In our ongoing series this month honoring super moms we could not leave Krista out. She owns and operates Little Green Love. One of my favorite products we offer is artfully created by Krista. Her little birds end up all over the store as decoration bordering on obsession. We recently used it as a decoration at our baby shower event.
Krista was a customer of ours first. Then she came to us with these hats that I just had to have the second I saw them. Our customers did too, we almost completely sold out the first weekend! I love her commitment to the environment using reclaimed materials, her eye for putting patterns and colors together that always look amazing, and her creativity! Currently she is working on a very exciting project we came up with together, I can't wait to share it! Aside from Krista's work, she is an amazing mom, her son is so adorable, and interesting, always coming in the store with the best "toys" he has picked up from around the house, my favorite being the new paintbrush he couldn't part with for hours.
What made you think, "Hey, I could do this as a business, not just a hobby"?
I already had a business making upcycled clothing for women so transitioning to baby goods was a logical move.
How did you balance your business and pregnancy?
I will admit to being less productive while I was pregnant. I continued sewing and traveling to vend at craft shows but I was easily distracted with things to make for the baby.
What changes have you made in your business now that your son is getting older and more active?
The biggest change has been downsizing my studio. I used to work out of our remodeled garage but now we have plans to make it into a family/play room. I moved all of my machines and materials into a tiny bedroom that is a quarter of the size.
How much time are you able to devote to your business being a stay at home mom?
It varies week to week. My husband takes our son for about an hour and a half every night for me to work, and I get a couple of morning hours during the week from my mother-in-law. Other than that I just hope for a two hour nap everyday but seldom get it. I often trade a messy house for some sewing time.
How do come up with new ideas and designs?
Usually it’s when my son has a need for something that I think I can make myself. I designed the birdie rattle after our dog ate my son’s favorite rattling plushie. It was love at first site when I gave him the birdie and I knew I had to make more.
What is the best part of owning your own business?
Having a creative job; they are hard to come by. Even when it’s stressful I appreciate that I’m able to stay home with my son and give my energy to something I feel passionately about.
Do you feel having your own business is good for you as it gives you an identity outside of being a mom?
Yes, it has allowed me to keep a part of my former self. If I didn’t have the business though I’m sure I would find something else to thrust myself into during naptime.
What dreams do you have for your business?
I’d like to be reaching more people, turning them on to recycled clothing and goods. I would love to host workshops and teach other mothers how easy it is to repurpose clothes for their kids.
Do you make most of your son's clothes?
No, that would be ideal, wouldn’t it. It seems I am constantly working on a garment of some sort for him though. For this spring/summer season I have managed to whip up 5 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of pants, and a bucket hat….so far.
How do you find all of the materials you upcycle?
I am always on the hunt. Thrift stores and yard sales of course, also hand-me-downs from family and craft swapping with friends. People are always happy to give me their old things in hopes of them having a new life.
What is the best thing about being a mom?
Watching the excitement of my son experiencing everything for the first time, I feel so honored to be a part of it. I never thought bugs and trucks could be so exciting.
What advice would you give to a mom wanting to start her own business?
Make sure you have a great support team and establish boundaries. It’s hard being a mom and having an at-home business, you can’t leave your work behind at 5 o’clock. I don’t sew on the weekends; I take that time to focus on my family and our home.
What do you hope your son learns from you about businss and doing your own thing?
That even seemingly crazy ideas are worth pursuing if you feel passionately about them.
Why do you choose to use upcycled fabrics for your products?
Repurposing is the core value of my life. It is not a fad or novelty to me. Salvaging used or remnant fabrics is my way of fighting against our culture of waste.
I know you use a lot of reclaimed materials in your home as well, what is the best thing to you about reclaiming things?
I have such a feeling of triumph when I bring an object back to life or reuse it. I have conquered trash. It also gives my home décor it’s own unique story. I love telling the history of an item when a friend comments on it.
If you could tell someone one thing about being a mom that no one else will tell them what would it be?
Motherhood is a surrender. You will surrender your body, your time, your everything for this tiny baby and you won’t think twice about it.
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Krista! If you have questions for her please leave them in the comments. We will get answers for you! We are working on listing all of Krista's products on the site so they are avaible even if you aren't in Richmond. Stay tuned for the great new product Krista has been working on for us, we are both so excited we can hardly stand it!