Monday, August 13, 2012

Spotlight on Mommy -- Penny Bauder of Green Kid Crafts



This summer I have been having fun introducing Savannah to arts and crafts activities that we can do indoors when the weather is too hot, as well as outdoors.  She loves exploring nature and playing outside as much as possible.  So, when I stumbled across Green Kid Crafts a few months ago, I was happy to see that it was created by a mom entrepreneur.  Not only do I love supporting mom-owned businesses like Penny Bauder's, but it also gave me the opportunity to review one of her crafts kits with my daughter -- stay tuned as I will be sharing a review at the end of the week.

So, what does Penny offer in her monthly Green Kid Crafts kits? Like so many children's products, Green Kid Crafts is a mother's invention, born out of need.  With Green Kid Crafts, parents and kids can enjoy earth-friendly, monthly projects that spark creativity and cultivate respect and love for the environment. 

Enjoy earth-friendly, monthly projects that spark creativity and cultivate respect and love for the environment. With Green Kid Crafts, you no longer have to scramble for craft ideas and supplies to entertain your children. Suitable for kids ages 3-8, three of our craft projects come straight to your door every month. Order now and a package full of fun will arrive each month.
  • Crafts are open-ended so that small kids can practice basic crafting skills while older kids can get more sophisticated with their projects.
  • Kids receive at least 3 different craft projects once a month.
  • Each project kit includes everything needed to complete the craft (you just supply glue, markers, and/or scissors).
  • Craft projects follow the international calendar to generate global awareness.
  • Provided instructions that are intended as a jumping-off point for kids.
  • Varied craft techniques are used to challenge creativity, develop new skills, and extend into creative play.


What comes in your monthly craft kit, which is delivered right to your doorstep? Penny uses recycled content wherever she can. Some of her favorite crafting supplies include recycled felt, recycled paper, and recycled ribbon. She also loves to include natural materials like wool yarn, stones, canvas, noodles, cruelty-free feathers, shells, jute twine, cotton fabrics, and wood. In some cases she’ll add salvaged items, like buttons, but makes sure to avoid craft foams and plastics. Penny is constantly designing new craft kits, so if you don’t see exactly what you are looking for on this page, please let her know.

Here are some of Penny's favorite Green Kid Crafts:




Don't forget to head back here on Friday to learn more about these fun Earth-friendly craft projects you can do with your children.  But, in the meantime, please enjoy my Spotlight on Mommy interview with Penny Bauder of Green Kid Crafts.



Name: Penny Bauder
Company Name/Product/Service: Green Kid Crafts
Company Location: San Diego, CA
Company Website: www.greenkidcrafts.
com
Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/
greenkidcrafts?ref=hl
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/
greenkidcrafts
Age of Company: 2 years
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one” - Jill Churchill
Favorite Book: I'm a total bookworm. I'll read anything and especially love most Russian authors.



Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.

I am the mother of Declan, age 9 months. He is terrifying me in that he is already trying to walk. I also have one very precocious and sassy 3 year old daughter, Rowan. Along with my husband, we all live in a house in the hills in Alaska, where I can often be found with paint under my fingernails or scribbling madly in a notebook. I have a B.A. in Environmental Management and an M.S. in Environmental Science.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?  

My business, Green Kid Crafts, is the end of the road for me in that it ties together everything that I find important: the environment, creativity, and my kids. I started Green Kid Crafts as a way to stay at home with my children while continuing to work and participate in the world. Through Green Kid Crafts, I am able to marry my deep environmental ethics with creativity and share this experience with kids. With Green Kid Crafts, parents and kids can enjoy earth-friendly, monthly projects that spark creativity and cultivate respect and love for the environment. Like so many children's products, Green Kid Crafts is a mother's invention, born out of need. I'm a busy working mom, but nothing is more precious to me than spending quality time interacting with my two children. Like many other parents, I want to spend my limited time connecting with them, not scrambling for ideas and shopping for safe and earth-friendly supplies. That is where Green Kid Crafts comes in.

What is a typical work day like?  

I spend the entire day trying the find the perfect balance between work and family. Some days I feel like I pulled it off and some days not so well.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

Since Green Kid Crafts is a home business, I constantly fight work creep. I have to be very disciplined and keep to a schedule otherwise I find myself working a little bit all the time. 

What did you do in your past work life? 

I worked as the Climate Change Coordinator at the Alaska Center for the Environment and as the Project Manager at Alaska Conservation Solutions. I've also worked as an organic farmer, a biologist, and a city planner.

What have been some of your major successes?  

Green Kid Crafts was awarded Top Honors in Startup Nation’s Leading Moms in Business Competition 2012. Green Kid Crafts was also awarded the Green America Business Seal of Approval by Green America. The seal is presented to businesses that go beyond product and service quality to set the highest standards in environmental sustainability and social justice, and work to solve, rather than create, environmental and social problems.

What have been some of your major challenges? 

Hmmm....well, a major challenge is just learning to be a business owner. I learn something new every day about how to run a successful business. 

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going? 

I don't. I take the day off and play with my kids.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family? 

I have a wonderful husband who helps immensely so it's really not anything I do at all :)

What is next for your business? 

We just partnered with Hope Community Resources and together developed a program that would employ 10 individuals that experience disabilities to package our boxes each month. We are also so excited to be launching 2 new product families in a few months 1)party pleasers - packs of 6 projects for parties and schools and 2) special craft projects that will include an eco-crafting basics kit, card making kits, and a superhero and mermaid gift sets. 

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? 

You can do it! Running a business is not that much different than running a household :) If you can manage one, you can manage the other.

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