Congratulations to PAJE Collection, our CKC Boutique of the Month for June! Rikki Edwards is the owner of PAJE Collection and has a lot of great info to share with us today about her boutique. Even the name of her collection is inspiring to me! She named it after her kids: Paisley, Addison, and Jake Edwards. How clever is that? And they are totally adorable models too.
So cute, right? Now let's get down to business and talk to Rikki about the in's and out's of PAJE Collection:
How did you get into sewing and what got you to open your own boutique?
My mom was a quilter. So I grew up hearing the late night hum of a sewing machine! I did take some classes in 4H, and then this athlete became "Too Cool" for sewing. It wasn't until my twin girls were born that I decided to get a sewing machine. I used it a few times but as you can imagine, sewing time was limited. It was not until my son was born (crazy right?) that I purchased an embroidery machine, which then reminded me how much I enjoy sewing! I found CKC, and they were my first pattern I had used in probably 20 something years. I was hooked and found my passion again! I was a business owner before, but I re-branded, and decided handmade was my happy. There is nothing better than when other people appreciate and want to purchase something YOU made!
Being a mom and a boutique owner is hard. How do you find the time to fulfill orders, create new pieces, and just run a business in general? Please run us through your typical work-at-home day.
A typical day for me? I don't exactly have typical days. It seems like they vary based on what I was able to get done the day before. I really do TRY to work throughout the day. Sometimes I get stuck at the computer for a lot longer than I care to admit.. Luckily my kids are pretty amazing. Jake is 10 months old and crawling, which means I now have to try to keep my workspace cleaned up. (Or really just spread out more, and off the ground.) Paisley and Addi are 5, they understand that I have work to do, and for the most part, let me do it. (I can't wait til they start Kinder in August!!!!) You know, a lot of people would say that you are very lucky to be able to work from home. They are right, it is a pretty amazing thing to be able to do. But what they don't understand is that it's one of the most difficult jobs to manage. Sure, you are home, but when you are trying to focus on work, you are not exactly "there." When I do try and work during the day, I am constantly finding myself telling the kids, "One second...not now...give me a minute.... leave me alone, I'm working.... stop fighting... Do you want me to call daddy????.." I know that it has got to be hard on the kids to see you there, but not really THERE. With that being said, the majority of my work is done after bed time. So I am one of those zombie seamstresses who are up all night, trying to make deadlines. I'm sure most of you can relate! :)
How many items do you have currently listed in your shop that you used a CKC pattern to create?
I came out with my first Spring Collection this year using all Create Kids Couture patterns. However I do mostly custom orders and I'm not even sure how many CKC patterns I have. I'm actually afraid to count :)
Where do you find inspiration?
I pull inspiration from my children, my customers, photos, movies, commercials, words and sayings. My absolute favorite is when a customer tells me a few words/ideas and says "I trust your creativity." I guess I'm a bit of an impulse creator, sometimes the ideas don't come until I'm about to start on a project!
What is your favorite piece that you have ever created for your boutique?
Well, every time I make something new, I think it's my favorite. But I think I was most proud of my first Primrose. It was actually my first custom dress order for a good friend of mine. I had only sewn two outfits before that for my girls. So needless to say, I was scared yet excited. And why not suggest to her one of the most intimidating CKC dress patterns at that time?
If you could go back to when you first started your business and tell yourself about the most important thing you've learned as a business owner thus far, what would it be?
The absolute most important thing to remember as a business owner is to focus on YOUR business. If you are constantly worried about what others are doing, you will drive yourself crazy. There are a few quotes out there that I love, one being this: "The only way to succeed, is to not worry about what everyone else is doing." I think it is very important to not compare others' success with your own.
Ooh, thank you Rikki, I LOVE that advice! And thank you for sharing your success story with us!
If you appreciate what you have seen and read here and you want to show Rikki some love, please visit her PAJE Collection Facebook page here and you can also find her website here. You will be happy to know that Rikki also carries some hard-to-find supplies such as the hardware used on our CKC suspenders! Search no longer! You can purchase those supplies here.
Let's Create! ~ Kristen