Tips from Women of Etsy - Wanda of MapleShadeKids

 We Women of Etsy are busy we run online shops and are become SEO experts and PR pros. We keep our families and houses running and try to have time for ourselves. Sometimes in the muck of it all we get lost and need some help getting back on track. I wanted to do some short interviews with other Women of Etsy and share their ideas with you.

A brief bio and give all your links:
I live in Derry, Nh with my husband, 3 children and newly adopted cat. As a child, I grew up in Maine climbing apple trees, balancing on old rock walls and creating lots of gifts for family members. In college, I studied nutrition and worked several years as a Register Dietitian. After living in Israel for two years with my husband, we returned to the United States, settled in Boston, MA and I gave birth to my first child. When my daughter was 2 and I was pregnant with our twins, we sought a more rural area to raise our 3 children. It was then, in 2002 that I rekindled my passion for designing and creating after moving into our New England farmhouse. With much excitement, I created several items for my children's rooms. I am very fortunate to be able to continue with this passion in my current Maple Shade Kids designs.

How do you schedule your day?
I really like a variety in my days and weeks so I am quite flexible in my creative process. I do, however, have specific times I work:
5:30/6:00am I wake.... ahh, this is my favorite time of day! The house is so peaceful. While sipping on hot brewed coffee, I check for sales, return emails, pack products to be shipped and write down my "work goals" for the day.
7:30am I wake my three children, feed them breakfast, pack their snacks and drive them to school. While out, I usually drop off any packages I need to ship at the post office.
9:00am I return home and start working on my goals for the day whether it be creating collages, cutting my wood products, organizing my creative space or taking pictures of products to be posted online.
12:00 noon: With the warmer weather here in New Hampshire, my husband and I try to go for a 30 minute walk and then return for a quick lunch.
1:00 pm Back to creating.
2:50pm Make snacks for my children who arrive home at 3:00.
3:00-6:00pm Bring children to extracurricular activities, prepare dinner and try to fit in a few quick emails, facebook/twitter postings and/or put a coat of sealer on products I created during the day.
6:30pm - One of my most favorite and important times of the day is when my family and I sit down for dinner and discuss our day.
7:00pm Help children with homework, read with them and have them get ready for bed.
8:00/8:30 Get kids into bed.
8:30 - Answer emails, finish any goals I need to complete for the day and then relax with a book or movie.
10:00pm - Sleep

What % of your day do you allot for your Etsy Shop?
Etsy is where the majority of my sales take place. I just love the support, community and opportunity it offers. I would say about 90% of my work day is committed to my Etsy shop whether it is creating products that I have sold through Etsy, replying to convos, listing new items, or taking pictures of products to be posted.

If you have children, what is your tip for occupying young kids so you can work?
Even though I try to complete most of my "creating" while my children are at school, there are always days that this just isn't possible. At these times, I let them use their creative spirit with my scraps of wood or pull out the crayons and give them the opportunity to put their design ideas for Maple Shade Kids onto paper (which they are always anxious to do). Also, I just recently bought a MAC laptop. It is so wonderful to be able to sit outside and finish listing products, replying to emails or completing interview questions :) while my children play and have fun.

What do you do for "ME" time?
I would say my daily 30 minute walk is the time I recharge my batteries. I also enjoy my quiet time in the morning before my family awakes. In addition to these moments, I exchange babysitting services with my friend a few times a month. This gives my children the opportunity to play with their friends and gives me "mom time" to browse shops for inspiration, take a walk or enjoy a nice dinner with my husband.

What is your best organizing tip?
Have a plan for each day by writing down goals.


Luisa @ Dance in my garden said...

It's always interesting to read how others balance that ever elusive work/life/family balance. I'm yet to achieve it!
I can certainly relate to the 30 minute walk time - something I need to get back into the hang of!
Thanks for a great post.

Polar Bear Creations said...

Wonderful post!
I get inspired by reading how other creative women work. :0)

kat (kats in the belfry) said...

great to get to know a bit about wanda :)

Banana Bottoms said...

Nice to see how other moms fit it all in :)

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