Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I recently had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Caroline who is the owner and the creator of New Hope Beading I was impressed with how Caroline manages her family and her business. I also admired that her shop donates 5% of the price of each item purchased to the Epilepsy Foundation of NJ as thanks for the wonderful support they have given her family following her daughter’s diagnosis of epilepsy.
New Hope Beading was started shortly after Caroline's daughter was diagnoised with epilepsy. I encourage you to read the story in her profile about how and why she started her store and to learn a little more about what epilepsy is. I hope you enjoy learning about this amazing etsy jewelry designer.
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I opened shop February 21st, 2009
How many children do you have?
have two children, Samantha age 9 and Daniel age 6.
How do you get inspired?
I get my inspiration from my raw materials. They seem to want to be certain things. I know that sounds goofy but it’s true. Right now I am waiting for a strand of creamy white Keishi pearls I just acquired to tell me what they want to be. I will hold onto a strand of gemstones or a special clasp until I find what it was meant to go with. I love when it turns out that they come from other sides of the world…as if they were meant to come together.
My children think this is very funny and ask me if certain items have “talked” to me yet. They say it’s like that movie The Polar Express…you can only hear it if you believe. It is kind of a good analogy
How much time do you put into your shop on average weekly?
More than I should. It is not the making of the jewelry or the listing that is time consuming. I actually find that very therapeutic and get most of that work done while the kids are at school (though this Summer should be interesting). Rather it is the promoting that takes up quite a bit of time.
What is a typical day for you like when you are managing your family and your business?
Well, my initial idea was that I would get 90% of the work done while the kids were in school. Sounds easy enough, right? It doesn’t always work out that way. Many of my major suppliers are in Thailand or Bali…Bali being 12 hours ahead of me. To be able to email back and forth with them and not have to wait until the next day for an answer I sometimes need to be on the computer at 9:00 pm my time which is 9:00 am their time.
I have been very lucky to have a tremendous amount of family support. This was kind of a family venture and a way to give a little something back to The Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey who have done so much for our family.
On those days when you are feeling completely frazzled and are seconds away from a major meltdown what do you do to keep yourself sane?
Honestly, nothing really frazzles me too much anymore. I am too old and have been through too much to sweat the little things. Having a child with special needs throws everything else into high relief. That is to say, I have a very different perspective on what frazzles me. Basically, any day that my child is not in the hospital being monitored is pretty much a good day! And every additional day that she goes seizure free is another GREAT day. Her new medicine is working great, knock on wood, and she is going on 8 months seizure free. We manage the side effects and count ourselves fortunate that she, at least for now, has achieved seizure control. Not everyone is that fortunate.
In your opinion, what is the hardest part of running your business and being and WAHM (work at home mom)?
The kids take advantage of the fact that Mom is busy and take every toy out of their rooms and leave them all over the Living room.
What is something that you think we should know?
I started New hope Beading as a way to be an Epilepsy Advocate. Even today, epilepsy is a topic that people shy away from. This stigma keeps people from seeking treatment and makes them feel alone. They are not alone. Epilepsy affects 3 million Americans and 50 million people worldwide. That is more than MS, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease combined!
To hear their stories, visit Epilepsy Advocates and click “Meet the Advocates.”
I also have some great news from this etsy seller! All of you who are like me and are still looking for the PERFECT mother's day gift, well look no more! New Hope Beading is offering a buy one item, and get the second item 50% percent off. What a great way to show Mom you love her and support a great cause.