Monday, February 18, 2013

Spotlight on Mom: Kerrie Barton of Posy Lane, Inc.

Posy Lane

I can't believe Savannah will be starting pre-school in the fall.  Boy, has the time gone by so quickly.  I am not sure how I will handle sending her off to school on the school bus for the first time.  But, in the meantime, I am enjoying cuddling up to my little girl, as I begin to prep her to pre-school with potty training, learning to count and her colors, etc.  And, one item is already checked off my shopping list for her big day -- a backpack.  Thanks to Kerrie Barton, owner of Posy Lane Inc., I was sent one of her personalized toddler backpacks to review, which Savannah will wear proudly when she starts pre-school in the fall. The personalized backpack retails through the online store for only $21.99:

Stephen Joseph Girl Monkey Quilted Toddler Backpack front

In addition to selling boy and girl backpacks, Posy Lane, Inc. offers personalized gifts for women, kids and men including, nap mats, day planners, bath towel wraps, laundry bags, children plates and more...  

 Aqua seersucker personalized Mint Laundry Bag
Orange seersucker personalized toddler nap mat

Hot Pink Blooms Mint Bath Towel Wrap

So, after you are done reading my Spotlight on Mom interview with Kerrie Barton of Posy Lane, Inc., make sure you visit her online store and browse her product offering.  


Name:  Kerrie Barton
Company Name/Product/Service:  Posy Lane Inc.
Company Location: Dallas, Texas
Company Website:
Age of Company:  6 years
Favorite Book: I read a lot of child rearing books but a favorite escapes me right now.  My current book is on Montessori schooling.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
One boy, age 3.5.  Our (husband and I) hobby is really just raising our son and keeping up with the business, although my husband also home brews beer.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?
I always wanted to own my own business, but I didn’t know what.  I did temp work for a few years as a way to try out different things, and then one day I walked into a gift store (Swoozies) and loved.  It took six months of constant nagging, but they finally hired me.  A year later they made me a manager of a new location.  I really like the gift business but the upper management didn’t value the input of folks like me, and I thought I had a lot of useful ideas for my store.  So after a year or so, I quit and started my own brick and mortar store.  About a year and a half after opening the store, the economy crashed, my husband was laid off and I was pregnant with our first child.
He used his downtime to start the Posy Lane website and we decided to close the store and focus on the web business.  We miss the direct customer interaction the store provided, but the web business is keeping us so busy it is clear we could not have properly invested in both.

What is a typical work day like? 
The night before the workday, we print orders and build the embroidery jobs.  Then, the next morning we start embroidery and shipping of orders that don’t require personalization.  After that shipping is done, we move to cleaning the embroidery jobs and shipping those.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?  
Properly investing in the business has taken a lot of money.  You feel that you are living in poverty compared to those around you, but I know it will be worth it when the business is mature.  Also the business is operating out of the house.  When 60% of your house is inventory and machines, you can’t have people over and you feel very isolated.
What did you do in your past work life?
I have worked at Victoria’s secret, sold Mary Kay, and worked temp job at around a dozen jobs before working for Swoozies, and then starting Posy Lane.
What have been some of your major successes?
We have grown to the point where we could invest in a new, larger space that is business only, and more than doubles our space.  We move the business in April and can’t wait.
What have been some of your major challenges?
Living in the house as the business consumed the majority of it!

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Orders, orders and orders.  There are real people on the other side, buying nap mats for their child’s first day of school, towel wraps for their bridesmaids, and cookies for their children’s teachers.  We get to be part of that. 
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?

1.  Plan ahead.  
2.  Invest in people and technology to do as much of the busy work as possible.  
3.  Have a good attitude!
What is next for your business?

The new space will allow us to about triple our inventory.  One day we will outgrow the new space, but I can’t think that far ahead yet.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? 
Make sure your spouse is bought into the plan.  Don’t run your business like a hobby.  Do what others aren’t willing to do.  Follow the money.  

1 comment :

  1. Their backpacks for girls are just adorable and so much cuter than the ones I have seen in the store.