When it comes to working, there is nothing like getting paid for doing something that truly fulfills you. Aaronica Cole, owner of The Crunchy Mommy, LLC, is making a living doing just that. Her business grew organically after seeing that the body butters she made for her daughters’ eczema helped their skin.
Aaronica is mom to two adorable little girls, Mini, age 6; and ABC, age 2. In addition to making making natural skin products, Aaronica also uses her creativity and talent to make clothes for herself and her girls, which she sells through her Etsy shop.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started. What inspired you to start a handmade business?
Let’s see.. I worked in corporate for, like, ever and hated it. I never felt like I was making a difference in anyone’s life and that’s something that I’m passionate about–helping others. So when I left to pursue my own business full time, it’s because I wanted to make a greater impact on people’s lives. I became a single mother after divorce and blogged through that and people would tell me all the time that I inspired them and that felt good to me–more than a bank account full of money.
But we all know these bills don’t get paid on good feelings so I figured that I needed to be able to make money doing what fulfilled me so I began developing multiple streams of income that I was passionate about. I started making body butters because my girls had eczema and being crunchy, I didn’t want to put harsh chemicals on their skin. The butter that I created essentially healed their skin as well as the skin of my friends’ babies so after much pushing, I decided to sell it since it’s a pretty common problem. From there I just began creating and selling things that people would ask me to. And now even when my Etsy store is on vacation, I still make a profit off of my handmade business through custom orders.
What do you like best about having your own business? What are some of your biggest challenges?
I like the flexibility and being able to do things on my terms within my boundaries. I love that. I hate working on other people’s schedules. Biggest challenges would be working when I just don’t feel like it, overcommitting myself because I just can’t say “no”, and not taking things personally.
How do you manage being a business owner and being a parent? What tips would you offer for other moms thinking about starting their own business?
It’s hard. But I have set boundaries that I work when the kids aren’t with me unless it’s a function/event that is for them. The days that I don’t want to work, it’s them that keep me going. Mini is SO proud of her blogging, seamstress, mama mogul in the making and this helps me so much. I also use them as part of the business. Mini is getting ready to start doing her own reviews and I let her choose fabrics and designs. She’s part of my market so why not listen to her, right?
If you’re interested in starting your own business do 3 things BEFORE starting: 1. Get a strong village behind you–you’ll need them. 2. Automate as much as you can in your household. 3. Find a problem in the world and solve it with your business.
How does having these creative outlets benefit you in your role as a mom? How do you involve your children in your creative work?
Being a mom and a wife is stressful. We naturally want to make things as perfect as possible and can sometimes lose ourselves in these roles. But in order to be the best mom, the best wife, we really need to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. Having my creative outlets is what keeps my sanity and what keeps me being Aaronica in the midst of the chaos of being wife and mom.
The little one doesn’t get involved–terrible twos ya know? But Mini is old enough to have opinions that I factor in. She loves writing and wants to learn to sew so we’re getting her started on both. She wants to vlog and be involved with my site so I’m starting her her own channel and stuff so that she can be a part of the empire that I’m working to build.
When you are not working on your business, what do you like to do with your time?
Ha! When I’m not working? When is that! I do like reading, Netflix & chilling, movies… I suppose the normal things!
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