Today kicks off the Business + Motherhood series. I will be featuring a variety of other business mamas. We want to give you a glimpse of what it's like to combine the joys and chaos of running a small business and mothering a growing family. Our hope is to encourage and inspire, and to remind you we don't do it all ;)
Meet Cole. She is the mother behind The Felt Flower Shop.
Hi, I'm Cole. I am a wife, mama to three boys (Micah 9, Skylar 6 and Madden 3), urban missionary and the felt florist behind The Felt Flower Shop.
1. How long have you been running your business? I opened up my shop in August of 2010. It started out as a way for me to be able to stay home with my boys but over the past five years it's turned into so much more than that. God has used this little flower shop to help me build relationships and make connections for urban ministry we're doing now as a missional family in downtown Phoenix. This whole process has been an adventure watching it grow.
2. What does a typical work day look like for you? Lately I've learned that I have to create focused work hours for myself, because energy and time are scarce in this current season of life. Two of my guys are in school right now and I just have one at home with me during the day. There are no brother's to play with during the day while mommy works! So one thing I do every morning is try and eliminate all possible distractions. I make sure the house is picked up, I have my coffee, water and snacks on my desk and I spread out lots of toys, activities and snacks and turn on Daniel Tiger to keep Mr. Madden entertained for at least 1-2 hours before his nap. Push notifications go off, and I've recently given up watching TV while I work. Not that TV is bad, I just know that it can kill productivity for me. So instead I listen to music, books, podcasts or my bible app while I work with my hands. I also try to schedule all my errands on the same day because I know that if I leave the house it hurts my work focus for the entire day.
3. What goals do you have for your business? Is this a hobby that you enjoy that earns income OR do you have big dreams and want to see this business grow? I'm so thankful for how far this business has come, and for all the amazing experiences that it's brought into my life.
Five years in and I still absolutely love what I do. I'd like to do more markets and community events and I have a few goals for the future. Next big steps to see some real growth would be to delegate more tasks and hire on help which I've decided against at this time, but someday. One day at a time.
4. What's one of your struggles with balancing business and motherhood? I have a really hard time saying no and an even tougher time slowing down. I'm realizing that there's just always going to be more work to do but my boys aren't going to be this small again. Sometimes its necessary to pass on even good opportunities to make sure you're not neglecting the things that are most important. I have to choose to clock out and I need to make the time to really invest in my relationships.
5. What is your response to "How does she do it?" I don't do it alone. Ha! I can't do all the things. When you're running a small handmade business you have to wear a lot of hats. But it's so important to know when to ask for help and when to give things up. I have friends that help me with projects that I'm not strong in, my dad and even my 6 year photographer son help me out.
6. Do you have any tips for other business mamas or mamas who are considering opening a shop? I think it's a constant struggle for most people to not focus on the numbers and not lose themselves by getting caught up in trying to become something. Don't focus on the stats, the likes, the follows. Don't compare yourself to others. Focus on doing good work and building connections with the people that already love what you do.