There is so much creativity in this world and so many amazing moms who are owning their creativity. Each Monday you will get to read about a different mom who is building her business from it. They will share the joys and challenges that come with owning a creative business (especially when you’re a mom), how having a creative outlet complements their role as a mom, and how they involve their children in it.
To kick it off, I’m featuring Hilary Gingell of Just One Elle. As she explains about the name of her business. “I spent my whole life telling people how to spell my name….Hilary with just one L.”
Hilary is the mom of four kids: Graysen, age 9; Molli, age 5; Maggi, age 3; and Nathan, age 1.
She turned her experience working in a vinyl store into a full-blown business making home decor signs with inspiring messages.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started. What inspired you to start a handmade business?
I started working at a vinyl store at the mall to make ends meet as a single Mom. I decided to take my tax returns that year and buy my own vinyl machine and try and make some money on the side from home. I did that for a number of years while working a corporate job. I had an awesome job, loved it, made great money, and was doing well. The company decided to send my entire department to another state and let us all go. I was so mad. I applied for every position I could within the company just to stay with them, and they didn’t accept me for a darn one of them! I was going to get a severance of 6 weeks pay, and had to cash out my 401K, so I told my husband I would try to make my business work, and once that money ran out I would go find a job back in the corporate world. It has been 2 years and I have never looked back! I was sort of forced into it, but I think I needed that push!
What do you like best about having your own business? What are some of your biggest challenges?
I love the flexibility that it provides with my kids. I love that I get to still be a Mom, and make money and have a purpose. I love that I can drive them to tumbling, and then go home and work to pay for tumbling.
One of my biggest challenges is organizing! It’s not my strong suit! I know that I could be so much more successful if my brain would just organize!
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?
Be easy on yourself. You aren’t going to have the perfect house, perfectly dressed kids, and perfect business. You will have each of those things at a different time, but never together! I roll with the punches, and really every day is a roller coaster ride! If you want to start your own business awesome! I will forever encourage everyone I meet to be an entrepreneur and start their own business. It is amazing and exhausting and the best thing I’ve ever done!
How does having these creative outlets benefit you in your role as a mom? How do you involve your children in your creative work?
It allows me to think outside the box both in my business and in my role as a Mom. For example, my son decided he wanted to start working for me to earn money to build a fort in the back yard. I love that my kids are watching me. Not only are they watching me earn money for our family, but they’re watching me work with my hands in building, painting, and using my imagination to create. My kids all love to help! My oldest son has learned how to safely use the nail gun to help me nail pallets together. He is also great at helping me stain projects.
My Molli is a great helper with the baby. She will read to him and play with him so I can get work done. Maggi loves to hand me screws. She will sit right by my side with a tiny handful of screws just waiting til I need the next one. I want them to always be involved in my business to realize the importance of working for yourself, and working hard.
When you are not working on your business, what do you like to do with your time?
I love to travel and take the kids to new places. This summer we took a 10 day road trip into Southern Oregon, and California. We even camped out in the Redwood Forest for a night! I love to build furniture for our house, I love to paint walls and doors fun colors, and I spend a lot of time at the hardware store drooling over the next tool I want to buy! I enjoy collecting baby carriers as well!!
You can connect with Hilary and find out more about purchasing her beautiful handmade signs on her Facebook page.