The Mompreneur Interview Series
A tribute to the Mommas who are redefining what work and motherhood look like.
I grew up with the next Mom in our series. Kaitlin hails from the same small town in Maine as me! She's a surgical nurse, a student, Mom to Peyson and Saywer, and the owner and chief crafter of Kaitlin Crochet and Crafts. She is one busy Mom and truly dedicates herself fully to ensure her family is thriving at all times. Somehow she managed to embark on having a new house built and become a student again as she pursues another degree - talk about hustle!
What first pulled you to starting your own side-business?
I really enjoy crafting and with my husband's job he works away often and I needed something productive to fill in those hours after the kids went to bed. Otherwise it would be me and ice cream on the couch!
Why did you choose your crochet and sign-making?
I learned to crochet about 8 years ago and it started with making blankets. Those take a long time! I thought it might be fun to make cute kid hats and I had the perfect model with Peyson.
The sign making was just something that happened. I love to decorate and would see things and think "I could make that". My husband bought me a Cricut for Christmas a few years back and while the limits are endless with that machine - signs were what I enjoyed doing the most.
What do you love about having a side-business that you run outside of your traditional job and motherhood?
I love that it is just something I do when I feel like doing it. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, it is something I can take a break from and vice versa; when I am feeling stressed in my day-to-day and just need am escape I can make a sign or crochet something.
What would you tell other Moms looking to make a little money on the side? About being creative and using your natural talents?
Have fun with it! Don't let it consume you. For me, being a mom, nurse, and student are all high stress. I want something that is relaxing, low key and a stress reliever. For other mothers, I would tell them to find something they enjoy and do it for enjoyment not for anything else. The extra money is just an added bonus.
If you’re willing to share, what is your why for having a side-business? Savings? Pay off debt? Scratch a creative itch? An entrepreneurial spirit?
I really just do it for personal enjoyment. Making the extra money is nice, but as I am on a hiatus right now with day-to-day life being the priority; making money isn't my end game.
Have you learned any valuable lessons to share with us regarding work, marriage, motherhood, or chasing your passions? How do you juggle it? Do you have any rhythms or routines, tips or tricks that help segregate or leverage your time?
I would say that it is okay to allow yourself to do things that you are passionate about, and having a creative outlet, whether it be sign making, crocheting, baking, photography, (etc.) is healthy. I mostly wait until my kids are in bed at night or napping. I feel guilty if I am sneaking down to the basement to put a coat on a sign while they watch a show.
What is your must-have self-care time? Something you do just for you?
I honestly don't know. Typical mother I put myself last but I do enjoy a glass of wine at night, a good book, and a girls night out.
What’s your favorite date night with your hubs and how do you prioritize it?
My favorite date night with my husband is a night at home, where the kids may be with Mimi and Bampie or Nana and Papa. Cook dinner together and be comfortable in our own, quiet home. Likely bed by 9 ?. I do also enjoy a nice dinner out.
What’s your favorite moment/activity with your kiddos?
I love bed time, not because they are going to bed (although some days it cannot come soon enough) but I love the the snuggles, book reading, lullaby singing, and back rubs.
Describe a day-in-the-life of YOU - start in the morning, right down to bedtime. Give us a glimpse of a an example of one busy Mom’s schedule.
My days vary right now because I am not working full time, but on a busy day I am awoken around 5:30 by a long drawn out "mammmmmma, mamaaaaaaah" from my Sawyer boy. It usually is followed by immediate demands for a granola bar, banana, and cold yogurt (frozen yogurt tube), along with multiple demands to watch a "bideo". I usually cave because I have little time to get myself ready and the two of them for school. By then, big sister is waking up and wanting to join in on videos. I set a timer for 15 minutes and get myself ready, then the two kids. I pack lunches, make breakfast and get out the door by 7:15. I drop Peyson off at school, then Sawyer at Montessori. I then either go to campus and the library where I do homework until class at 12:30 or if I was ahead in my assignments I would go to the gym and work out for an hour before showering, hitting the library and then class. After, I drive the 40 minutes back home to meet Peyson at dance lessons and from there at 3:30 we would head to pick up Sawyer by 4:00. Once home I unpack bags, help Peyson with homework, usually spelling words or reading, then make dinner. Since it takes my son forever to eat we usually finish up around 6:00 and it is either time for a bath or maybe a game together. They love to bowl on the Xbox or play the Hatchimals board game. By 6:30, it's into the bathroom to brush teeth, bathroom break, and up to bed to read a few books. My daughter usually falls right asleep, but my son will find every excuse in the book to come back downstairs. By 8:00 though I can usually count on him to be asleep. I would then get in another hour or two of school work before heading to bed.
Not a lot of time for crafting right now, but my semester is winding down and we are settling into our new house, so hopefully soon I will have a chance to pick it back up again. Just another perk of having my side business - the flexibility to do it when I can.
Women supporting women!
Go check out Kait's work on her Facebook page. Her Etsy shop is on a break right now, because holy heck! This girl is busy enough! But, keep a keen eye out for it to open again soon when things in the day-to-day slow down. Find her here on Etsy: KaitsKraftsKrochet or check her out over here on Facebook.