When did you start your business?
Sweet Funky Vintage began selling custom children’s clothing online
and through home trunk shows in October of 2007.
What were you doing (careerwise) when you decided to create your
I had been teaching high school family and consumer sciences when I
had my first child. I decided to stay home with my daughter and, as
a military spouse, soon relocated to a new city. I made clothing
for my daughter, and then began making and selling my children’s
clothing on eBay on a very small scale. Soon after, I partnered
with a friend, Liz Snowden, and Sweet Funky Vintage custom
children’s clothing was born!
What inspired you to do this?
My business partner, Liz, and I had both, individually, been
designing and selling children’s clothing on eBay and we had a
common vision for a children’s clothing company with a social
conscience. As the mothers of daughters, we wanted to create a
legacy for our girls, to show them that a business can be created
of a dream and a lot of hard work.
When did you know that you could really make a go of
I believed in our business from the beginning. I believed we could
meet the need for beautiful, functional children’s clothing while
at the same time creating a business with a social mission that we
believe is very important.
How did you turn your idea/dream into a business plan?
We sat down on the floor one summer night with a glass of wine and
several legal pads and lots and lots of fabric. We scribbled and
sketched and draped fabric around and saw our business plan take
How long did it take you to get everything off the
It was only a few months from that summer night of planning until
our first trunk show.
What was your start-up cost? How did you get the money, and what
did you use it for?
Sweet Funky Vintage was literally the poster child for a shoestring
budget. We invested our own fabric and supplies in the beginning
and each contributed a little seed money. As we grew, our growth
required a business line of credit.
How long did it take for your business to become
Approximately three years.
What was the biggest obstacle?
The biggest obstacle for me is probably the same that most
“mom-preneurs” face: balancing work and family. As anyone who
starts a business knows, there are no nine-to-five workdays. The
same can be said for parenting. Multitasking is important, but you
have to be careful to be 100 percent present when you are working,
and definitely when you are with your family!
Did your friends and family support your dream?
Absolutely! My children are our biggest fans! It isn’t unusual for
my 7-year-old daughter to ask me for a business card that she can
How did you maintain your confidence when doors were closed in
your face, when people didn’t get it or said “no”?
Chocolate. Lots of chocolate!
What's the hardest part of what you do?
I am a firm believer in the quote “Nothing worthwhile is ever
easy.” Starting Sweet Funky Vintage has been hard work, but is has
been a lot of fun, and worth every minute!
What's the most fun part of what you do?
The designing is tons of fun -- and the happy customers!
Where do you work from?
I have slowly been taking over my home. I have a studio and my
garage has recently become our workroom and warehouse.
Do you have employees?
We have approximately 10 people working with us now.
How have you been using social media to grow your
We tweet and post on our business page on Facebook, and we blog
regularly. We have been reaching out to mom bloggers through
reviews and giveaways for a couple of years now.
If you had it to do over again, what, if anything, would you do
If I had to dissect past experiences, I could probably say that I
would do a few things differently. But I also believe that you have
to work through experiences, good and bad, to learn from them! I
try to remind myself “Just because you can doesn’t mean you
should,” which to me means that I need to remember my niche and not
stray too far off on a whim -- that gets distracting and
Do you have entrepreneurial role models? What’s so inspiring
I read the Martha Stewart book “Martha’s Rules” a couple of years
ago. I found it to contain some very straightforward advice. I
heard Tamara Monosoff, founder of Mom Inventors, Inc., speak at a
conference a couple of years ago, and she was very motivating. Jo
Packam’s “Where Women Create” book and magazines really speak to my
How did you learn and acquire the skills you use to make your
business successful? How do you continue to grow and learn?
I went to Florida State University and graduated with a degree in
Family and Consumer Sciences Education, and also in Apparel Design
and Technology. My apparel design degree provided me with the
technical training in clothing construction and pattern making. My
family taught me to work hard and never to stop trying to learn new
What's the best piece of business advice you ever
“Find something you love and you will never work a day in your
What advice would you give to Dreamers who haven’t become Doers
Keep dreaming. It might not be the right dream or the right time.
But keep the faith and you will find your success!
See all Doers of the Week