Alison is a Part-Time Creative, Maker, Contributor, Blogger sharing weekly inspiration for thoughtful gifting at www.thepetitcadeau.com. She also runs an online shop of handmade heirloom celebration calendars + other lovely goods and is the creator of #petitmail - a monthly snail mail subscription for young children.
Welcome to a new feature where we get to know one of our amazing community members, today we’re spending some time learning about Alison Butler of The Petit Cadeau!
In one paragraph tell us about yourself and what you do!
The Petit Cadeau is all about creating and celebrating more thoughtful moments in our lives. I blog about thoughtful gifting (creative ideas, DIY gift projects, celebrating handmade creatives, and slow gifting) and I create & sell handmade heirloom fabric countdown calendars and celebration gift bags for honoring special occasions in the Petit Cadeau shop. I also create Petit Mail (monthly snail mail subscriptions for children) celebrating a love of snail mail and those wonderful, everyday moments we can share with our children – simple acts like making an event out of receiving & opening special mail.
What is your creative process?
My creative process can vary depending on my mood. Sometimes I get out all of my supplies and play around and make a HUGE mess. If I’ve already had an inspired idea (in the shower, sitting in a coffee shop) I write all of my ideas in my notebook and usually start with a clean, fresh workspace to bring my idea to life. I create Petit Mail on my computer in my home office (a happy space with lot’s of inspiration on the wall above me) and I usually stitch my handmade countdown calendars and gift bags curled up on the couch. Mostly, just the act of being creative makes me SO HAPPY. It’s not just about creating products for my business. I love to work on projects for our home, or for my daughter. I make a lot of handmade greeting cards. Sometimes just the act of THINKING about being creative is enough!
How do you stay motivated & enthusiastic as a maker or entrepreneur?
I’m generally a very enthusiastic person about life, but interacting with other creatives completely INSPIRES me. I love meeting creators and artisans at local markets and online, there is an energy and passion among this community that doesn’t seem to exist as much in other places. It is also amazingly wonderful to receive positive feedback from customers. My absolute favorite is when customers Tweet or Instagram pictures of their children opening (and being delighted by) Petit Mail, or send me e-mails with great comment – that’s all the motivation I need to keep going!
What does a productive & awesome work day look like for you?
I call myself a “part-time creative”, meaning I have a full time day-job in addition to my creative ventures. However an AMAZING Petit Cadeau work day for me looks something like this:
- Easing into morning with a cup of tea in the quiet (I hate the RUSH of my regular workday mornings)
- Green smoothie and 20-30 mins of yoga to feel energized
- Sitting at the computer in my lovely bright office and pitching, blogging, creating Petit Mail & Petit Cadeau products (plus a few little breaks browsing Pinterest and Twitter!)
- Having time to chat with other creatives & community
- Getting things done without interruption (quiet & focus make me SO happy)
- Crossing things off the “to-do” list (love nothing more than notebook and pen)
How did you find OMHG? Has our community helped support you and your business so far?
I’m honestly not sure how I originally found OMHG, but I can say FOR SURE that it it the best thing that has ever happened for me (creatively). I started the Petit Cadeau while on maternity leave with my daughter, and spent many hours of “nap time” browsing the internet for inspiration & resources. I started participating in the #omhg chats, and the rest is history. I have connected with AMAZING people, that have become friends. I found my graphic designer, collaborators, blog guest posters and creative “moral support” people via OMHG.
The community (via #omhg chats and more importantly via the forums) is so friendly and supportive. The community helped shaped my ideas for Petit Mail, and then helped promote the launch. The community also came together and supported/participated/promoted my #handmademarathon project (interviewing and highlighting other creative businesses) On a more personal note, I have also found an amazing group of creatives to purchase products from (gifts, cards, etc) and try to support as many people in the community as I can!
Share some goodness with us, what are your top 10 resources, websites or mentors?
- Susannah Conway – I love her blogging style and her photography. I took her online “photo meditations” course – which re-inspired my love of photography and got me more into using Instagram as a medium to connect with others.
- Danielle Laporte – truthbombs (!!), Firestarter Sessions book, reality checks. Great for inspiring who you want to be, and what you want to do.
- Austin Kleon’s book “Show Your Work” (I saw him speak at a conference last year, he’s also a cool person, love his tweets + Instagrams about his young son!)
- Marisa Anne Cummings Book “Creative Thursday”
- Blacksburg Belle – For blogging tools + inspiration
- Tania W. at Manusmade – she’s been a great sounding board for me, plus we talk about life and goals and making SPACE.
- Crafting Connections – the lovely ladies Andrea and Danielle share a very similar philosophy about life and creativity with children. I love their blog and the Crafting Connections magazine….it fits very well with my gifting philosophy
- Instagram in general….I’ve always loved photography and I’m a very visual person. I’m always inspired by other people’s images.
- Susan Cain “The Power of Introverts” TED TALK (well worth 20 minutes of your time!)
Alison Butler is a part-time creative, a wife, and mother with a passion for thoughtful gifting. She blogs weekly inspiration at www.thepetitcadeau.com and is the creator of Petit Mail - a monthly snail mail subscription for young children.