Meet Kelley, a supermom of four children and the lady behind the cozy knits of HeavenBoundHCA. Inspired by the handmade community and her own family values, Kelley recognized the need for affordable handmade children’s items, thus birthing her personal business venture.
She creates a range of quality knitted garments and accessories for the little bundles of joys in our lives. From adorable little beanies to essential baby wipes, her store caters to the needs of the little ones with handmade and quality love.
So how does she manage to run the household, homeschool her children and run an online business at the same time?
How did you hear about Zibbet?
I was looking to open another online venue that was similar to the one I was currently using in hopes of expanding my business and increasing my sales/visibility. I did an internet search and Zibbet was the name that kept coming up as most similar. When I checked out the homepage and read up about Zibbet, I loved it. I loved the look, the set up, the fee structure, everything. I felt that Zibbet had great potential and was on the way to becoming something great. I wanted to be a part of that.
When and how did you begin your knitting journey?
I up and decided one day in January 2009 that I was going to teach myself how to knit just to be able to say that I did it. It didn’t take long to learn a few stitches and make my first items (gifts for family members). I still remember my famous last words, “I can do this, but I’ll never keep up with it. I’m going to make these items and be done with it.”
Here I am 6+ years later and I’m making an income from it. The funny backstory to this is that with each of my pregnancies (I have 4 daughters) I have always tried/learned something new. I found out two weeks after I taught myself to knit that number 2 was on the way.
What inspired you to start your handmade business?
I have always liked handmade items because they are better made, unique, and support the little guy. However, they are usually more expensive. With multiple children and my husband being our only source of income, I fully understood how hard it can be to purchase handmade for parents. With this, and the fact that everywhere I took my girls people would ask about their winter hats— where we got them, if I made them, and that I should sell them– I finally connected the dots, put my fear of failure aside and set up shop.
I set up shop with the goal to get handmade items into the hands of parents who wouldn’t normally be able to afford it. My items generally are lower priced than my competitors, not because they are lower quality, but because I want the average parent who’s struggling to be able to afford something handmade for their littles. I also wanted to use it as an opportunity to minister to others about Jesus Christ. On the back of each of my tags and my business cards is what I call a mini salvation message.
Tell us more about your family.
My husband and I have been married almost 13 years and have 4 amazing daughters. My husband pastors our local church (but also works a secular job to meet the bills), and I am a licensed Evangelist as well. Hence, the name of my business.
As if all this isn’t enough to keep us extremely busy, I homeschool our three oldest girls as well. It’s not the easiest task in the world, but it is so fulfilling. I’m blessed and honored to be able to say that I was the one who taught them how to read, how to multiply, how to do this or do that. Our life is crazy to say the least, but it’s a good crazy. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.
What’s it like balancing work and family life?
With so many jobs (ministry, wife, parent, school teacher, business owner), it can be quite overwhelming trying to keep so many balls in the air. I get asked the question, “How do you do it all?” quite often. Honestly? I don’t know how I do it all, except that I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me . If it wasn’t for my relationship with Jesus Christ, I wouldn’t be able to do all that I do. It would have been too much for me and I would have given up on a lot of things and just plain quit others.
What are your thoughts on selling online?
I love selling online for the fact that I can work from home and I don’t have to pay rent/utilities for a brick and mortar location. If it weren’t for online selling, I wouldn’t be able to have this business. It just wouldn’t be physically possible with my schedule being what it is. I love the flexibility of it as well. If I need a vacation or just time to catch up on life, I can close without it hurting me too much. You can’t do that with a brick and mortar.
What’s your advice for people who are starting their own online store?
Patience. Patience. Some more patience. Just like anything else in this world, it takes time for things to come full circle.
I’ve always been told that nothing easy is worth having anyway. You will have to work it, it won’t work itself. Make sure you give yourself adequate time to make a go at it. Don’t give up to soon. Get involved with as many social networks as you can adequately keep up with because they are great sources of free marketing. Don’t be afraid to try something new to drive traffic and sales. If it doesn’t work after an adequate amount of time, then try something else.
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