I am so excited to have gotten an opportunity to chat with Angie, from Made By Angie, http://www.madebyangie.com
Angie Beermann is a fabulously talanted mama from Chicago who quickly realized that having kids is a dirty job. She came up with Made By Angie handmade baby wipe containers to make it easy to have fun while doing her dirty work! Angie started Made By Angie to fill a void in the baby accessory market. Bored with her plain wipes container that she pulled out of her diaper bag several times a day, she craved color and funky fabrics! From that desire she created the perfect solution the Made By Angie handmade wipe container. Angie is a stay-at-home mom of two two (Max -6 and Nate – 4) so she has been knee-deep …so to speak… in diaper changing.
Studio Ten22: What inspired you to start Made By Angie?
AB: I was inspired to start Made by Angie by my son Max (he’s now six). At the time, he was under a year old and a super easy baby. He slept well at night and took looong naps … I got bored quickly. I had no intentions of returning to my previous “office job” and quickly realized that of all the fancy baby products out there, I had this rather lame white plastic wipe container. I took a trip to the craft store (and I was never what you’d call “crafty”) and played around with materials for a few weeks. When I had a few samples ready, I showed them to my playgroup and asked for feedback. The rest is history!
Studio Ten22: Did you always see yourself as a business owner?
AB: Not really. I didn’t really think about it until it happened. I have learned so much!
Studio Ten22: When did you realize that you had found a successful business idea with your wipes cases?
AB: Once I made sales to people I did not know. Word of mouth from friends and family got me through the first few months. But those first sales to “random” customers really made the most impact in my mind. I now have an international customer base, which still amazes me. People ask me all the time how the little town boutique in so-and-so, Denmark has heard of me. The internet is an amazing tool and online marketing is a wonderful thing!
Studio Ten22: You have been recognized on The Today Show as well as in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, and many other places, what experience of being featured really stands out to you?
AB: Definitely “The Today Show”. It was a phenomenal honor to have my products selected for that segment, and the reach of that program was unbelievable. As soon as it aired on the East Coast, the phone started ringing with friends and family that had seen it (I was not sure when it was going to air, so they knew before I did in Chicago). The orders rolled in immediately. It’s been a few years and I still get hits to my website from the Today Show link … as well as customers saying they found me from watching that segment.
Studio Ten22: Your wipes cases are a way for moms to retain their sense of style after their babies are born. Other then your fabulous wipes cases, what advice can you give to new moms on how to keep their sense of style and a piece of themselves while in the midst of that new baby chaos?
AB: Don’t forget to take care of yourself. It’s cliche, but try to carve some “me time”. Get a pedicure, buy yourself a new pair of jeans or do something easy like … shower 😉
Studio Ten22: You partner with a great organization CARC, what do they do and how did you get involved with them?
AB: CARC is amazing. They employ developmentally disabled people. Their projects range from crafty products such as mine, and baby quilts to airplane pillows to name a couple. They work with their “clients” to find the best job for them. It may be cutting fabric and trim or adhering materials with glue. I found them in a somewhat desperate situation. My business had really taken off and I couldn’t keep up with my orders. I was working late nights and still not meeting my deadlines to get orders out in a timely manner. I went to a “Fabric and Trim” trade show in Chicago and CARC was exhibiting. I literally handed them a wipes case and said, “do you think you could make these?”. Luckily, with a lot of training and work on both our ends, we’ve created a wonderful partnership. It feels so good to have the work done locally, by people who really need the jobs. I’ve been told the colors and fun fabrics bring smiles to the clients faces and keep them engaged. It’s a win-win.
Studio Ten22: I read on your blog (http://madebyangie.blogspot.com) you bought a sewing machine as part of a 2010 goal….. what is your goal? how is your progress coming toward achieving that goal?
AB: Yes! I’ve been teaching myself by practicing. I need to commit more time to it, but I’m playing around with patterns for new products. Baby steps 🙂
Good luck with your 2010 goal, I can’t wait to see the new patterns/products that you are coming up with! Thank you so much Angie for taking the time to chat with me. To learn more about Angie and to shop for her fabulous wipes containers stop by her website http://www.madebyangie.com.