Lindsay and I really pride ourselves on being a small, mom-owned business. We think it is a unique entrepreneurial niche to be in, and being involved in every part of the process makes each product and item special. Everything we do is done in house, and every product is touched by us! That might not sound like a big deal, but many companies in the same line of business as us outsource a bunch of their work. Lindsay and I are proud to say that we do every step of every product in our shop, start to finish!
When we first started our business, we started with hand lettered prints that we scanned into our computers with our personal printers, scanners, and computers. This slowly evolved to better printers with better scanners, and eventually (praise the Paper Goods Gods), iPads! iPads were a total game changer. They eliminated a whole step (scanning) and made editing our creations so. much. easier! Hallelujah!!! Can I get another AMEN! for our husbands letting us have a whole room for an office in our homes for ourselves?! Had they tried to share the space with us they would have eventually been pushed out by the other supplies we have purchased along the way anyway…paper cutters, padding presses, binding machines, laminators, Cricuts, etc. Today, our offices house stacks of all the reems of the different kinds of paper we use, cutting tools, coils, glue, so much ink, packaging, business cards, tape, display supplies, inventory, and so much more. Oh and did I mention mailing supplies? So many boxes of mailing supplies!
Everything we make starts with the lettering. Everything is written on our iPads and created from there. Whether it is a print or a card that just needs to be printed and packaged, or a planner that needs to be printed, ordered with tabs, cut, hole punched, and bound, we do it all. We load the specific paper we need into our printers, we hand cut the paper, we cut the chipboard for notepad backings, we glue the pages of notepads, we score the fold in our cards, we print the shipping labels, and we take our packages to the post office. When you buy a product from us, we have literally put our individual time, energy, and love into what you hold in your hands. How can we not be proud of that?!
Sometimes this method is not so glamorous. We constantly have boxes of supplies coming in and out of our offices. And let’s be real, those boxes don’t always get sorted the second they are dropped off by our wonderful and hard working delivery people. Because kids happen and life happens and needing a break happens. Also sometimes laziness, but let’s put that in the “needing a break category”. Inventory is tricky to house because, surprisingly, paper products take up a lot of space! And so do shipping supplies. Home offices also mean that this is often our drop zone for all the other areas in our house so they get cluttered really quickly. Our precious work spaces get crowed by our home life really fast. And because we work from home, we often get distracted by regular home and mom duties. So a lot of our time dedicated to our business has to be completely timed around our kids’ schedules (a.k.a. nap times and the dreaded skipped nap times).
With doing all of our products in house, we save on a lot of outsourcing costs. What we would have to charge for a planner had we printed it elsewhere would be quite steep! We like to make our products reasonably priced so that people like us could afford them. The problem with not outsourcing is that we spend quite a bit of time making each item, and not everyone understands why a notepad might cost $12 when they can get one at the store for $1. Time spent is never quite reimbursed. But that’s okay- we like that we can say we touch every product during all of its steps of completion. That $1 notepad cannot say the same thing!
We have come so far in the few years that we have been doing this. We have grown and failed and learned and succeeded. We love what we do. And we love who supports us! Being a small business owner is so exciting, and starting this business when we had young children was an amazing accomplishment. Our first craft show was spent rocking, bouncing, and nursing two kiddos strapped to our bodies for two days! What an adventure! So know that when you buy something from us, you are supporting two girls, who met as friends, that entered motherhood around the same time, then launched a small business, and who continue to try and make new things that are useful and cute and adorable! We love this opportunity that we have in our hands (literally in our hands, guys!!!)!