I love a good story of a momma who finds a way to make things work. Camille from 10th and Pepper (a shop with original hand-lettered and illustrated wall art prints, greeting cards, note cards, and stationery for small businesses) emailed me a while back and I quickly learned that she is one of those women who makes things happen—which makes her perfect for my Momtrepreneur series.
I asked her a few questions to learn more about her story and I’m pretty sure you’ll find what she has to say inspiring…
Tell me a little bit about your business. When did you start it? What inspired you to get it going? Did you start before or after having your kids?
I began a “concept” of the business I currently run back in June of 2012. I had just given birth to my daughter that February and was looking for that ever-elusive method of staying home with her but also contributing financially to the family.
The shop has really evolved massively from what it began as. I started off with the idea that I would be planning parties and events, then designing invitations, which morphed into handmade greeting cards and that’s where things really blossomed.
I can credit a huge part of my most dedicated fan base back to when I was just making cards off my dining room table. It’s their flexibility to grow and appreciate my new art forms that has really allowed the shop to grow! Can you tell I love my fans?
How do you balance motherhood and running your business?
That’s the question isn’t it? Balance…
I’d love to say that I have this fantastic, smooth schedule where I work during naps and after they sleep and yada yada but life is really rarely that cut and dry. Sometimes it’s picturesque and I’ve got two angels entertaining each other while I blissfully bust out orders. Other days I’ve got the baby strapped to my back yanking hair out while I’m praying the toddler climbing my leg doesn’t reach high enough to get her peanut-butter-and-jelly fingers on my shipping envelopes! All in all though it’s a beautiful mess… a sort of constructive chaos. And I adore it.
How does being a mom effect your business? Would you do anything differently if you didn’t have kids?
I think the insanity that is starting and building a business while raising babies simultaneously has been amazing. It really develops such character in me! There’s simply not room to give up anywhere and it’s pushed me to discover that I’m stronger than I might have imagined pre-motherhood. The differences of running the shop without kids are really menial at this point in my mind. I might be doing less e-commerce and more things like trade shows and local craft displays but I’m a hustler either way. 🙂
What inspires you creatively?
Ugh, EVERYTHING! I really have to keep a running note in my phone because ideas come at the oddest moments. I take inspiration out of everything from television shows to experiences with my kids. A lot of it is from classic literature because I’m a bookworm at heart, but also a lot from music and poetry. The more humorous pieces I’ve done are really just nuggets from my mind though, I tend towards a dry style of wit that I think translates well to cartooning.
Do you have any tips for other moms who are looking to turn their passion into a business?
Whatever you’re dreaming of, start now. There’s never going to be that picture perfect moment when planets align and angels sing and a voice from above says “You go, girl!” So do it now!
It’s going to be messy and confusing and you’re going to change your mind a hundred times and what you start off doing is going to look really crappy compared to what you’re doing three years from now, but it’s all part of the process!
You’re going to get turned away and shut down and have a thousand rejections but somewhere along the way you’ll find a few souls that are heading the same direction. Empower each other and soak up those relationships. The best businesses are willing to collaborate and give help as much as they need to receive.
Camille has been sweet enough to offer you guys a 20% discount. You can use code CACFan1 through Wednesday morning at 10 am EST to get a sweet deal on any of her fab pieces. If I were you, I’d run on over and scoop up a hilarious Mother’s Day card before it’s too late!
If you know someone who started a handmade business and you think he/she deserves a shout out (or if you think you deserve a shout out!) send me an email or leave a link to their website in the comments!