Friday Features are all about meeting the talented artists and creators of hand crafted goods to share their stories and bring to light the value and beauty found in handmade.
Today’s feature is all about Lauren from Bumbly’s on Etsy!
Tell me about yourself and your shop.
My name is Lauren and believe in a true do-it-yourself philosophy. I love canning my own applesauce and pumpkin butter and other yummy things and I also sew, crochet, sculpt, love to take photographs, and a million other things. I am the owner of a little Etsy shop called Bumbly’s. I am based in Northeast Ohio and I make bath and body products.
How did you start? And how much experience do you have so far?
My son was born premature and has suffered from so many skin problems. He seemed to be sensitive to everything! I started making my own laundry detergent first (thank you Pinterest!) and from there started making my own balms and salves to moisturize and heal his skin. It was so hard to find products at a decent price for him in stores. I opened my own shop on Etsy about two and a half months ago with the goal of making affordable bath and body products free from all of the harsh ingredients found in commercial products. But my goal has a twist, I want to show that it is still possible to have fun with it! I make up silly names for scents. I use molds shaped like motorcycles and hockey pucks and popsicles..and well..I just have fun with it! The response has been just amazing. I see my little shop growing into a full-time business rather quickly.
What do you do when you need a little bit if inspiration?
I am constantly thinking about what I can make next. I gain inspiration from my customers, my children, my friends and family, and neighbors. My oldest daughter is amazing and keeps a little notebook full of ideas for Bumbly’s, which has been a great source of inspiration. I once stopped a lady in the grocery store because the scent she was wearing was so awesome that I knew I just had to make a soap like it! (and I did)
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade means freedom to me. Freedom to choose how I work and spend my time. Freedom to stay home with my children, even as a single mom. Freedom to create and be myself every single day.
Do you also offer custom made items? Is it something you like to do?
At this time I do not offer custom items. But may in the future.
What plans do you have for the future of your business?
Oh I have so many! First, I am going to start doing local craft shows/events. I just had my very first event! Second, I am going to start looking for wholesale accounts to stock my products in local shops. Third, and always, I will use my business to raise funds for things I believe in. My middle child has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and I have already raised money for local foundations through the sale of special items in my shop.
Any advice for others looking to sell their handmade items? Mistakes you’ve made that can be avoided?
Build your business through 100% reinvestment of profits until it reaches a point where you are steadily making an income from it and also able to resupply your materials. I started Bumbly’s with $20. I have reinvested every bit of money back into the shop for the past two months and am nearly to the point where I will be able to draw a regular paycheck from it. And that is the best feeling in the world!
Many thanks to Lauren and be sure to check out the rest of her shop!
Stay tuned for more Friday Features, crafty tutorials, and other joyous posts! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on happenings here at Homegrownjoy, follow this blog, like us on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. Thank you!