My name is Ainhi. To make it easy, I go by Annie. I make kids accessories for my shop, The Little Parasol. I live in warm and sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with my fiancé and our two daughters.
A few years ago, I started sewing small accessories for my first daughter, then bibs for my second daughter. I kept hearing that people would definitely purchase the items I was making, but I didn’t take it too seriously. I really enjoyed sewing leisurely on my own time. What really pushed me to open up shop was finding a gift that I had received as a little girl. It’s a handmade faux collar from Florence – a delicate, pleated, hand-embroidered accessory. I immediately put it on my daughter and thought it was a great add-on to a little girl’s wardrobe. I drew up some patterns for peter pan and scalloped collars, and these were the first items in my shop.
I’ve always been a maker. I love to embroider, crochet, and work with leather and paint. My process is quite simple: I just create what feels right. The things I make are by accident or things my daughters need or want. I make these items for my daugthers, perfect them, and add them to my shop. I’m just waiting for the right time for them to shine.
I staring making tote bags because my daughter likes to carry around her books and toys, especially when we go out. She wants to carry a bag like her mom. The braided tulle crowns are in my shop because I had scrap tulle. I didn’t want to throw it away, so I braided it up. Now it’s this beautiful flower girl or dress up headband.
My all time favorite thing I’ve made (well, it’s still in the works) is my crazy quilt. It’s called the “crazy quilt” because my daughter told me that it’s going to look crazy when it’s done. I took two giant black garbage bags full of scraps and cut them down to 250 squares. Just the front piece is completed, but I love it. It will always remind me of this time – the first year of my small business mixed with all my daughters’ projects.
Etsy screams opportunity to me. Working at home and spending time with my kids is priceless, and I’ve had so many doors open for me in this last year because of my shop being on Etsy. This is such a great platform for meeting people and exposing my handmade wares to the world. Without Etsy, I wouldn’t be as far as I am now.
I have a huge passion for what I do, and I hope it shows when someone goes to my shop. The Little Parasol is still in its infancy, but this small business has taught me so much – from basic business knowledge to keeping inventory, and even learning how to build craft show displays. The list goes on!
All photographs by The Little Parasol.