Grandparents, let’s talk about grandparents. Many of us have fond memories of spending time with our grandparents. Some of us are enjoying watching our parents being grandparents to our own children. A few of you out there are grandparents soaking in those moments of spoiling and loving those grandkids. Grandparents share their hobbies with us and our children, they pass their knowledge down. Can these special moments with our grandparents someday lead us to follow a passion in business? In the case of the fabulous lady I’m talking to today the answer is YES! The seed was planted over 50 years ago by her special Nana.
Stacey Schmidt is a mother of two, a wife, a talented crochet artist and basically one of the nicest, kindest women I’ve met. She is genuine and speaks from the heart. I picture her to be an engaged mother and friend. I imagine laughing with her and going to her for advice. I see the fire in her as we talk about this business and I see the bravery in overcoming some uncomfortability with the spotlight to get this business out there. Lastly, I see her going places, A lot of places..setting an example for other women including her girls. Have that idea, have that dream of doing something you LOVE and chase it…this sums her up in my opinion.
Her new business was born from a passion and enjoyment of crocheting that she has been doing most of her life. Why not turn something that gives you such happiness into a business? Why not share that gift with others for them to enjoy too?
I want you to hear the story of her memories with her grandmother and then I want to share Stacey with you. While you are reading this story I hope in the back of your mind you’re making the connection I did about the ripple effect that happens when you share your gifts and knowledge with others.
Stacey and Nana:
“My parents used to drop me off at my Nana and Pop-Pop’s house every weekend so I got to spend time with them regularly. Nana taught me many things such as embroidery, cooking, going to Broadway shows (we lived in New York) and watching classic movies but the main thing she taught me was crocheting. I remember going over the basic stitches over and over until it was done right and now that’s why I’m such a perfectionist to this day. My first piece I remember making was a small blanket for my doll, which I wish I still had. When I crochet now Nana is still with me.”
Now that the inspiration has already begun please join me to learn more about this business and the lady behind it- unedited and unfiltered, in her own words:
How many children do have and their ages:
”I have two girls, 19 and 16 years old.”
Tell me about your business:
”I started my business a short time ago, back in March of this year. My business name is Crocheted It by SJS Design. I needed a change so I took my passion for crocheting and designing, put them together and joined the Etsy movement. This decision has made me very happy and I’ve been smiling ever since!”
What made you decide to get started and how long did you think about doing so before you did?
“ I’ve always wanted to have my own business. I dabbled in making jewelry 20 years ago but was frustrated on how to go about selling what I made. That was long before the Etsy rage and clients only wanted to take my merchandise on consignment and I got burned on many occasions.
I was a taxi mom for a long time and now that my girls are older and can get around on their own, I decided to start doing what I loved! I’ve always enjoyed crocheting and I wanted to incorporate different design and product ideas together. It all began with making my wine glass holders as gifts for Gasparilla and when other people saw them and asked where and how to get one…ding, ding, ding. I decided to make more and started selling on Etsy. I really didn’t know how to use Etsy, but I learned and continue to learn more every day. Not only about Etsy, but also marketing and posting on social media… which is important to do.”
Why are you passionate about it?
“Two reasons why I’m passionate about why I chose to crochet and wanted to make it a part of my business plan. First off, my Nana taught me everything I know about crocheting and I’ve been doing it for 50 years. While I’m designing I always feel her around me guiding me and it just puts me in my happy place!
Crocheting always relaxes me, I enjoy doing projects and making gifts for people and I’m good at it-my Nana taught me well…and always told me I surpassed her in how fast and beautiful my pieces came out.. I just recently started teaching my oldest daughter and now I’m saying the same to her, she caught on quickly and I know that once my business grows she will be a big help to me!
Secondly, I felt I lost myself once my girls were self-sufficient and I knew I was spiraling downward towards depression. So instead of waking up every day repeating the same thing over and over, I decided I needed to do something and crocheting made me feel better and happy.”
Do you have any tips/advice for a fellow mom getting started?
“ Make a list of the things you enjoy, skills and knowledge of whatever you are passionate about and see how you can incorporate that into a career. There are many groups for women out there that you can join, this helps with networking and hearing other stories of how they got started with sharing their tips for success. It’s amazing how what you don’t know you can learn from other women and online resources!”
What challenges have you faced in this business?
“There are a few-One would be being consistent with the way I make and package my products, with the manufacturers I buy from always changing the way they make their products. Example: dye lot of color for the yarn or products being discontinued, this can be very frustrating.
Another challenge is keeping up with all the social media outlets, every day. This consists of taking photos, blogging and coming up with fresh ideas. It usually takes up a couple of hours of my time that could be spent on other pressing matters, but I have to do it. One main challenge for me is making sure I have made enough product before I post for selling. I’m the only one crocheting my merchandise so I don’t want to get caught shorthanded.”
What have you learned about yourself or your business along the way?
“ I’ve learned to listen to the advice of others, and not be afraid to talk about what I do and tell my story to help promote my business. I needed to overcome my shyness, not to be afraid of the way I sound or look on social media and just be myself!”
What are some benefits of what you do?
“ There are many benefits, one being to work from home and still be available for my family. Another is being the CEO of my business, it’s nice not having to answer to anyone and to make your own decisions! The main benefit I love, is to have an answer when someone asks “what do you do” and now I say I own my own business, making and selling products!”
What are your goals as you continue?
“I want to see my business thrive and to be able to have my girls one day join me in this venture! I’ve already taught my oldest daughter how to crochet and she caught on right away and has come up with ideas to help me with design and social media.”
Why part time instead of full time? Why was this right for your family?
“i’ve never been a 9-to-5 kind of girl, I always enjoyed working 2 to 3 different jobs at once, so as not to get bored. Working part time allows me to still have the freedom to have fun with my family and to also go on vacations together whenever we want.”
Favorite thing about being a stay at home mom:
“ Making my own schedule, it’s what works best for me and my family each and every day!”
What would you want your children to know about why mom does what she does?
“I think my girls have learned a lot already, starting from my decision to be their taxi mom, to go on field trips and always be there for anything they needed. They know I didn’t want to miss anything and I wanted to be there for them. I know that not everyone has had the luxury but luckily I did and I think that decision was a good fit for our family. That being said, I’ve always taught them about earning their own money for the things they wanted, not needed. They started working early on and opened up their own bank accounts. I want them to be self-sufficient and know how to handle money matters. My husband and I believe in trying to start and run your own business and we hope our girls take our advice and run with it!”
Best memory of a successful moment doing what you do:
“ Just starting up this past March, I’ll never forget the first Etsy order I got from a stranger in Chicago and that made what I started all worth it!”
I want to say a huge thank you to Stacey for the inspiration and insight..but especially for the openness. While we were discussing this article I had such a feeling of wanting to talk to my own grandma that I called her and made sure to tell her how much I appreciate her. I was reminded what is passed down between generations-time together, knowledge and so much love. There is love and happiness in these designs by SJS. There is fun and playfulness too. And there is also the personality of Stacey present-you’re going to get perfection because she’s a perfectionist.
If you’d like to see more you can visit her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Crocheted-It-by-SJS-Design-1628378263906477/ or her Etsy shop-CrochetedItShop. You can also find her on Instagram @Crochetedit.
Thank you for tuning into this series of Moms Who Inspire! If you know or are someone with an inspiring story of any kind or a business that you think should be spotlighted I’d love you to reach out to me! I hope you’ll keep following along as more stories are shared-both those from other women and those from me-your blogger who likes to give you those details..and get a few details too!! Until next time, friends! Janet