Meet Amy Turn Sharp of Little Alouette, a crafty mom from Columbus, Ohio who makes and sells wooden toys and teethers.
We've got a serious Etsy habit going on here at The Stir, but while we're drooling, moms like Amy are finding time to make some seriously cute crafts. We track down one mom every week to give you a look at what it means to buy Mom-Made.
Tell us the story behind Little Alouette:
My husband (classically trained master carpenter) and I started making toys for our son Finn when he was a baby, and then after a lot of issues with recalls and a new baby in the teething stages we decided to make our own maple rattles and teethers. Soon friends and family loved them and we started an etsy shop.
It happened just like people say it can -- organically and just like POOF! Well, poof with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears!
Over a decade ago a handsome British boy and an Ohio lass met and fell madly in love at first site in a sleepy university town. The boy was a classically trained master carpenter and the girl a writer with a bit of wanderlust.
They worked together creatively through the years on many projects involving woodworking as they restored and remodeled homes together. The boy taught his love about trees on their land in the country and how to use power tools, and the girl read poems to him while they worked.
They started a journey of following their bliss and eventually brought two wee ones into the world and began creating wooden toys for them. They decided to share these wee wooden toys with the world and Little Alouette, LLC was born over hot steaming mugs of cocoa in the winter of 2007.
How many children do you have?
Two boys -- Finnian and Blaise, 5 and 3, and one on the way
Photo by Amy Turn SharpHow much time do you spend crafting every week?
We work about 50 hours a week on Little Alouette as it has grown to be our full time career life right now. We try and have Sundays off for family. Now the thing that does suffer is personal crafting and art. This has been really hard to find time for right now. It is always something that we are hoping to catch some time to do soon.
How do you make the time to craft while being a parent?
We work for ourselves, and we work our way around our life. We are able to know that with flexibility comes hard work. We play catch up all the time, but it is so worth it! We eat breakfast with our kids, and often we all sit around a dinner table together. It is truly awesome. We do stay up late and miss a million Saturday afternoon family outings, but we make it work and we spend an amazing amount of time together. Our family days are often random Tuesday afternoons -- you know. It just works, and our boys understand we are creating a family business together. We are instilling this mad sense of indie spirit in them!
Do you have your own craft room or do you share space with your kids?
We share a space here at home. I work out of the kiddos' playroom! Seriously. I will be taking large wholesale orders over the phone -- chatting to retailers in New Zealand -- and at my feet are little boys playing LEGOs. Gotta love it.
But we also have a full workshop downtown with all the tools and such where we create the toys (where Joe makes the toys). I sometimes sand but most of my job is packaging, the marketing, and biz side nowadays.
What are your favorite craft blogs and/or shops?
- Linwood Avenue
- Martha Stewart
- Ready Made
- Zakka Life
- Design Mom
- Angry Chicken
- Truffle Girls
Fawn teething ring ($14)
ABC rattle ($18)
Heart teether ($12)