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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February Boutique of the Month!

Congrats to Peaches & Brown Sugar for being chosen as our February Boutique of the Month. If you haven't heard of her before, girl, are you missing out! Get your butt over there and see her amazing creations...but wait until you read her interview below first! Natalie is one of those people that you could hardly know, but somehow end up talking with for hours. She is so nice and amazingly talented! The best part is that she shares the same beliefs about being a boutique owner as Tiffany and I do. This girl is sure to go far in the boutique world <3

Cienna's Pants and Marissa's Dress as made by Peaches & Brown Sugar Designs



Create Kids Couture: Congratulations on being our third ever Boutique of the Month! We had  seen your work around Facebook, but we weren't able to connect until we opened Create Kids Couture and I know Tiff and I are so glad we finally got to work with you! We love everything from your hair accessories, to your clothes, to your photos! So, how did you get started in this business? Did you have a main focus when you started and it has since expanded, or have you always been doing a little of everything?
Peaches & Brown Sugar Designs: I am a huge fan of Create Kids Couture and am thrilled and honored to be the Boutique of the Month! Honestly, I started my business nearly by accident!  My husband and I adopted our youngest daughter, Jazzlyn (a.k.a. Brown Sugar), at birth just over 2 years ago. I loved buying hair accessories and clothes for her at local boutiques, but honestly didn't like the prices. Inspired by some very creative friends, I began making her and my oldest daughter, "Peaches" hair accessories myself.  Before I knew it my friends and family were requesting to purchase my creations. I enjoyed creating so much that I eventually combined my love for creativity, clothing, and photography into "Peaches & Brown Sugar Designs". 
CKC: I can relate to that...lol. I think that is how a lot of us in the boutique world got started. I love how we all have such courage and confidence in ourselves to create these items for our children instead of buying from someone else! 
My next question, which is a favorite of mine to ask, is as a mom, how do you find time to fulfill orders, create new pieces, and just run a business in general?  



PBSD: The first word that comes to mind is "coffee"! I have 3 busy kids, ages 2 to 11, so I spend a lot of late nights creating accessories and at the sewing machine finishing up projects.  I enjoy it so much that I honestly have to make myself go to bed knowing that the morning will come way sooner than I would like it to! I use any "spare" time I can find to create product and communicate with my customers.  With all that said,  if you saw the piles of laundry that seem to be multiplying around here, you would know which of my responsibilities gets pushed to the end of the to-do list! Luckily, my husband is supportive because the house is much less organized since opening my shop AND I have become a serious fabric hoarder so all my "creative necessities" are taking over the house too! 
CKC Elena's Dress pattern with Peaches & Brown Sugar Designs Hair Accessory
 CKC: Oh my goodness I am so glad I am not the only one! Yay for coffee and late nights! Kindred spirits! lol. So what is your creation process when you are trying to come up with a new design?
PBSD: We will have to message each other in the middle of the night for late night support!  As far as the creation process, I think it is different for me depending on the day and phase I am in. Sometimes I just sit down and go through my stash of goodies and just start pulling out coordinating fabrics and embellishments then just go for it. Other times I am influenced by my photography and create products that I think would enhance people's photos. I have to admit, right now I am completely obsessed with fabrics and am inspired by bright colors and bold patterns. I have a lot of bright, bold, clothing and accessories that I am working on at the moment and they are completely inspired by some of my favorite fabric designers.  I also love working on matching accessories for other boutiques and am thrilled to be able to coordinate with their amazing creations.  The bad thing is that I am slightly obsessed with creating and it is hard to turn my brain off from it!  Many times I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas that just CAN'T wait or I see something in a random store and think, "I think I could turn that into a rockin accessory".  Haha!
CKC: Ha! Late night support ;o) Some nights I could use a kick in the butt! lol. I can definitely relate to the not being able to turn my brain off from creating. Tiffany and I are completely obsessed with it as well. I know in the beginning it can be hard to figure out what to make next or how to get your creative juices flowing, but it seems to me as soon as you find that "juice" it doesn't stop flowing! lol. My favorite part of the process is seeing the vision come to life so is there a particular piece that you are most proud of because there is nothing out there like it or just because YOU designed it? lol. Whatever the reason, I wanna see and hear all about it! 

PBSD: You may have stumped me on this one!  I am not sure there is one particular thing that I have created that I am most proud of, but I can tell you what brings me the most joy. I absolutely love being a part of someone's big moments in life. I am seriously, out-of-control, thrilled when I get pics of newborns in my accessories or first birthday girls in outfits I created or even brides wearing my accessories on their special day.  In fact, I recently had a beautiful woman buy a Statement Necklace from me as a celebration for losing 100 pounds. This actually brought tears to my eyes knowing that something I made would bring her joy in her celebration!  And of course, I am always proud of seeing my little models, my daughters, wearing my creations in a photo that I have taken.  If you allow me to spill a secret, then I can show you the photo and outfit I am most recently excited about. Haha! :)
Newborn hair accessory by Peaches & Brown Sugar Designs
 
CKC: Ummmmm...who says no to secrets??? They always say "Secrets don't make friends" so we don't want any secrets between us! lol. Share away! 
 PBSD: I am not sure you realized that I want to spill YOUR secret... not mine! haha!
CKC: BAHAHAHAHA! Oh. Well, sorry guys....I guess that secrets being saved for another day! LMAO! Whoops.... Wow. We're cruel. In our defense though, WE haven't been given the "okay" to spill the secret officially yet.
I agree that the best is sharing in your customers special moments is the best! It's nice to feel that connection since you never meet the person or even talk to them other than through emails, so sometimes it can feel like you are sending a piece to Never-Never Land and most things are never seen again. It really can be unsatisfying in that aspect in my opinion.
So, last question: If you could go back to when you first started Peaches & Brown Sugar Designs and tell yourself about the most important thing you've learned as a business owner thus far, what would it be?
PDSD: I have learned so much over the last nearly 2 years! I never imagined that I would have made such valuable friendships with my customers and with other shop owners through this experience. I would tell myself to enjoy every stage of the ride. Owning a boutique can be a lot of work and you can sometimes feel that you never get everything done on your creative to-do list.  I think it is important to enjoy every moment that you are creating for and communicating with your customers. I definitely think that it shows in your work if you are enjoying the creative details. I would also tell myself to build relationships and support other boutiques whenever possible. I had, and still have, an enormous amount of encouragement and promotion from other shop owners and feel that it is really important to support each other in our businesses.  Above all, I would just remind myself to continuously look for ways to give back. I have been extremely blessed in my business in so many ways and so I feel so motivated to give to non-profits, as well as, individuals that can use a little extra love! 

CKC: Wow. I have goosebumps because its such a beautiful response. I agree wholeheartedly! Tiffany and I always try to work with and support as many boutiques as we can. In the boutique world, there can be so much jealousy and cattiness that you HAVE to find those allies and friendships in other boutique owners so that you do not get caught up in the drama amongst some boutiques.  Just stay true to yourself and your designs and you are sure to go far!
It was so great interviewing you Natalie and getting to know you a little better. We already think the world of you, your designs, and your business and after this interview I know you are going to be one of the more successful boutiques as long as you want to be! 
Statement Necklace by Peaches & Brown Sugar Designs (I just LOVE these colors)
 Head on over to Peaches & Brown Sugar Designs and see all of Natalie's amazing designs and creations. HERE is her Facebook Page and HERE is her Etsy shop so you can get a little PBSD in your life. She is also offering all of our fans 20% off their order! Use code CKC20 at checkout and it expires Saturday. Be sure you tell her "Congrats on being a CKC BotM"

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