Monday, June 10, 2013

Spotlight on Mom and Dad: Stephanie and Michael Goins of My Wonderful Walls

My Wonderful Walls

I love it when I can spotlight mom and dad couples together, as it reminds me of when my husband and I worked together on my SoothEaze invention.  While some people find it hard working together this their spouses, I had a blast with my husband.  It was a great excuse for us to spend time together, as we grew my business.  I was first introduced to My Wonderful Walls a few months back from I was contacted through email about offering a review and giveaway.  But, when I checked out the online shop and saw that this was a husband/wife -- mom/dad business, I had to reach out and see if Michael and Stephanie wanted to share their entrepreneur stories in my Spotlight Feature.  They both took time out of their busy schedule to respond to my questions, and even sent along a sample of wall art for me to review. 

I ended up choosing their Spring Love Tree wall sticker kit to put up in Savannah's new big girl room.  In about an hour, my husband and I were able to transform a plain wall into an amazing work of art.  I can't lie, I was jealous seeing Savannah's room look so good, just by putting up this easy-to-install wall art. Stay tuned on Friday, when I will share more about the Spring Love Tree wall sticker kit I was sent to review, along with photos of the final product.  I will also be offering one lucky reader a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to be used to an online purchase of wall art kits from My Wonderful Walls.

But, in the meantime, please enjoy my Spotlight on Mom and Dad post with Stephanie and Michael Goins of My Wonderful Walls

Name: Stephanie and Michael Goins
Company Name/Product/Service: My Wonderful Walls – we design and sell DIY wall d├ęcor - wall stickers & wall stencil kits
Company Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Company Website:
Twitter Handle: @MyWndrfulWalls
Age of Company: 4.5 years
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: Be where you are.
Favorite Book:  Stephanie: Harry Potter / Michael: The Alchemist

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
We’ve got 2 little guys, 7 and almost 5. As a family we love to get out in nature as much as possible. We like camping, biking, kayaking, hiking, and exploring. To maintain my sanity, I run. Michael draws, paints, listens to audio books.

Briefly explain your business.  

How did it come about? You see, my husband Michael is an inventor at heart. He's a big dreamer. A thinker. He's got a lot of ideas. He’s always saying to me, “Honey, what do you think about this idea for a product?” . In the summer of 2008, he had just finished hand-painting a mural in our older son’s room. He knew that other parents would really enjoy doing this, but most lack the artistic training and confidence…. thus he came to me with yet another idea, but this time I got excited. He wanted to create full-room giant mural stencil kits for kids' room. Yes, please! He had also just been laid off, so the combination of financial motivation and a great product idea pushed us to start the business.

What is a typical work day like? 

I work 8-2 on the business, and then I’m with the kids until bedtime, and then back to the business for a couple hours at night. Michael is with the kids until 2 and then works on the business from about 2-midnight.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

After being a Stay-At-Home-Mommy for years, I had to go back to work while Michael began building the business. Though it was easier sitting at my desk than being a full-time mommy, I missed that time with our young kids.

What did you do in your past work life? 

I was a Spanish teacher and also worked for Houghton Mifflin as a writer on ancillary materials for college-level Spanish text books. Michael was a product designer and graphic artist. He designed wedding favors and baby shower gifts.

What have been some of your major successes? 

Creating a life filled with great people, sweet kids and time flexibility. We love being able to take off in the middle of a work-day and go for a hike.

What have been some of your major challenges? 

For me it is just wrapping my head about the fact there is no end to the work. As business owners, there will always be something we could be improving or learning. We just have to take it one step at a time and enjoy the moment.

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

My mom. She passed away of breast cancer several years ago. When she was first diagnosed she decided that she wanted to do something truly meaningful with her life, so she quit her job, sold her house and started Books for a Better World (, a non-profit organization dedicated to literacy. Throughout the start-up years, she faced all sorts of incredible challenges and always found a solution. What role-model she has been!

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family? 

You’ve got to be able to shut off the business and turn on the mom. Full blast both ways.

What is next for your business?  

We are BIG supporters of Arts education. An exciting project we are working on is called Owl Hill. We began this project because the Arts program is typically the first to be cut when the school budget gets tight. It happened to us at our son’s school, so we decided to do something about it ourselves. Currently we are in the process of creating the content for Owl Hill, a website dedicated to teaching art and music to children. You can look forward to a new, puppet-lead, free online resource that will include drawing lessons, interviews & performances with musicians, instrument lessons, interviews with community artists, environmental art videos, craft projects for little ones, interactive games and more. Our goal is to encourage children to tap into their unique creative juices and learn something at the same time. Soon Owl Hill will be in full swing and will have found its way into schools, libraries and homes across the globe. Owl Hill was recently featured in the Times Free Press of Chattanooga! Go here to watch the video and read the full article. 

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

There will be obstacles. Just take them one at a time. There is usually a pretty good solution.


  1. Thanks for sharing the information.Good luck

  2. Your wall art is really terrific. How original and expressive it is!