Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In the Spotlight-Kelley from Baby Jack Blankets

This weeks "In the Spotlight" is with Kelley from Baby Jack Blankets. I met Kelley last February and our sons are almost the same age so we have quite a lot in common and a lot to talk about. Kelley makes these great blankets, similar to taggies, but local and handmade-can't get any better than that! My son has an Eco-Friendly Fleece one that he absolutely loves. Kelley can customize the blankets according the patterns, backing and with or without taggies. You should take a look, she's celebrating her "1st Birthday tomorrow on her FB Page HERE, plus check out all of the great pics she has on her website www.babyjackblankets.com (my blogger is being crabby and didn't want to upload today!

Heres our little interview...

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Kelley, I'm 28 years old and married to my amazing husband Brian of 3 years and live in Hales Corners, WI. We have a son name Jackson Wayne who is 18 months old and a 5 year old daushund/lab mix named Abbie.

I am the "President" of baby Jack blankets and my son Jackson is the "CEO". We sell fleece & ribbon baby blankets and other every day items that are accessorized with ribbons.

How long have you been sewing?

I have been sewing blankets for a little over a year now. My mother taught me how to "officially" use a sewing machine but I remember when I was little I always practiced hand sewing on my teddy bear.

When/why did you decide to start your own crafting business?

I was let go from my full-time job in April 2009 after returning from maternity leave and started sewing as a hobby to keep me busy. I would create baby blankets and sell them online and at craft fairs but it didn't quite take off until I started my fan page on Facebook.

What's your favorite blanket/creation you've ever made?

I have so many favorites, especially when there's an inspiring story behind it. My favorite blanket of all time is my son's first baby Jack blanket (ABCs) which he sleeps with every night. Seeing him snuggle with it and play with the ribbons validates that I need to keep creating.

I have been inspired by so many people. It's not about making blankets anymore, it's about paying it forward and giving back. For example, a little boy named Brady was just in the hospital getting his tonsils removed and asked for his baby Jack blankets. It's touching to know that we create comfort for kids. Just recently my own son was in the hospital and I thought of little Brady as I was running to the car; I couldnt forget to bring Jack's favorite baby Jack blanket too!

Do you sell your items anywhere?

I sell my items on my website, http://www.babyjackblankets.com and also have a fan page on Facebook. My fan page, to me, is more of a community of moms & a support system than a business page.

Do you have a blog/why did you start it

I have a blog that I frequently update on blogspot called baby Jack blankets - a blog about a boy & his business.http://www.babyjackblankets.blogspot.com/

At first I wanted to keep this as professional as possible but as my Facebook fan page turned into less of a business page, I wanted to share my day to day life with my family, friends & fans too!

Writing is my therapy and a good excuse to neglect my non-existent scrapbook of Jack. Since sewing, I have not been able to get back to scrapping!

Do you find it hard to find time to craft/sew? Do you have a sewing studio?

We have a great basement with a recroom, bar area and dining table. I took over the bar & dining table when I started sewing. It's set up perfectly with baby gates so Jackson can run around and play while mommy works. We are a great team and he allows me to do my thing.

Do your children craft? /do you think it is/should be an important part

of their childhood

I try to color and create as much as possibly with Jack. Lately, it seems he is more into his cars & trains but I encourage it. I love expressing creativity and think it's very important. Next week is his first Art class and I am very excited!

Do you have other creative outlets besides sewing that you enjoy?

Besides sewing, I frequently scrapbook. I adore photography and love capturing memories. I am always the one with the camera and some day, I will find the time to catch up on my scrapbooking.

What are your fav craft/mommy blogs/websites

I frequent Parents.com, babycenter, Cora's Story, People Magazine (celeb babies) and get alot of my inspiration on the latest trends from Pottery Barn Kids online & magazine.

Why did you decide to focus on blankets-do you sew/create anything else as well?

My mother in law gave me a ribbon loop baby blanket when Jackson was born. I loved it so much and wanted other people to enjoy it too. What I decided to do was to create blankets that fit personalities and get creative with the wide variety of ribbons. Since creating the blankets, we have ventured into selling Ribbon Pillow Cases, Crayon Ribbon Roll Ups and Ribbon Celebration Banners. Can you tell we like ribbons?

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