Earlier in the year I was introduced to Jessica, founder of Wild Child Designs, as she reached out to me to connect and collaborate. We have chatted back and forth over the last few months allowing us the pleasure to get to know each other better. When I started my blog I wanted to focus on featuring small shops and sharing their joys, challenges and goals in business. As the blog (and my family) has grown the direction of the blog has changed a bit and the amount of small business features has lowered.
When Jessica contacted me those months ago it reminded me of why I started, the spark for features came back and I am so excited to continue this series as summer comes to a close and the school year begins. The past week I was already styling my Wild Child Designs toque as well as both of the girls as the weather had taken a change. I couldn’t resist getting us all matching ones as you likely already know, I am all about the twinning.
Photo: Julie Christine Photography
Now let’s dive in, meet Jessica and explore the adventure and life she has created since starting Wild Child Designs.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself
Hi! I’m Jessica! Born and raised in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, I’m a mother to two amazing kids and wife to my husband, Jared. When I’m not busy with my kids or my business (which is not very often!), I love to head up to the lake, go for a walk, or relax with a glass of wine!
2. When was Wild Child Designs established?
While I was on maternity leave with my daughter in 2014, I started crocheting ear-warmers for her. Family and friends encouraged me to put myself out there and start selling them, I haven’t looked back since! My business has evolved and changed so much over the last two years and I really can’t believe how much it has grown and how far I’ve come!
Photo: Wild Child Designs
3. What inspired you to start your own business?
I think like a lot of moms, I had plans to stay home with my kids while they were young, but I wanted to find something that I could do for me, that could help contribute to my family, and give me a sense of accomplishment. I think that’s what drove me to take the step from it just being a hobby to trying to create a business.
4. What was the toughest obstacle to overcome when starting out?
I think it’s hard to get started in the handmade market because there can be a lot of competition, and you really have to find people that are willing to take a chance on your product as you don’t have the sales to back you when you are first starting out. I gave a lot of my items away to people just to get my product out there, and reached out to other small shops to see if they could help me to get established on social media.Photo: Julie Christine Photography
5. What do you love the most about Wild Child Designs and running your own business?
The most fun for me is connecting with other shop owners, collaborating, and supporting handmade. It really is a community, and I’ve found some other amazing work-at-home moms that are so supportive and positive.
6. Out of all of you products which is an all time best seller?
It’s so hard to say as my shop has really evolved over the last couple of years. Last year I was making baby ear-warmers and headwraps all winter long! This year it’s all about the knit toques!Photo: Wild Child Designs
7. What is your favorite product? and why.
My favorite are the faux fur pom toques. They are a lot of work, and about as handmade as it gets (I even make my faux fur pom poms myself!). But they always turn out so great, and are so fun to wear!
8. When you were ‘growing up’ what did you always say that you wanted to be? Did you ever think you were going to be an entrepreneur?
I always thought I would end up in a job that involved “helping people” in some shape or form. But as I got older and dipped my toes in a few different fields, I realized that what I really love to do is create. And I knew I always wanted to have kids and try to be a stay-at-home mom. So I guess my business kind of allows me to do both!
9. When do you find the time to focus on your business?
Nap time and evenings mostly! Sometimes I spend my weekends powering through orders if need be. It’s busy but I love the feeling of a stack of completed orders! Photo: Julie Christine Photography
10. What is next for Wild Child Designs?
I really don’t know! I’m going to be finally showing up at a few markets this winter, which is new to me. I’m always brainstorming with my husband about expanding my business in other ways, so maybe you will see some new baby and kids stuff from me in the future!
11. If you had to give someone starting their own small business any word of advice what would it be?
I would say to take the time to connect and collaborate. My business would be nowhere near what it is today if I hadn’t taken the time to reach out to other small shops, photographers, bloggers, etc. Don’t underestimate the power of social media – almost all of my business is either through social media or word of mouth.
Jessica thank you so much for sharing some of your story with us! Thanks to Jessica you all have a chance to win something from her shop, enter in the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win $75 to shop at Wild Child Designs.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Photo: Julie Christine Photography