Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Feature - Jennifer Ladd

Jennifer Ladd

Handmade purses, bags, accessories, and baby items

Give us a summary of your shop, and how you got started.

I make handmade purses and bags - each is a one-of-a-kind piece with special attention to the details. My goal is to make a bag that is not only useful, but CUTE too.
I also make handmade items for baby (baby booties, bibs and burp cloths, diaper changing sets). I make them stylish for today's "hip" baby with bright colors and funky designs.

I just quit my "real job" as a French teacher to take on a much more important role: a stay-at-home-mom to my little daughter. I have always said my "dream job" was to run my own business and sell my handmade items, and when I quit being a teacher to stay home with my girl, I realized I would now have the time to do it. I gave it a try, and it's worked!

What motivated you to open your shop?
I have always said that if I won the lottery, I would start my own business and sell my handmade items. I never actually thought it was practical or possible. My husband, though, never saw it as a dream. He told me over and over to quit teaching and give it a try. When we made the decision that I would quit teaching to stay home with my little girl, I decided to make the leap and try opening a shop.

How did you select your name?
I had a more creative name picked out, but someone gave me the advice to use my own name so that when I sold off of Etsy, people would recognize the handmade nature of my items. I'm not sure if they were right (I loved the name I had picked out), but at least it's easy for me to remember!

What makes your shop unique?
I try to make my store bright and funky. I use bold patterns, usually not the typical, pale baby pastels. Each of my purses is designed by me and is a one-of-a-kind original.

Do you sell anywhere outside of etsy? If so, where?
I sell at two boutiques in Milwaukee, WI (The Paper Boat Boutique and Fasten Collective) and at one in Madison, WI (MoCo Market).

How long have you been making your craft?
I have been sewing since as long as I can remember (my mom says I started when I was 3 - I think she's exaggerating!!). I learned to sew by watching my grandma and then copying what she did to make clothes for my dolls. I never stopped sewing but I hasn't been until recently that I've started selling my craft.

Is it your full-time job?
No, I don't use this as dependable income, but that's what makes it fun. I quit my job as a French teacher so I can spend my days raising a smart, caring, thoughtful daughter. I don't want to take my time away from her. She is my "full-time job" (the best I've ever had!!) I work on my projects in the evening when my husband is home and is able to have some "daddy-daughter time" with her while I work.

How do you balance work, and/or your shop, and home?
Some days it is tough to be sewing while I hear my husband and my daughter playing and giggling in the other room. I know that time will pass so quickly and I want to enjoy every minute of life with her. Luckily, I do spend all of my day with her and I do really enjoy my evening sewing time (a little mental break for me). Also, she usually spends the evening playing at my feet, anyway! She has started to have a lot of fun playing with my sewing scraps and supplies (a very cool thing for me to see since I, myself, used to do the same thing at my grandma's feet!)

What is your favorite material.
Fabric. Bright, funky, beautiful.

What inspires you?
Pretty colors and pretty patterns. When I see beautiful color combinations, my brain does a happy dance.

Click here to visit Jennifer Ladd


TotusMel said...

Wonderful feature, thanks for sharing such cute stuff!

petits bijoux said...

I just wanted to comment to say I love love love my soap (Mattino)! It smells like heaven. I love it so much I'm planning to blog about it, I'll let you know when.

Thank you,


Little Pods Clothing said...

What a great feature. Such cute photos.

Vanessa Cavaco said...

Great feature! Adorable items!

I just tagged you in my 7 Things blog! Take a look at it for more details!

ThisOldHenHouse said...

Those purses are fantastic!

picciolo said...

great feature, lovely items!
: )