Monday, June 27, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Mariette of My Dandelion Garden

Our second Spotlight Mom this week is Mariette of My Dandelion Garden.  I stumbled across her Etsy site with the same name and had to feature her.  She is a very busy mom, with 7 children, whom she all homeschooled, all while running a daycare and now her Etsy shop.  Just listening to her story and seeing her run successful businesses, it would get any mom entrepreneur or mother who is on the fence regarding starting a new business or working from home, a boost of confidence that it can be done.  Enjoy my interview with Mariette.

Name:  Mariette
Company Name/Product/Service: I have an Etsy account under My Dandelion Garden, as well as a family home child care under My Dandelion Garden Playschool
Company Location:  Olympia Washington
Company Website:
Age of Company:  Etsy, 1 year and child care 22 years
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: If it seems imposable, it is best to read the instructions.
Favorite Book:  Tthe encyclopedia of country living"

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

I am 43 year old mom. Best sum's me up. I met my husband when I was 15, Married him when I was 18 We had 7 children. Ages now 7, 10, 12, 13, 18, 21, and 23.   This May, I will be a grandma for the first time, and again in June. I was Widowed after 24 years, March of 2009.  I love sewing, gardening, my cats and chickens, my daycare, but most of all, I love my kids.

Briefly explain your business. 

My daycare was thought about just after my first daughter was born. In Washington it requires a license and alot of work. So I had my secound daughter and opened when she was 1. My love how my child care and my life have changed over the last 22 years. I started my Baby toys as an outlet to my love for sewing toys

How did it come about?

I have made most of my child care toys and though my children loved. Not to long ago I had a "tour of Homes" other day cares come and look around your space and you get to look around theirs. Many wanted me to make dolls and play food and many other things that for about 6 months I was working from 6 to 8 at daycare as well as sewing when I could catch a minute and from 8 to 10 or 11 at just sewing. Then my mom mentioned Etsy and I fell in love. Now I can sew Just what I want, when I want, and when I can. If someone wants something they can pick from what is already available.

What is a typical work day like?

At 6 to 7 am, children are dropped off and we all have to ready for our day. Many diapers, lots of cups of Juice, and many wonderful crafts. I get NAP TIME.. :) Then the school bus drops off and home work for 6 to 8 kids, and feeding 9 small children dinner. Then after pick up, I cut and sew with the sewing machine , so that the next time I get a chance to sit still I can stuff and hand sew. And there is the, I'm a single mom now. I have a lot of respect for my FIRST job.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

Time. There is never enough time to get everything done. Or to get some of the ideas that are in my head, out onto paper. I would love to not have to sleep.

What did you do in your past work life?

I was a clerk typist 2 before kids started coming. I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher and thought this is just as important. In 2000 I had 4 stokes with my 10 year old daughter and she was born at 32 weeks and I find little thing just a little harder.

What have been some of your major successes? 

Seven beautiful home schooled children. Two grandchildren coming this Spring to daughters that were married first. 24 great years with my husband, Opening my child care. Period. That alone, is amazing to me. Being licensed in Washington for 21 years, finding the strangth to say good bye to my husband, and at being a good mom. I am sure thats not what you were expecting. But that is what I am proud of most. The rest is just how I enjoy my life. It's my fun.

What have been some of your major challenges? 

Same as most women I am sure. But mostly, knowing I was loosing my husband and then latter dealing with that and the 5 children I still have at home. The extra work it takes me to remember simple things. How long everyday things take as I get side tracked so easily now.

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

Life! The things that some people are to busy to notice. I realized that the sky begs to be looked at, Chickens love to feed on the weeds from my garden. Just watching them. Watching a baby just learning to walk. The little bow legged walk they have. I remember just hafter I got home from my stroke, feeling like there was just to much noise, to many "things", too much movement going on around me. People need to slow down and enjoy life and forget the big house and fancy car.

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

Making family always first. No matter what, they will come first. When everything comes in second, then the choice is already made for you, you know were to put your time.

What is next for your business? 

I see nothing much changing about either one, anytime soon. But life evolves.

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

Do only what feels right.  If your doing your best, then that is all you can expect of your self. Hang on for dear life and make the best choices you can. Don't let it kill you if it's not working like you had hoped.

1 comment :

  1. Wow she sounds like an amazing woman. I can't believe all she does and she has seven children.
    heather [email protected]