  • what motivated you to start your shop?

I've worked for many years in product development and consumer products marketing but gave it up to stay at home after my second child was born. Somewhere in between changing diapers and running to soccer practice, I re-discovered my creative side. I taught myself to sew and started making clothes for my daughter. People started taking notice and asking where I got her clothes and if I would make them for their kids. I loved the idea of having a small home-based business that utilized both my business background and my creative side, but I could still have time with my kids. I had been a buyer on etsy and loved the community. It was relatively low risk to set up a shop there, so I jumped right in and never looked back!

  • what is the story behind your shop name?

I was looking for a name that conveyed I had cool things for little ones. I had a bunch of names and this one cleared my trademark search so I picked it.

  • do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?

Oh this is a tough one, I have so many shops I love! Aside from the obvious fabric shops, I love reiter8's recycled sail pillows and bags, tinybully's fingerless gloves and my most favorite etsy purchase of all was a whale from MorningStarDesign.

  • what surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?

Honestly? How much work it really takes to get started. That first year was like having a new baby--I don't think I slept that entire year.

  • what do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?

Believe it or not, the business end is not the most challenging for me. I have a business background and MBA, so that part comes easy. The sewing was the hardest thing for me. I had never sewn anything other than a button until 3.5 years ago. I didn't even know how to thread a machine, much less a serger. I often found it frustrating that I couldn't execute the designs I had sketched out. I've really had to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn a lot about fabric, technique and equipment in a short time while others have been perfecting these skills for a lifetime. It requires lots of patience and focus. Thankfully I learn fast, and I practice A LOT. I've also become friendly with several other etsy sellers like Kiki from The Measure, Jayme from Lillipops and Julie from Zozobugbaby and they have taught me quite a bit!

  • what's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?

I love making unique, bold, colorful, fun clothes kids love, but that are practical for mom and every day life. I despise those handmade clothes that can't be machine washed and dried. Who has time to hand wash or dryclean kids clothes? Clothes need to work for active kiddos who crawl, run, jump and get dirty. I use the highest quality materials in everything I do. I test all products on kids and in the wash before I sell them. If it doesn't hold up--it doesn't get sold. Happy Clothes for Little Ones. That's what it's all about.

  • how would someone (other then yourself) describe you?

I think other people would describe me as creative and resilient. I'm a big believer of when a door closes a window always opens. Tomorrow is always another day to be and do something new.

  • what music do you have on while you are creating?

My musical taste is kind of all over the place. I think the only type of music that I *don't* have on my ipod when I'm creating are rap and country music. I could be listening to Van Morrison one minute and old Cure albums the next. I also find classical music very stimulating to have on in the studio when I'm working.

  • what do you do when you aren't working?

When I get free time to myself I enjoy interior design, reading, sailing, playing with my kids and hunting for the perfect find at local antique stores. ...And wishing I had more free time!

  • anything else you'd like to tell us or share?

I always tell my kids at bedtime (especially when it's been a challenging day for them and me) that tomorrow is a new day--and a chance to start fresh. Take that opportunity!

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