Small Business Saturday with Stitched by Melanie

Owner Name: Melanie McFarlane
Business Name: Stitched by Melanie
Business Based in: Utah
Websitewww.etsy.com/shop/StitchedByMelanie
Social Media Accounts: Instagram: @stitched_by_melanie Facebook: Stitched by Melanie
Hashtags Used: #stitchedbymelanie #babyclothes #babyboy #babygirl 

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What products or services do you offer?
I crochet baby goods- baby beanies, hats, diaper covers, bows, headbands, blankets, and anything else! My best seller is my baby bearded beanie with detachable buttons.

How long have you been in business?
1 year!

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What inspired you to start your own company
I was a Special Education teacher at a Title 1 school when my husband and I decided to start our family. I got pregnant and decided to take some time off from teaching to be a stay-home mom for our first child. During the first summer off I was so BORED! I’ve always loved to crochet, but had run out of things to make. So my husband suggested I turn it into a home business. And I LOVE IT!

Do you have a mentor or someone who inspired you?
My hubby! If he wasn’t so pushy in helping me reach outside my comfort zone, my shop would not exist.

Favorite part of owning your own company?
I get to work from home! I love being home with my son especially for this first year of being a mom. Time is really important to me- spending time together is my love language. I am so thankful for the time I am able to spend with my son while also being able to contribute a small amount to our families finances.

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What is an obstacle that you found you were unprepared for?
I wasn’t expecting to feel ups and downs of having my own business. Some days I am really optimistic about my business and the progress it is making; then other days I feel stuck. I especially feel stuck when zero orders come through–it’s hard to stay motivated. I am still learning how to maintain energy in my business even on the down days.

How do you put your business out there?
Mainly through social media. I have really been pushing my instagram account. I have been trying to be engaged with other crafters out there.

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How do you maintain balance in life?
My family comes first always. I find that I as I focus time on my family first everything else falls into place. I work on my business when Eli naps, or at night when both my boys are asleep. My business is a little slower to progress, but my family is everything to me. This was especially true when my son was in the hospital. He was born with a congenital heart defect. I put my business on pause the entire time we lived in the hospital, all through his open heart surgery and recovery period. Then when I was able again I started things back up for my business. I think it is important to realize there is a give and take when it comes to owning your own business. Sometimes you need to sacrifice on behalf of your business for your family. Then other times your family helps make sacrifices for your business. It’s not a perfect journey, but life naturally finds a way to balance, if you’re willing to be flexible.

Any words of wisdom for people looking to launch a business of their own?
Don’t do it alone! Find a friend, spouse, or mentor to talk with. Just having someone to shoot ideas around with helps a ton. My support system of family and friends has helped even with the little things like choosing a business name.

Also, fail. Fail often, when you fail in your business it makes you stronger.  If you haven’t failed in something that means you haven’t tried, and living a life of never trying is a life not worth living.

Stitched

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