Your Name: Katie Dean, DeanBug Designs
Your website(s): DeanBugDesigns
A little about you: I am happily married and am currently staying at home to raise my two children (Norah: 2 yrs and Elliott: 6 mo.) to know and love Jesus. My hubby is a high school choir director, and I have decided to try to supplement our income by doing something I love – sewing!
How long have you been doing this business? I started sewing a few years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I have made several things for family and friends, but I’ve only had my Etsy shop since the 1st of September.
Tell us a little about your business – what do you sell, what makes it great, etc.
My shop currently has:
mother/daughter aprons, baby and toddler dresses, and personalized burp cloths.
I also just made a walker bag by request from a lady at church who needed something to carry her Bible while she used her walker. I love coming up with new projects that are useful and pretty!
I especially love sewing for children, and that’s what makes the quiet books so special. So many hours of labor go into designing the cover and the pages, and then cutting and sewing each little piece. The whole time I work, I imagine the little hands that will spend hours playing with it. It makes it feel so personal and so much more special than just buying a toy at the store. The quiet books seem to be the most popular items, but I also hope to continually add new items to my shop.
No matter what the project is, as long as I can use fabrics that I love, I get excited about sewing. One of my favorite things about my shop is my emphasis on custom orders. It is so special to be able to make something for someone based on their needs and preferences. There are so many women who would love to have handmade items for themselves or their children, but since they work outside the home, they just don’t have time to do it. That’s where I come in. Just send me an email and let me know what you need, and I’ll get sewing just for you!
How did you get started doing this?
Almost all of my initial projects were born out of necessity, and then they just snowballed. A bunch of my friends were pregnant at the same time, and we all needed nursing covers. I enjoyed making those so much that I started making Christmas stockings, baby dresses, and even my own diaper bag with separate compartments for my daughter (in pink flowers) and my son (in blue and brown polka dots) so that their things would be divided and easy to find. Then my daughter got big enough to be mommy’s helper in the kitchen, so of course we needed matching aprons!
After a while, I realized that I really loved to sew. Making the decision to stay at home to raise my kids has caused our budget to be really tight, plus I felt the need for a personal hobby outside of taking care of little ones. I thought it was worth a try to make a little extra income while doing something that I love to do anyway. So far it’s going well but I still hope to sell enough items to break even on my expenses!
What advice do you have for someone who would like to get started in this type of business?
Don’t rush it. Take the time to research all aspects and be fully prepared before you get the word out. Then be proactive and use your contacts to help you spread the word.
What is the #1 tip that you have for Work-At-Home-Moms (WAHMs) or moms who want to be WAHMs?
When you work at home, it is tempting to let your work take first priority. There are so many demands on our time, and only so many hours in a day. Put God first, then your marriage, then your children. God will bless you if you keep first things first. I have to remind myself on a daily basis to keep my priorities in order. As Jesus told Martha, “You are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”