Mar 24, 2011

hear us roar part deux

Megan Kanzler of Orange Peanut is in my spotlight today. Another dear friend from church, Megan's tireless can-do attitude (and she can do!) and organizational skills are a wonder to behold. If you want to get something done, ask Megan to do it. She has a a husband of 12 years and three boys (8 and 5 years-old and one that joined the family on August 23, 2010).

She has an online shop and a fun blog full of interesting stuff for mommies to learn and do.

Megan shares how she made her fab crafting area on her blog.

Here are her answers to my questions about running her own business.

I've been in business since 2008. I did only custom orders until January of 2011 (when I opened up my Etsy shop). My "business" started more out of necessity - a need to create. I was so busy with 2 little ones, church responsibilities that were very demanding, a husband who was traveling a lot, and a feeling that I was losing me. So I did what made the least amount of sense, and added one more thing to my busy life - I started to get more serious about sewing by making simple things and an apron was among the first projects I completed.

children's apron available in her Etsy shop

That feeling of creating something with my own hands helped to fill a need at a time when it seemed everything around me was taking from me. I went on a huge sewing fix and made 15 aprons for family and a few friends for Christmas gifts and then I started getting calls from their friends asking if I would make them one as well - that was the birth of my business.

My biggest satisfaction is seeing the finished product! I love taking fabric or basic items and making them into something useful and pretty! I also feel very good when I have someone contact me to make them something because a previous client recommended me or they have seen something I have made. That is a huge compliment and gives me that added boost to keep creating.

My biggest frustration is trying to find balance! I'll be honest, my family takes the #1 spot in my life. I have to pace myself and remember to assign little bits of "work" each day and then put it away. I know there will be a day when I can tackle my projects all at once, without being interrupted 20+ times in an hour span, but since that will be many years down the road, my biggest struggle is finding balance when I feel the need to escape and create.
I work mostly at night, once my children are in bed. I also am able to sneak in "work" time when my two older children are at school and my little one is napping.

A thought or tip for those who are wanting to start their own business is to find your niche. Don't try to create everything, just find a few things you like to make and are not too time consuming or costly. I would also create relationships with others who are in a similar business. This will provide you a great sounding board as well as give you a place to get encouragement, if you should need some.

Lots of good advice in there! I identify with Megan's need to create even when she was already busy - creating fills a need nothing else can. Though the end product may end up being for someone else, the process is for me. Thank you to Megan for offering her story!

1 comment:

Orange Peanut said...

WOW - Stephanie!!! Thank you for the super nice spotlight! I have a lot to learn from you and other business owners! Three cheers for homemade treasures!!!!