Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September Featured Shop: Zuzu Girl Handmade

This month's featured EtsyMom shop is zuzugirl.etsy.com. Here is what Krisit has to say....
"I am a passionate woman, perpetual decorator, avid photographer, habitual consumer, Etsy junkie, blogging fool & mom of two that adores designing pretty little things. I grew up in South Florida, spent a few years in New York City after graduating from the University of Florida (go Gators!) and finally settled in Marin County, California.  It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life and twelve years after arriving here I still look my surroundings in sheer awe.  When I'm not at my desk creating you can find me in the yoga studio or dancing, singing & doing art projects with my two darling children that simply crack me up every single day.  Gage is almost six and just started first grade.  Big man on campus!  Zuzu, my inspiration, is three.  

In  2007 I left a thriving career in retail merchandising to spend more time with my two young children.  It was the toughest decision I've ever made.  The first year went by pretty quickly and I was busy with a 6 month old and a three year old.  Then, about a year ago,  I was in a ballet class with my daughter, Zuzu.  The teacher handed us a pair of plastic shower curtain rings with beat up, but colorful ribbon streaming from them.  Zuzu and her friends adored them and they pranced around the room like little ballerinas.   I looked at these dance rings and thought simply, "I can make these.  And I can make them pretty."  It was basically at that point that zuzu girl handmade was born.  I started making the dance rings for Zuzu and her friends.  The dance rings inspired wands and the wands, matching headbands & halos.  I'd been shopping on Etsy for a few months so when my mother insisted I try to sell my work I  went ahead and opened a shop of my own there.  

In the first month one of my good friends saw what I was doing and requested a large wholesale order for her shop which sold out quickly.  I was also charged with the task of outfitting several ballet classes at the local gym with ribbon tutus and matching headbands for their recital.  It was quite an undertaking.   I had a blast but unfortunately, the time it took to mass produce those orders really stole time away from my Etsy shop and didn't allow me to actually sit and create.  I missed that and have turned down every wholesale inquiry since then.  I hope to be able to do both some day but right now there just isn't the time.  

My biggest challenge getting this business going has definitely been time management.  I think most stay at home moms & Etsy shop owners face the same problem.  It's a daily lesson in efficiency as I try to buy supplies, create, photograph, list & market (tweet, blog, facebook, flickr, chat...)  all in the few hours the kids are in school or asleep without losing too much sleep myself.  I definitely get frustrated that nothing is ever quite as perfect as I would like but I just try to be thankful for what I am able to accomplish.  I am a Merchant to the core and the fact that I am able to be home with my kids and use my own hands & creative instincts rather than for a corporate giant is so rewarding.  I can only hope to grow my business enough so that I might be able to earn enough income to continue with zuzu girl for many years to come but for now I am just grateful for today.

I am also a proud member of the  EtsyKids Team and a contributor to Modern Handmade Child Magazine."

You can check out all the beautiful items Kristi offers by visiting her shop at www.zuzugirl.etsy.com.