I am so excited to share you you all my interview with Amber, owner and designer behind “From the Heart”. I ordered items from her shop back in April for my store and it inspired me to start this series on the blog. Each month I will be featuring a new small designer who is the handmade market. From jewelry to beauty and anything that falls in line with what Simply 1 love is all about. The “Creative Makers Movement” is designed to highlight one really rad creative shop owner and share the story behind their brand. You will also be able to shop items from their store on my website under the Creative Makers Movement tab. Hope you all enjoy Amber’s interview!
- Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Amber and I am a CA Native and what one would call a “Hella Bay Native”. I have 3 children, a 24 year old bonus daughter, 13 year old son, and 9 year old girl. I have been married for almost 15 years this July and have been blessed with a terrific husband and father. I work part time daily at a local private school where I facilitate the lunch room and help oversee recess activities. I guess I’m what you call a noon duty lunch supervisor, lol. I also sub for PE when the school needs me as I used to be a full time physical education teacher. I love hanging with friends and family when not at weekend soccer games, love my SF Giants, Niners, and Warriors. My kids keep me on my toes 24/7 and I pretty much spend most of my timing driving them around to and from school and activities. Can I get a high five moms!! I love old school hip hop, r&b and anything that makes me wanna dance! I love The Lord and pretty much love living life to its fullest. My weakness is a good lemon drop and fresh banana cake! I can never get enough chocolate and a good glass of cab on the weekend is a MUST…..
- Why did you start From the Heart? Additionally what motivated your inspired you to start your shop?
From the Heart started when I quit my full time job as a teacher 12 years ago. When my son turned 1 I decided to stay home with him full time and give him the love and support he needed. He was an excellent napper and would nap roughly 3 hours a day. I found that I needed some “me time” and discovered beading as a hobby. I started out making beaded bracelets and earrings and after once bead technique class I was hooked. I was making more than I could wear and decided to start selling to friends, family, and neighbors. Things started to take off and I figured hey why not sell online where I discovered Etsy. I did many art and wine shows and craft fairs and did well but noticed my jewelry didn’t sell very well online due to the competitive and over abundance of jewelry sellers on Etsy. I knew I didn’t have the time to really make it a full time job so I shut down shop for a while. Once my daughter came along I thought hey why not try hair accessories and clips for girls and things took off again. I would also see such pretty fabrics at the craft store I wondered what I could create with fabric since I am not a sewer or quilter. I found that button accessories and jewelry was something fashionable and I loved seeing what I could create with all the fabrics, thus I was motivated to open my Etsy shop back again and start selling!
- What do you love most about running your own handmade business?
I love knowing that somewhere out there all over the world someone is wearing one of my pieces. I also love custom orders and working with customers online to create the perfect item they are looking for. Plus the fabric possibilities are endless and when you love bright and trendy fabric it becomes sort of an addiction, lol.
- What is one challenge you have faced during your journey?
I think one challenge I have faced is trying to find enough time in the day to do a little of what I love. Life becomes overwhelming at times and every mom and wife deserves her little escape daily.
- How did you overcome that challenge?
I have a great support system and my husband is very good about taking on both rolls of mom and dad when I need to go upstairs and create or just wanna relax a little.
- What is your greatest/happiest moment of, From the Heart to date?
I think being chosen to be a local vendor some years back where my fabric accessories and jewelry were for sale at San Jose International Airport. Many of my products were viewed and bought by people from all over the US and world.
- What is one piece of advice you would give to other creative entrepreneurs looking to start their own shop?
I think one piece of advice I would give for creative entrepreneurs is to know that things take time and sometimes you may need to revamp a bit in order to get sales rolling and people aware of what your Etsy mission is. Ironically this area is where I struggle a bit in because I notice sales aren’t what I wish they would be, but I am hoping to find new ways to make it happen!
- Favorite Quote?
I’ll do a favorite bible verse. Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
- Lastly, what is your definition of success?
Success is knowing your kids and hubby are satisfied daily by the amount of love you give them and how happy they are when in your presence.
Hope you enjoyed my interview with Amber. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite part was or if you have any suggestions on who next months Creative Maker should be.
XO, Mrs. Rodriguez