I almost don’t have the words to introduce this interview-I have so much to say and at the same time don’t even know where to start. This is easily the most amazing story I have ever shared here, about the transformational power of creativity and the strength of one woman’s passion to create a better life for her daughter, herself and the world. Adventure, loss, new beginnings-it has them all. It is also a story of how Oh My! Handmade is finding it’s place in the world and building community. So I hope you have some tissue handy because this interview will move you and open the doors of your heart, it’s that incredible.
First the quick back story: I met Roseann of cute little thing via the NaturalKids Etsy team, we’re both members and it’s a really supportive, friendly group. Sometimes I send the team an email when we have a small biz or other giveaway/posts that I think are helpful and Roseann entered our Aeolidia small business giveaway and won! With the help of Aimee Ray & our friends at Aeolidia, she took the opportunity to rebranded her business into the cute look shown off in this post. Then 6 months later she entered Grace Kang’s Retail Recipes giveaway & random.org chose her again. But beneath the surface something much larger then that was shifting for Roseann, I asked if she would share her journey here & she bravely opened up her heart to us. She also completes the giving circle by offering a giveaway package of a little bit of everything in her shop for one mama to have some crafty time out, learn needle-felting and make their own cute little thing. Who knows what will happen if you win?
Random.org just loves you Roseann! I am excited to share your beautiful story & experience with our readers. Can you tell us a bit about your business & how winning our two giveaways has changed things for you?
cute little thing is turning out to be a story of how “the road rises up to meet you, “ which is indeed a beautiful thing! amazingly, winning two OMHG give-aways, transformed a mere thought into a full blown “let’s do it!”
cute little thing began as a hobby, a bit of respite from mothering + home schooling my special needs daughter. while getting crafty, i was discovering the most wonderfully inspiring natural materials (that were safe for my daughter too!) + regional sheep farms that supported my values of keeping it local + kind. i felt so honored to “cast my vote” by buying from these sources but my little hobby biz didn’t make much of a statement. the question came to mind of how can i support these small farms + kind practices in a bigger way? just like they say “life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” this is so true! my high school sweetheart + husband of 15 years, left me. instantaneously i was in full personality crisis mode, fear + uncertainty settled in. how I was going to raise my daughter alone? and the biggie…if I am not a wife…just “who am I?” as it turns out there is no better way to answer this question than start a business!!!
winning the OMHG aeolidia giveaway was like a reassuring mother whispering in my ear “when one door closes, a window is opened!”. this “lucky break” was propelling me forward toward life + the future just when I wanted to climb in bed + pull the covers over my head. it was the realization that there would be other dreams, great dreams!
then to win another OMGH giveaway, this time a critique-my line consultation by retail recipes, …it was an affirmation that made me LOL! like a loving friend cheering me on telling me you are on the right path, you can do it! this is what you are here for. I know it sounds silly but these “so-called” little things were evidence of life’s goodness, even in really yucky times. each inspiring me to find myself, create a business that reflects me, one that really cares, makes a difference + pays it forward.
cute little thing has quickly evolved from a stay-at-home mom’s sanity check to this wonderful reflection of a life fully realized. it is me in the form of a product + service. i combined my passion for designing, love of all things cute + my education, with my devotion to conscious living + the knowledge that making something yourself is about as good as it gets! and waa-lah! cute d.i.y. kits for the conscious crafter. a cute + convenient way to have all-you-need to: craft cute. create consciously.
After winning the Aeolidia small business giveaway you dove right in and decided to rebrand your entire business! Tell us about that experience & what you learned during your rebranding.
the give-away was truly a window opening, i felt that immediately + jumped through with both feet. nothing like a bit of fear + humiliation (in my personal life) to inspire courage. (seriously…what did I have to lose?)
instead of being the distraction i anticipated, it was more like holding up a magnifying glass. the personal soul searching was not for sissies. i had to create my entire business plan on the fly, ask myself the hard questions of who i was, what my business was all about. asking why cute little thing was something of value was the same as asking why was I something of value?…very deep! slowly + painstakingly i emerged more whole, stronger, more confident with a vision for cute little thing + my new life.
aimee ray was absolutely the right designer to help me brand cute little thing. i am such a fan of her work + our aesthetics blended perfectly. our collaboration re-ignited my passion for designing. i remembered how much I love that whole process of taking an idea + birthing it, to me that is really just what I was made for. the entire process reconnected me with myself.
Our theme this month is Celebrating Mamahood-what are the struggles you face in balancing parenting & business? Do you have any tips to share with our readers?
tips? oh no. i am a complete disaster in this area. i am hoping your readers + other creative entrepreneurs will have some advice for me. a reader of your blog left a comment a few weeks ago with great mothering advice “don’t worry, it’s just a phase”…i like that! it is all just a phase, no matter what state of life, it is only like that now! to everything, a season, right? so, right now i do the best i can in this phase, one of growing + changing. my drive for propelling my business forward needs to acquiesce at times to my true vocation + calling as a mother. i don’t think you can have it all. i don’t want it all. in the end it’s all about teaching my daughter to be herself, follow her dreams, share her gifts + love with all her heart!
How has motherhood influenced your work & what/how you create?
oh my! motherhood is fertile ground for igniting inventiveness + imagination. the gift of our feminine nature/motherhood is creativity itself…how cool is that? ever since my daughter was born the ideas keep coming, from the “million dollar invention” to make mommy life easier to a new way to teach a math concept she just isn’t getting.
after my daughter was diagnosed with autism + environmental illness, i found that using the best natural materials, closest to their natural state, not only prevented behavioral reactions but actually helped her. materials like wool seemed to “ground” her the same way playing outdoors did. the busyness of motherhood inspired me to learn the how to needle felt. sewing a quilt or knitting a sweater were out, i needed to craft + complete something in the ever-dwindling naptime, or the length of a tv show. with needle felting not only could i complete a project in about an hour, all my love felted right in, + it was a cute little thing that made my daughter smile.
What does the next year hold for you & cute little thing & where can we find your lovelies?
it will be a year of all sorts of new goodness + adventure. my daughter + i have just relocated to ny, my home state. we will be finding + settling into our home in the country where we can be close to nature, breathe in fresh air + live the simple life. we will lie on soft grass + discover new cloud shapes, collect rocks, jump in puddles + watch butterflies.
cute little thing, has an exciting year ahead. i will be expanding my line of needle felting kits including more super cute critters, connect with retailers + build a website. scouting out the upstate ny country side for local fiber farms + hit the craft show scene. i’ll be sharing the “rest of the story” on my brand new blog + finally embrace twitter. I am most excited about creating + growing opportunities for my customers to connect with their friends by crafting together + to join in community with other crafty folk + fans of cute.
in the spirit of crafty togetherness, join cute little thing on facebook ~ where it’s “show + tell!” we promise to ooooo + ahhhhh over your cute little thing! ravelry your cup of tea? we’re there too. Join “cute little thing jab + gab” group.
thank you soooo much jessika, because of you + the generosity of others i’m now living my story with me as the lead character.
Editor: Thank you Roseann!!! I can’t read this without crying and wanting to dance at the same time. Life is filled with beauty and mystery, forces that connect us to change lives, apparently at random. But I think randomness, luck, chance, opportunity, success are what we make of them. Whether we take the risk and walk through the open door to the arms that wait on the other side. Hooray for Roseann and for the creative journey she is on with her daughter. I know she’s in good company and I’m pretty confident the handmade community is the best place to find your feet. The road might be rocky and uphill (both ways!) but there is always a light of some kind.
Now for the giveaway!
Roseann is giving away a “craft sanity” package valued at $70, it includes one each of her 3 needle felting kits, a large toads-‘tool’ needle felting tool + a set of 38 triangle felting needles.
All the kits come with complete instructions on how to make your own cute little thing.
How to Enter: (This giveaway is open internationally)
Of course you can’t enter a giveaway after a story like that without leaving a comment about the interview & Roseann’s story!
Visit cute little thing on Etsy and let us know what you love about her shop & brand.
Get extra entries for leaving a separate comment (1 comment=1 entry) if you:
- Add cute little thing to your Etsy favorites
- Like cute little thing on Facebook
- Follow @cuteliltweet on Twitter
- Tweeting about this giveaway (be sure to mention @ohmyhandmade)
- Posting this giveaway to your Facebook wall (please tag @oh my handmade-you have to like us first)
- Blogging about this giveaway with a link back to this post
This giveaway closes next Monday, May 30th at midnight EST with the winner chosen randomly and announced Tuesday, May 31st at the bottom of this post.
by entering this giveaway you are agreeing to the oh my! handmade goodness giveaway policies
This giveaway is now closed! Hooray for Charlie with comment #77 you are in for SO much fun!