Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: littlealouette

Oct 19, 2009

by Mary Andrews

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Joe and Amy of littlealouette are successfully supporting their family selling their simple natural wooden toys on Etsy. With backgrounds in carpentry, furniture making, education, and politics, this duo melded their collective skills into a business they never dreamed would take them this far. They both admit being their own boss is the toughest work they have known, but find balance in taking time out from work each day to spend quality time together with their children. Keep reading to find out why Joe misses his daily lunch outings at bistros and pubs and why they both claim a British accent and wicked grin have been one of their best marketing tools to date.

How did you originally get into the business of making things?
Joe is a master craftsman who apprenticed in the North of England where he grew up. He became a self-employed bespoke furniture maker. When he moved to the states he worked in carpentry. I worked in education and politics after university, but always found myself spending time on artistic projects and volunteering in local art charities or working with local arts councils. Joe made me furniture and I would create gifts for family and friends. I would write poetry about Joe’s hands and what they could make. I still do. Joe began making simple toys for our first child and the rest is history.

When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
Not really. We thought it would be extra money for our family; we were in the middle of a very hard financial time as we juggled two mortgages while trying to sell an investment property in a very still market here in Ohio. We knew that our family and friends loved what we were making for our kids and for others so we thought we would make some money, but never did we realize that we would make a whole new life.

Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time?
Always adapting and growing, it has been an organic process and a juggling act with two small boys and a passionate marriage. While it’s been quite fluid, we have learned that sometimes you just have to roll with it. It requires loads of paperwork and time, so planning ahead is important. We stepped down our spending and live with frugality and perseverance. Lastly, asking for advice and help was and is so important!


What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business?
I am a blogger and this has helped me a lot with meeting others and spreading the word. We have a Twitter account (@littlealouette) and a cool Tumblr blog for Little Alouette with daily parenting tips and inspiration (we are always looking for guest parents)! We have a Facebook page and I have a big mouth! Joe is not a big Internet individual. He has a smart phone and sometimes uses Facebook, but he relies on me to work the magic on the Internet. He carries a stack of business cards, his British accent, and a wicked grin. We get a lot of sales from him. I like to work with other bloggers for giveaways from time to time and there are a lot of really great blogs and sites you can advertise on to find your audience. Etsy has been incredibly helpful with the light it has shined on us. The whole world is in love with Etsy and it is amazing to be a part of this family of artists.

What have you found to be unsuccessful promotion?
We came up with an idea of keys and key sets that we named after a great customer’s daughter. The keys were a big hit! You know how babies and kids love to play with and chew on your keys? Well, we also thought that kids love other everyday items like remote controls — so we made a remote control rattle and no one bought one. We may try again in the future for some everyday life items. You have to try things!

What’s your best marketing tip?

  • Believe in yourself.
  • Know that you are amazing and groovy and smashing!
  • Be able to talk about your business freely and with anyone.
  • Changing up photos and keeping the shop full works well for us!
  • We like to offer our customers free shipping and codes and deals.
  • I think Twitter is excellent for this type of promotion, but just try and remember that Twitter is a give and take and it is a great place to interact and get to know your customers — not just a place to hawk your wares.

Walk us through your typical workday.
Most days are different — some days in the indie life are diamonds and some are not. Yesterday was like this:

  • 6:30 a.m.: Blaise, our two-year-old screamed, “Mama! Mama!” for about ten minutes until we brought him into our bed. We woke up Finn, our five-year-old, and had breakfast and the first of several pots of coffee together. We walked Finn to half-day kindergarten and then we all went off to the gym for an hour. We played with Blaise after a good stress-relieving workout until time to collect Finn from school.
  • We had lunch as a family and then Daddy went to the workshop. The kiddos had naps and I worked on Little Alouette.
  • I talked to people all over the world, mailed samples, answered emails and Convos, and worked on new packaging.
  • I made a cake while doing this all. I love working from home!
  • The kids got up and I took off the Wood Queen crown and became Mom again. I rolled to the playground and then to the post office and then hosted a play date at our house. I used my BlackBerry to relist some items and chat with customers. I taught my children about Jackson Pollock. I sketched a new toy while the kids went down the slide.
  • One thing that is constant is that when Joe comes home from work in the evening, we are diligent about putting the work away. The kids get us all. They get the attention and energy and everything. When they go to bed we must work more and it takes a lot of effort, but we must if we want to keep this balance. We do not have TV. This is a big help!

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
My family has eaten most meals together in the last two years. This is amazing. When we both worked outside the home it was rare that I got home before 7 p.m. We ate in shifts and smashed quality time into 1.5 hours. I missed some milestones of my oldest son. I rushed. My husband drove far too fast in his truck. We raced through life. Now we are slower. More deliberate. This is important. The way it feels to just go to the park on a Wednesday at 2 p.m. with my whole family. The freedom to schedule out a day that works for you is exhilarating. The way it feels to know that we are instilling hard work values and an entrepreneurial spirit into our children. We are showing them that even in the middle of your life, you can change gears and do something that makes you feel good. You can follow dreams big or small. Telling strangers about Little Alouette feels stellar!

I miss tons of people and the energy all around me. I worked with so many people in my old career. I miss adult interaction. I often find myself discussing new ideas and wholesale accounts with my five-year-old. He looks at me funny. Joe says he misses lunching out at bistros and pubs. I make him eat healthy lunches at home now. We miss our old insurance. But nothing can take away the reality of being with each other so much. It is gorgeous.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
Heavy shoulders. The paperwork and responsibility that come with this lifestyle are quite hefty. Organization is a sick and dirty word for me. We are learning to keep receipts and may even graduate to a file system this winter! We never stop working. The fatigue is tough at times. No one tells you to stop. You may not sleep properly.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give someone else?
Listen to advice and take it! My pal took me out for drinks last fall and told me my business was going to take off and I should get myself in order. I remember laughing about it then, but it has taken off. Be ready for what you want because you may well get it! Find good business folks like cool insurance agents, lawyers, and smart fellow artist mentors. Surround yourself with goodness. Stay in the light. Be kind and open. When times get tricky, keep focused and believe. Be happy and optimistic and acknowledge that you are lucky to be making art and living off of it in these bleak times.

What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year for your Etsy business?

  • Work on loads of new ideas and toys.
  • Grow the business.
  • Perhaps gain an employee.
  • Keep babies happy throughout the world.
  • Meet more cool Etsy folk in real life.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you so much to Etsy and our customers. We are so blessed and we thank you! We love you! Smooches. Each product is made by hand and usually all the wood is surrounded by cups of tea, laughing children, and disco music so each product will come to you infused with love and bliss!

 

Thanks to Amy and Joe for sharing their story.  Have your own questions to ask? Come on by and chat with them Wednesday, October 21 at 5 p.m. ET in Etsy’s Virtual Labs.

You can see some of their beautiful work in the Related Items. Check out previous Quit Your Day Job posts here.

276 comments

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 9 years ago

    Great photos! You guys look like you're having a lot of fun.

  • StudioCherie

    StudioCherie said 9 years ago

    Sweet article! Great photos

  • juicychristians

    juicychristians said 9 years ago

    I really really loved your article!!!!! It is very inspiring! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  • MyMoms

    MyMoms said 9 years ago

    Great article, love the picks!

  • daileedose

    daileedose said 9 years ago

    Great products and photos!

  • pinkytoeclothing

    pinkytoeclothing said 9 years ago

    Congrats! I absolutely LOVE your toys!

  • quillynilly

    quillynilly said 9 years ago

    great article, and such a lovely family

  • invitesbyjen

    invitesbyjen said 9 years ago

    Congratulations on your wonderful success. You all look very happy!!!

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 9 years ago

    Great article and toys! Congrats!

  • timesandchimes

    timesandchimes said 9 years ago

    Gorgeous photos of a gorgeous family!

  • thirtyonedesigns

    thirtyonedesigns said 9 years ago

    Yay! Congrats :)

  • hypothesis

    hypothesis said 9 years ago

    great products and wonderful story. Congratulations to your whole family!

  • Lunatiger

    Lunatiger said 9 years ago

    COOL!~^_^

  • ArtFromTheHeartBySue

    ArtFromTheHeartBySue said 9 years ago

    That was a very inspiring story! .... A great family and a great work ethic!

  • seababejewelry

    seababejewelry said 9 years ago

    Yay! Congradulations!

  • EarthenTreasures

    EarthenTreasures said 9 years ago

    Congrats to you! I enjoyed your story, good to see parents taking time with their kids, too. Much continued success to you!

  • ToadLillie

    ToadLillie said 9 years ago

    You ARE "amazing, groovy, and smashing"! Love reading about families that balance work and creative passions. Congratulations on your success!

  • ThrillyKnickers

    ThrillyKnickers said 9 years ago

    Really nice to see another Brit on Etsy, especially one doing so well! Maybe this is where I'm going wrong?! One way ticket to America please, I'll let my accent sort me out! Though at least you, Joe, are from the North, with a good accent - I'm from Essex!! Where's that going to get me?! (Best not to answer that....) Ha, seriously though, love your toys, congrats to all of you! xx

  • EJPcreations

    EJPcreations said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • ooblakazoo

    ooblakazoo said 9 years ago

    Your toys are so cute :)

  • FerragamoStudio

    FerragamoStudio said 9 years ago

    This is one of the best in this series I've seen.

  • DucksInARowBoutique

    DucksInARowBoutique said 9 years ago

    Love your toys! Huge fan of natural products.

  • bellatinacreations

    bellatinacreations said 9 years ago

    I love your story and your products. I will be back to get some for my neice!

  • feliciafairy

    feliciafairy said 9 years ago

    We have some of these toys and my munchkin adores them! Dealing with these guys was a complete joy as well. Congratulations on your success!

  • CopperLeafStudios

    CopperLeafStudios said 9 years ago

    Cool ~~ Ohio people! :) Congrats on all your success! A wonderful read!

  • amntyler

    amntyler said 9 years ago

    a passionate marriage? give me a break.

  • bananabottoms

    bananabottoms said 9 years ago

    Inspiring :) Congratulations!

  • craftpile

    craftpile said 9 years ago

    very inspiring! Great article and congrats!

  • julipbags

    julipbags said 9 years ago

    Congratulations!!!

  • LuluMcCleary

    LuluMcCleary said 9 years ago

    Congrats! You guys are awesome!

  • MommaE

    MommaE said 9 years ago

    Congrats on the success. Your toys look awesome, and are reasonably priced. Continued good luck! Eileen...

  • fernfiddlehead

    fernfiddlehead said 9 years ago

    Sweet.

  • walkthetalk

    walkthetalk said 9 years ago

    Wonder inspiration!! Beautiful toys, amazing ethics, incredible parents... thank God for littlealouette. Reading this article is my warm hug for my day!

  • LovelyPiecesDesign

    LovelyPiecesDesign said 9 years ago

    very sweet and inspiring! despite the risks and long hours required to run a home-based business, it can be SO worth it!

  • SeaFindDesigns

    SeaFindDesigns said 9 years ago

    Congrats!! Very sweet!

  • HMHdesign

    HMHdesign said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration. Your toys are beautiful.

  • theenchantedcupboard

    theenchantedcupboard said 9 years ago

    Yeah for our NaturalKids Teammate!!!! Well done nattysister!! Congrats Amy!!

  • moonovermaize

    moonovermaize said 9 years ago

    Awesome products! Congrats on your success and best wishes for the future! :)

  • TheSeed

    TheSeed said 9 years ago

    Great toys, love the pirate ship! Congratulations!

  • bayatinge

    bayatinge said 9 years ago

    Fabulous story! Congratulations on your success! It's great to hear about a local success story too - Go Ohio! :)

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane said 9 years ago

    Wonderful story ~ thanks for sharing! :)

  • LustreBeads

    LustreBeads said 9 years ago

    Congratulations! :D

  • HarrietsHaven

    HarrietsHaven said 9 years ago

    You have such a beautiful family. Well deserved!

  • poppyfox

    poppyfox said 9 years ago

    I love the quit your day job stories, congrats!

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 9 years ago

    Yay! Thrilled to see you guys here, Amy! Your work, artistry, photos and story are quite the inspiration. Nevermind how beautiful your natural wood toys are :)

  • LittleVale

    LittleVale said 9 years ago

    Beautiful family and beautiful creations. Keep it going! :)

  • polkadotsandblooms

    polkadotsandblooms said 9 years ago

    Hi guys - you are truly inspirational. I really enjoyed hearing your story. Well Done!

  • thebestvintage

    thebestvintage said 9 years ago

    Hey thanks for sharing your story!

  • thelittlecrocodile

    thelittlecrocodile said 9 years ago

    What a fun, inspiring QYDJ!!

  • tlgentile

    tlgentile said 9 years ago

    what a fabulous feature! amy, her shop, and her blog are beautiful and worth making a part of your daily 'net routine :)

  • FluteTeacher

    FluteTeacher said 9 years ago

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing your story! Best wishes.

  • burntmill

    burntmill said 9 years ago

    love these stories!

  • WideSarcasmSea

    WideSarcasmSea said 9 years ago

    I bought one of Little Alouette's teethers for a friend who absolutely loved it! I adore Amy's quirky sweetness and the quality handmade products she and Joe are making- Keep on rockin'!

  • underoakstudios

    underoakstudios said 9 years ago

    What great stuff!!

  • AngelEllie

    AngelEllie said 9 years ago

    Such an inspiring story...thank you!

  • OhSewFine

    OhSewFine said 9 years ago

    Congratulations! Thanks for the inspiration, I enjoyed your story. You have such a beautiful family.

  • RedorGrayArt

    RedorGrayArt said 9 years ago

    so inspiring...such beautiful work!

  • MetalLeaves

    MetalLeaves said 9 years ago

    Wonderful company & interview!

  • faro

    faro said 9 years ago

    Sweet!

  • PureInspiration

    PureInspiration said 9 years ago

    Great article, thanks for share!!

  • theclassicfarmhouse

    theclassicfarmhouse said 9 years ago

    These stories never cease to encourage and inspire!

  • littlejennywren

    littlejennywren said 9 years ago

    Great article, very honest and open plus great advice. Thank you.

  • postroadvintage

    postroadvintage said 9 years ago

    What a beautiful family! I wish you all the best with your continued success!!

  • somavenus

    somavenus said 9 years ago

    love reading these! such an inspiration!! Thank you :)

  • KnockKnocking

    KnockKnocking said 9 years ago

    This is such a neat read!!! So inspiring!

  • modernemotive

    modernemotive said 9 years ago

    Wonderful read. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • FrillyButts

    FrillyButts said 9 years ago

    Great feature! Very inspiring.

  • lovealittle

    lovealittle said 9 years ago

    Your work is adorable and you're such an inspiration to the Natty Kids Team xxx

  • posa75

    posa75 said 9 years ago

    I so so love reading about people like you that are making it work amidst all the craziness, day by day. I hope to get there myself someday. In the meantime, I'll keep spreading the word about your great toys!

  • starvingartistbazaar

    starvingartistbazaar said 9 years ago

    thanks for sharing your story!

  • greeblemonkey

    greeblemonkey said 9 years ago

    So thrilled to see you guys here, LOVE your toys and LOVE you!

  • thecraftpantry

    thecraftpantry said 9 years ago

    Incredible little shop of delights! Great feature!!!

  • michon

    michon said 9 years ago

    Congrats, I love the photos in your interview & your toys are great!

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt said 9 years ago

    wonderful, thanks for sharing your story. Continued success to you.

  • magpiefelts

    magpiefelts said 9 years ago

    Great article, lovely work!

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    aBreathofFrenchair said 9 years ago

    Great story and what an adorable family you all are!

  • heatherk

    heatherk said 9 years ago

    I loved getting a peek at your day to day life. My little guy is getting some LA toys for his 2nd birthday next week! :)

  • thecluelesscrafter

    thecluelesscrafter said 9 years ago

    you took a stressful time and turned it around for the good of your family. beautiful!

  • GatheringSplendor

    GatheringSplendor said 9 years ago

    makes me wish my kids were small again--good job.

  • DianeLDesigns

    DianeLDesigns said 9 years ago

    Great Story! So wonderful that you are able to be with your children....they grow fast! Congrats. :):)

  • paisleybaby

    paisleybaby said 9 years ago

    What an inspiring story - congratulations on making it work!

  • warpedLaurie

    warpedLaurie said 9 years ago

    whoa what a great story and some good tips. Thanks

  • windylou

    windylou said 9 years ago

    I love wooden toys for kids. Apparently some people think they can't be found anymore. I'm glad to see that they are wrong!

  • delightdesignbiz

    delightdesignbiz said 9 years ago

    Love this article... this is my favorite line: "Be happy and optimistic and acknowledge that you are lucky to be making art and living off of it in these bleak times." LOVE it.. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!

  • lemondropbay

    lemondropbay said 9 years ago

    It's always a joy to read etsy's success stories! You have infused the recipe for success with your family life-not an easy goal to obtain. Thank you for sharing! Wishing you continued prosperity with your wonderful shop!

  • TheLoudLion

    TheLoudLion said 9 years ago

    delightful story! thanks for sharing and for the inspiration! Congratulations

  • msbelle

    msbelle said 9 years ago

    Fantastic article! I admire you guys, especially that you don't have a TV. I can certainly see how you can get a lot more done. Dinners with family are so special and rare these days. Very inspiring and wonderful work! Congrats!

  • 2TrickPony

    2TrickPony said 9 years ago

    balancing kids and biz at home, i hear ya! I too, believe that half the battle is positive thinking. Thanks for letting us into your world a bit, I really enjoyed it.

  • Mimiandlola

    Mimiandlola said 9 years ago

    Congratulations! It's nice that life has slowed down to enjoy your family! Great article.

  • SorciasLair

    SorciasLair said 9 years ago

    Very inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing this family's success on Etsy. Gives great hope to a newbie. Thx again.

  • lizcoolmompicks

    lizcoolmompicks said 9 years ago

    Yay to Joe and Amy! You're living the dream and we're so happy to support you any way we can. Great pick, Storque.

  • warmwhippets

    warmwhippets said 9 years ago

    what a sweet family, inspiring story. i really hope to get the courage to quit my day job too.

  • juneshin

    juneshin said 9 years ago

    Great interview and love the pictures! Congratulations!

  • littlegraypixel

    littlegraypixel said 9 years ago

    I'm envious of your lifestyle. It's everything I want! Kudos on your booming business!

  • sweetsalty

    sweetsalty said 9 years ago

    absolutely fantastic!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 9 years ago

    Congratulations~! happy for you two Joe and Amy, lovely family as well. Wish you continued success as you grow your business. Great shop.

  • ByMarieNicole

    ByMarieNicole said 9 years ago

    Inspiring... thank you... gives hope to someone like me who is looking forward to the rewards that will one day come from all the hard work... happy to just enjoy the process in the mean time. Congratulations!

  • SpringtreeRoad

    SpringtreeRoad said 9 years ago

    yay! you guys are fantastic! i love your little family - and your teethers. :)

  • Coral2CoveCave

    Coral2CoveCave said 9 years ago

    How Fun! What a beautiful, energitic family y'all have. Makes me wish that my daughter (17) was a baby again so I could enjoy playing with your toys! All the Very best!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 9 years ago

    It feels so good to be able to just carve out your day the way you want it and like they said what works for you. I was recently laid off so this is where I'm at and loving it.

  • terrabellaaccents

    terrabellaaccents said 9 years ago

    Love this story:)

  • breadandroses

    breadandroses said 9 years ago

    Congratulations and best wishes for continued success! I like the comment about having a deliberate life. So true. Great toys.

  • Jelart

    Jelart said 9 years ago

    Thanks for all the good hints!You seem to really enjoy your new lifestyle! I'm jealous.

  • VintageTwenty

    VintageTwenty said 9 years ago

    There were so many words of wisdom in this article that they are worth repeating and remembering: "We do not have TV-we are instilling hard work values and an entrepreneurial spirit into our children-We are showing them that even in the middle of your life, you can change gears and do something that makes you feel good-You can follow dreams big or small-nothing can take away the reality of being with each other so much-Surround yourself with goodness-Stay in the light-Be kind and open-When times get tricky, keep focused and believe-Be happy and optimistic and acknowledge that you are lucky . . ."

  • kunklebaby

    kunklebaby said 9 years ago

    Way to go Amy!! You guys rock!

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 9 years ago

    Awesome! Great shop!

  • gracehesterdesigns

    gracehesterdesigns said 9 years ago

    Yay Amy! Etsy Celebrity! I'm gonna be the girl at the party who points you out and say, "I know HER. I know HER." :o) Congrats.

  • peacehouse

    peacehouse said 9 years ago

    What beautiful things you have! Thank you for the inspiration-with a situation that sounds so much like your "before" story, I'm looking forward to creating my own peacehouse. I appreciate the hope you offer!

  • sbdesignz

    sbdesignz said 9 years ago

    Congrats! It's such a large accomplishment to be able to only sell items on Etsy and be able to support yourself! This is something I hope to accomplish one day also!

  • BellyDancePrincess

    BellyDancePrincess said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful, inspiring article!

  • michaelangela

    michaelangela said 9 years ago

    Loved this article, great information!

  • EclecticNotions

    EclecticNotions said 9 years ago

    It sounds like you really keep your family a first priority-which is how it should be. Keep up the good work.

  • EcoFelt

    EcoFelt said 9 years ago

    Great photos in this article.

  • Fairyfolk

    Fairyfolk said 9 years ago

    I love how you guys keep your wood a natural color. Blessings and magic.

  • happymaxdesigns

    happymaxdesigns said 9 years ago

    Good Job! Great advice too!

  • clubviv

    clubviv said 9 years ago

    so happy for you guys. wow great information !!!

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 9 years ago

    Congrats! I love the natural wood color and the organic shape of the toys.

  • japonicas

    japonicas said 9 years ago

    so cute!!

  • TrendyTrimmingsByTT

    TrendyTrimmingsByTT said 9 years ago

    Congratulations on your shops success and thanks for the words of wisdom!

  • weegreenspot

    weegreenspot said 9 years ago

    my 13 month old baby loves your simple wooden blocks! lovely article!

  • wearthou

    wearthou said 9 years ago

    Love this article especially about the husband and wife team. We work in tandem here in our home studio - I still have a day job and hope to do what you're doing, sans the small kids...one day. Thanks for the great article.

  • eatsbeadsandcards

    eatsbeadsandcards said 9 years ago

    So inspiring! I love that you get to spend so much time together everyday - what a treat that must be!

  • DivineByDeidre

    DivineByDeidre said 9 years ago

    Great story! Good advice!

  • ithcreations

    ithcreations said 9 years ago

    that is so wonderful!

  • TrilliumTrue

    TrilliumTrue said 9 years ago

    Wow! Truly an inspiration!

  • vintagemaison

    vintagemaison said 9 years ago

    Great story - love the British accent bit. I'm a Brit living abroad too, although I'm in France. Love your products, love your philosophy on life...Well done!

  • wildcubs

    wildcubs said 9 years ago

    Still working two jobs. And hoping for the day in the future when I can afford quitting my day job. Thanks guys for sharing your success story!

  • BeautifulSoaps

    BeautifulSoaps said 9 years ago

    Loved reading your interview when you were the featured sellers and love this too. Amy you are adorable with the cute little gap in your teeth :-)

  • dandelionland

    dandelionland said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article! What a beautiful family and such lovely products they create.

  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds said 9 years ago

    Oh yes, I remember you guys - you were Featured seller in April of this year. Wow, my congratulations!!

  • MamaKs

    MamaKs said 9 years ago

    you guys are great!!! mamaks.etsy.com

  • BossysFeltworks

    BossysFeltworks said 9 years ago

    Hey! We're fueled by tea and kids too! (oh, and chocolate!). Congratulations to you both and your boys too. A good thing is a GOOD thing!

  • trudiedavies

    trudiedavies said 9 years ago

    oh how cool and what beautiful products. Congratulations.

  • spacejam

    spacejam said 9 years ago

    very nice photos and adorable toys!! best wishes to you =)

  • emmasommerfeld

    emmasommerfeld said 9 years ago

    It's always great to hear about others - we're not alone in this world wide thing -

  • dementedsnowflake

    dementedsnowflake said 9 years ago

    Wow, you guys are such an inspiration!! Well done, keep up the amazing work!!

  • GgaBulShop

    GgaBulShop said 9 years ago

    Great article!! Congrats :)

  • fashioncentsformom

    fashioncentsformom said 9 years ago

    I have just started a blog as well http://fashioncentsformom.com ; I also very recently started on etsy selling my handmade bows that made for my daughter at first. I enjoy hearing stories about success, especially in an economy like today!

  • lealerjcreates

    lealerjcreates said 9 years ago

    Love these articles. Thanks for sharing!

  • StoneSchoolVintage

    StoneSchoolVintage said 9 years ago

    lovely family,wonderful inspiration! Thank you!

  • artsyfingers

    artsyfingers said 9 years ago

    Wonderful Family, Love wood, Thanks for sharing and God Bless.

  • chocolatecreative

    chocolatecreative said 9 years ago

    As usual very inspiring and much needed advice on this field, dreaming everyday about being able to give up my day job and dedicate all my time and energy to my textiles business...I hope it hopes soon before I go insane!!

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign said 9 years ago

    Congrats, gorgeous Work and all the luck for the future!!!

  • fishstique

    fishstique said 9 years ago

    Very inspirational, gave me a kick in the butt!

  • SunshineandRavioli

    SunshineandRavioli said 9 years ago

    I ♥ this feature! We are looking to simplify life and possibly both work from home (not just me) in the near future...littlealouette is an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your experience...

  • BizzieLizzie

    BizzieLizzie said 9 years ago

    Congratulations! Best photos! Sweetest family pics! Thanks for sharing!! All the best!!

  • sunstoneboutique

    sunstoneboutique said 9 years ago

    wow a truly inspiration , wwhat a great article keep up the good job

  • ericawalker

    ericawalker said 9 years ago

    congratulations guys! great story, quality, fun products, and lovely people. well deserved.

  • vermontbranchcompany

    vermontbranchcompany said 9 years ago

    This is so insiring. Thank you for sharing as our family has similar goals.

  • dottybaby

    dottybaby said 9 years ago

    Beautifull pieces, great family, I hope to quit my day job too, not yet but soon ....

  • germandolls

    germandolls said 9 years ago

    Great items - Great folks! I think there is your recipe for success! Voila! Congratulations!

  • hellokjames

    hellokjames said 9 years ago

    your teether/rattles are my favorite gift to give babies! love you guys. :)

  • merrydaledolls

    merrydaledolls said 9 years ago

    A wonderful story ! Your creations are just beautiful! You are an inspiration to your fellow members of the Naturalkids Team! Congratulations!

  • MyPatternedMind

    MyPatternedMind said 9 years ago

    What a sweet story! Just lovely! I love the last part about their products being infused with love and bliss- what a great personal touch! :)

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 9 years ago

    What a lovely story, you two are an inspiration and so passionate to boot! Thanks

  • accessoryalamode

    accessoryalamode said 9 years ago

    A very inspiring story with awesome items! A new favorite has been found!

  • virtuallori

    virtuallori said 9 years ago

    Woo-hoo, cuz! Beautiful feature.

  • caffeinequeenie

    caffeinequeenie said 9 years ago

    Very inspirational story! I remember when I first heard about you guys from Dooce!

  • FreshlySkweezed

    FreshlySkweezed said 9 years ago

    Interesting. Inspiring. Incredible! Congrats and may you have continued success!

  • monkeyandsquirrel

    monkeyandsquirrel said 9 years ago

    love love love these articles! having just recently quit my day job, these stories let me know that it really is possible to keep it up, and that the paperwork is overwhelming for everyone :)

  • mamaslittlebabies

    mamaslittlebabies said 9 years ago

    It's hard not to fall in love with Joe and Amy! The whole article is filled with excellent advice and really touches on what it's like to run your own business - thanks so much for letting us into your world. xoxo

  • laralewis

    laralewis said 9 years ago

    congratulations on your success! love the photos!! :D

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 9 years ago

    very happy to hear you are selling well. good luck in 2010 and beyond.

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 9 years ago

    Nice and congrats!

  • kunstig

    kunstig said 9 years ago

    I don't know you, BUT know you will be a success, don't look back it might frighten you into reverse, don't look down, that will drop your chin, don't look up, you may stumble over a pebble just look forward without FEAR, I know how you feel, I have a daughter on the same venture as you, God bless

  • clarelupino

    clarelupino said 9 years ago

    great stuuf keep u the good work

  • copperandglass

    copperandglass said 9 years ago

    These are the kinds of toys our 5 boys were raised on, and they are the most creative and awesome men now. Congratulations on your success, and thanks for all the successes you will inspire.

  • CLineCreations

    CLineCreations said 9 years ago

    Congratulations, that was a wonderful read. I wish your family all the best!

  • bejeweledbynikki

    bejeweledbynikki said 9 years ago

    Congratulations!! I feel like I spent the day with you guys! I love that you get so much together time..xo..and doing what you love for a living; It doesn't get much better! You are such an inspiration. I look forward to a similar story someday. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!

  • momomatic

    momomatic said 9 years ago

    Fabulous lady and fabulous toys!

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring article with lots of great tips. I admire artists/etsy sellers who juggle all of this with small ones at home. Whew! You're amazing!!!

  • DalkullanJewelry

    DalkullanJewelry said 9 years ago

    Congratulations Joe and Amy on your successful business and your beautiful family! Your wooden toys are so cute -- I love the pirate ship! Thanks for a great article.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 9 years ago

    Lovely family! Congrats!

  • thecleverkitty

    thecleverkitty said 9 years ago

    Such an inspiration! You have beautiful work, and a great story. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  • lmgboutique

    lmgboutique said 9 years ago

    Congrats! Your wooden toys are so cute!!!

  • JoshuaByOak

    JoshuaByOak said 9 years ago

    Wonderful story. It's evident you love what you do. So lucky!

  • HouserWallis

    HouserWallis said 9 years ago

    what an encouraging article. thanks for the advice. your toys are lovely!

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful family! Good for you - and much success in the future! Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story!

  • stylmagazine

    stylmagazine said 9 years ago

    Your toys are lovely. Thank you for the inspiring story.

  • californiablue

    californiablue said 9 years ago

    This is a great article - so inspiring! I wish them continued success and happiness! Blog: http://californiablue.tumblr.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/californiablue Twitter: http://twitter.com/cabluejewelry

  • musettemade

    musettemade said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring words! Thanks for sharing your success! Shannon

  • Maykela

    Maykela said 9 years ago

    Inspiring :) congrats!

  • cthings

    cthings said 9 years ago

    Congratulations and very nice products and adorable family!

  • SILKSBYKAYLAORIGINAL

    SILKSBYKAYLAORIGINAL said 9 years ago

    very cool article and inspirational

  • naturevine

    naturevine said 9 years ago

    I have just been introduce to Etsy and I am so happy to have joined and to become a part of ALLL the wonderfully talented artists! I know I have a long way to go....but, I believe I will become wiser and business will pick up! Your story was great and I hope to be able to share a similar story one day!

  • cassidycay

    cassidycay said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the insight into your Etsy life! Your kids are adorable!

  • Squier

    Squier said 9 years ago

    Excellent article!

  • outspokenjewelry

    outspokenjewelry said 9 years ago

    Beautiful simplistic designs. Wonderful! I'm sure they bring joy to many children.

  • contempojewels

    contempojewels said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • ShimmeringSky

    ShimmeringSky said 9 years ago

    Amy, I talk about new ideas with my dogs... & they look at me funny too, lol! Well done and all the best to your familybusiness (no space between the words because they are so interwoven for you)! Bobbie

  • OHmommy

    OHmommy said 9 years ago

    Very cool article. Very cool family!

  • MalloryMaeDesigns

    MalloryMaeDesigns said 9 years ago

    Love the creative photos. Congrats and continued success!

  • sproutonline

    sproutonline said 9 years ago

    I adore this series! Keep em coming!

  • WhimsicalMom

    WhimsicalMom said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article and family:) I really enjoyed the read:)

  • tinyspace

    tinyspace said 9 years ago

    another wonderful reading!

  • akkricket

    akkricket said 9 years ago

    Thanks, I love to read these articles. Inspiring!

  • OwlandMouse

    OwlandMouse said 9 years ago

    Oh my goodness! You guys have the cutest kids ever!

  • SimpleEarth

    SimpleEarth said 9 years ago

    Wow! I just started on Etsy and I am more excited and inspired everyday! What a great story and beautiful family!

  • thedaydreamer

    thedaydreamer said 9 years ago

    Excellent article and superb tips! :-)

  • PrettyLittleShop

    PrettyLittleShop said 9 years ago

    So much fun- i love your toys- i'll have to take a peek now...:)

  • ChenilleTreasures

    ChenilleTreasures said 9 years ago

    Wow...so very inspiring. I love that you fight to keep your family a priority in the middle of all the hard work. Your toys are adorable. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • kingfishercrafts

    kingfishercrafts said 9 years ago

    Great Story. Great items. An inspiration for us as another couple making magic happen daily on Etsy.

  • amysfunkyfibers

    amysfunkyfibers said 9 years ago

    Wow, so great to hear that you are enjoying your family so much!Keep up the good work. You have found what is important in life!

  • katejwilkinson

    katejwilkinson said 9 years ago

    if you were on qvc, would you make wooden teeth for elders? oh, i kidd. love you guys. here is a shout out to you and yours. xoxoxox, k and the w's

  • threefishshop

    threefishshop said 9 years ago

    Congratulations! Thanks for the tips!

  • violetsandgrace

    violetsandgrace said 9 years ago

    You are my heros! What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing with the Etsy community. I strive to create balance between working on Etsy and homeschooling my two young children, it is certainly a challenge! You seem to have found that perfect balance and move through your day with an easy grace that I am in awe of!

  • bobbinalong

    bobbinalong said 9 years ago

    Hi, fellow Central Ohioans! Loved your story. Nice job. It would be fun if you could create an "OSU Bucks" item. You have to be careful with a conflict with the university. But babies could love OSU as much as their parents! Perhaps some wooden "buckeyes". I could also see a while line of wooden insects and bugs and birds and butterflies and . . . . . Maybe you already make these. Keep going, continue to create, and be happy! I wish you the best.

  • lisaroy

    lisaroy said 9 years ago

    another great article! so inspiring!

  • artquilt560

    artquilt560 said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the tips. Love your shop.

  • PaperPetalCreations

    PaperPetalCreations said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing insight into your business and family life. It is wonderful to hear tips from a successful Etsy seller.

  • quiltitems4u

    quiltitems4u said 9 years ago

    FABULOUS article! Thank You So Much for taking the time out to share with all of us. God Speed!

  • MamaRobot

    MamaRobot said 9 years ago

    Yeah!! Littlealouette rocks!!!

  • BHBKidstyle

    BHBKidstyle said 9 years ago

    Inspiration! Love the shop too!

  • masonke

    masonke said 9 years ago

    Congratulations! Your shop is divine!

  • Tobias03

    Tobias03 said 9 years ago

    Hi Guys, Its stallions wife Katie here - just wanted to say how fantastic little alouette looks! You two are amazing, to read about your life makes us all wake up every morning and aim to be like you!! Love to all, Katie T xxxx

  • HollybyGollie

    HollybyGollie said 9 years ago

    What a wonderful article. Congratulation!

  • writeonthewall

    writeonthewall said 9 years ago

    wow, great article. u 2 look like your having a blast with each other.

  • MoonpathDesigns

    MoonpathDesigns said 9 years ago

    Beautiful work! Thanks for the helpful tips and inspirational pics. :)

  • GirlettesMV

    GirlettesMV said 9 years ago

    Truely Inspirational! Thank you!

  • slumptown

    slumptown said 9 years ago

    What a lovely family and wonderful shop. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your success.

  • SnowJaneVintage

    SnowJaneVintage said 9 years ago

    Love what your doing, but I love your story even more. I decided to take my passion for all things vintage to the next level. I am working hard at understanding all the technical stuff, so that's taking some adjustment, but I am fianlly doing what I love too!!

  • philosophi

    philosophi said 9 years ago

    wonderful article full of wise words!

  • LizzyBdesigns

    LizzyBdesigns said 9 years ago

    What a great family...off to see your shop now!! :)

  • lsulhan

    lsulhan said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the great article. I have had my etsy shop for a few months and I haven't sold a thing. I am getting a little frustrated but the article gave me some insight into other areas to advertise. I now offer free shipping and I hope if I add another photo to give an idea of scale I will finally sell something. The only time I sell things is by word of mouth. It's a great shop and idea. I think all parents want toys that are organic and safe.

  • sewaddicting

    sewaddicting said 9 years ago

    Bravo! I love inspiring stories! Best to you! Sally

  • JurgitaKiltPins

    JurgitaKiltPins said 9 years ago

    lovely family! Great story! Wishing so much just the best!!!!!

  • theHandmaiden

    theHandmaiden said 9 years ago

    one of my go-to gifts for baby showers - LOVE little alouette!

  • mykky

    mykky said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this - I love your quote. Very uplifting! : "Surround yourself with goodness. Stay in the light. Be kind and open. When times get tricky, keep focused and believe."

  • Furiousdreams

    Furiousdreams said 9 years ago

    I loved this Spotlight and take great inspiration from a family who works and creates together....even if the little ones can't hold their own yet in a business conversation. Thanks for also offering that link to independent insurers. I'd like to hear more about them and possibly find someone in my neck of the woods. (outside Philly) Great shop, I'm off to explore!

  • snollygosters

    snollygosters said 9 years ago

    Your pictures are so great! Congrats! Wishing ongoing success, and lots of sales! It's so nice to see a family making it happen on there own. Thank you for sharing.

  • LadyLuLus

    LadyLuLus said 9 years ago

    Great picks! Lovely items :) http://www.ladylulus.etsy.com

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 9 years ago

    thanks for presenting littlealiouette's unique perspective

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 9 years ago

    thanks for presenting littlealiouette's unique perspective

  • KarKarStyle

    KarKarStyle said 9 years ago

    How Wonderful...!!

  • mengseldesign

    mengseldesign said 9 years ago

    Thank you for a very inspiring article. It really motivated me to just keep pushing!

  • sleepymoondesign

    sleepymoondesign said 9 years ago

    This interview is so inspirational!

  • EpicallyEpicSoap

    EpicallyEpicSoap said 9 years ago

    Well, I have a passion for soap, so I'm inspired. Thanks for the article!

  • fireflymoon

    fireflymoon said 9 years ago

    NICE! Thanks for the inspiration and perspective! Congrats on your success!

  • RomanceinSilverAH

    RomanceinSilverAH said 9 years ago

    Thats inspiring. I need to learn to blog.

  • morningbicycle

    morningbicycle said 9 years ago

    Lovely!

  • BirdhouseBlessings

    BirdhouseBlessings said 9 years ago

    Thank you, it is great to hear other people's passion about the craft.

  • sebenjewelry

    sebenjewelry said 9 years ago

    thanks so much - what great inspiration - true living a "wealthy" life full of love and time and creativity. I hope to follow in your footsteps!

  • sebenjewelry

    sebenjewelry said 9 years ago

    thanks for the inspiring story of a life of true wealth - creativity, TIME, and love. I hope to follow in your footsteps with my own funky jewelry

  • SarahLamont

    SarahLamont said 9 years ago

    a wonderful article. sweet and inspiring, thank you.

  • SarahLamont

    SarahLamont said 9 years ago

    a sweet, sweet article. inspiring, thank you!

  • knowingphotography

    knowingphotography said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for your advice...it's great to hear that passion is the fuel behind the fire...*

  • CuriousSparrow

    CuriousSparrow said 9 years ago

    Congras! Nice toys!

  • MapleShadeKids

    MapleShadeKids said 9 years ago

    It so wonderful to hear your story...your balance of life,...time....work...hugs.....play and a bit more work. Thanks for sharing :)

  • blackscrapcat

    blackscrapcat said 9 years ago

    Great article! So inspiring!

  • humandrattle

    humandrattle said 9 years ago

    Oh the way you spoke about your family is simply beautiful. A much more organic lifestyle. I love how you said you put the work away and give the children all of you. Sometimes i find myself not completely present in the moment with my own trying to get an order finished. Thank you for the kick in the bottom... Peace

  • suzannedesigns

    suzannedesigns said 9 years ago

    ********I love your back to basics products*********I hope I can find success with my necktie creations as you have with yours. Love your kids names too! +++++++++++++++

  • suzannedesigns

    suzannedesigns said 9 years ago

    ************I love your back to basics products ++++++++++ I hope I can find similar success with my necktie creations ******** thanks for the personal story!

  • AnnaKayCreations

    AnnaKayCreations said 9 years ago

    Great Article. Congrats!!

  • NBloom789

    NBloom789 said 9 years ago

    Love your story...so inspirational for me just getting started!

  • Jewelryfashions

    Jewelryfashions said 9 years ago

    I haven't read too many articles about my fellow etsy's but I am glad I read yours. I too work from home and love the flexibility of my schedule. I recently quit my other job and was a little concerned if I had done the right thing. Two months after I quit, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and now need to have a flexible schedule so I can take care of dr's appointments and treatment. I am happy to report that I caught it very early but it will still take another 6 months to complete treatment. So I am very glad I made the decision to quit not just for the flexiblity but I really love making jewelry. Do what you love and it doesn't feel like work!!!

  • Pearlk2

    Pearlk2 said 9 years ago

    congratulations on your success

  • TrinityBly

    TrinityBly said 9 years ago

    inspiring! thank you! Every time I read a story like yours, I can add more life and colour to my dreams and vision of being at home full-time as a Mama and entrepreneur... ahhh.

  • TrinityBly

    TrinityBly said 9 years ago

    inspiring... reading stories like yours helps me infuse my vision with life and colour, and encourages me in my dream of doing this full-time and being home with my little one. I, like humandrattle, often find myself not being "present" - not "practicing what I print" in my products! So it feels great on days like today, to not even turn on the computer until my little one is gone with his Daddy. We just hung out all day - now I work when he's gone! Thx for your inspiration.

  • RossanaShoshana

    RossanaShoshana said 9 years ago

    Great article and toys! Congrats! beautiful happy family.Great success.

  • DazzledBeader

    DazzledBeader said 9 years ago

    Great article, very nice toys too :)

  • MeAndBoo

    MeAndBoo said 9 years ago

    I love the "work/life balance" that you have here, it is how I would ideally like things to be. Nice to know it can be done!

  • TwistedThings

    TwistedThings said 9 years ago

    Great products! Congratulations on your success!

  • OpusMuse

    OpusMuse said 9 years ago

    lovely toys littlealouette! we can't get enough of wooden toys! your story is inspirational. it let people know that dreams do come true and you havta work hard to get it! ;)

  • oliverhenry

    oliverhenry said 9 years ago

    beautiful wooden toys and teethers! Thank you for the great advice.

  • laura1953

    laura1953 said 9 years ago

    A main stumbling block for me is health/dental insurance. If I quit my day job, it will become a significant monthly expense. (As is the case for many others in my position!) Do you know of any insurance companies that cater to small business owners or craftspeople/artists? Your input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, and best of success and happiness in your work! Laura

  • Laura4ca

    Laura4ca said 9 years ago

    Wish you great success and loved your story and toys.

  • chatelainejewellery

    chatelainejewellery said 9 years ago

    What a truely lovely story, I enjoyed reading and I wish you great success.

  • toolisjewelry

    toolisjewelry said 9 years ago

    Great article! I love your shop, thanks for sharing!!

  • NgambeInc

    NgambeInc said 9 years ago

    Joe and Amy...Great article, great story! I love the spirit, We are trying to create a similar spirit with our African craftsmen and African woods (www.ngambe.com). Your story is an inspiration. Keep up the great work and enthusiasm!

  • SSDesigns4

    SSDesigns4 said 9 years ago

    Great article. You've done a wonderful job here. Your shop is great!!!

  • JennyTreiber

    JennyTreiber said 9 years ago

    What a lovely story, brings tears to my eyes. Thank you

  • zengardendesigns

    zengardendesigns said 9 years ago

    Great article with superb advice! Good to see fellow woodworkers succeeding!

  • Gamut

    Gamut said 9 years ago

    My favorite part was your advice-stay in the light, be positive. Agree.

  • peapublishing

    peapublishing said 8 years ago

    I love this interview/article. I feel so inspired - thanks!

  • CabinOn6th

    CabinOn6th said 8 years ago

    Wonderful story !

  • YourBeachHouse

    YourBeachHouse from YourBeachHouse said 5 years ago

    What a wonderfull story and really great toys for kids! Thank you for sharing! I wish you an even bigger success this year! :-)

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