Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Meet Lucia // Grey Ham NYC

I'm slowly getting back into the groove of things again with posting and sharing some awesome shops with you all. It's hard to stay away. I'm blown away time and time again at how creative and kind some of you lovely people are! Especially those that have taken the big risk of starting their own business with high hopes and huge fears. It's such a huge task, and there are almost always set backs, but I'm so inspired by those that pursue a dream/vision and make it happen without giving up... without wavering. It's my desire to support those small shop gems that are so worth purchasing from! Lets support each others' dreams and visions all while making friendships along the way!

I love scrolling through instagram and building connections with people! When I stumbled upon the lovely Lucia and her new shop, "Grey Ham", I immediately thought to myself, now this is a mom who gets it! The modern simplicity of her pieces make it easy for both boys and girls to wear! Sometimes big name kids' clothing stores just really don't do it for me. I have a feeling you can relate ;). So, when I find a shop as good as this, I can't move on, I must reach out, give it a go, and share the goodness with anyone who would want to know! The tees and tanks are super soft, so the boys are more than happy to throw them on! They make a statement without trying too hard, which I love!! It makes me excited to see what Lucia comes up with next!! Take a look at the tanks she sent us below but if you want to see more (and believe me, there is!) go to GRAYHAMNYC.COM and shop away!


"american cool" & "titan"

this tank also comes in other colors :)

This tank comes in a white tee as well!

coolest kids on the block right here!... ok clearly I'm biased :) but still!

So yeah... they felt like, extra cool in their new tanks apparently.

I would love to introduce you to Lucia! She's one of those that wears many hats and is multi-talented! Here's a little excerpt from her website that explains a little more about why/how she got started with her shop...

"Launched Summer 2014, Grey Ham is a contemporary line of shirts for young children.  Simple + clean designs that are bold, unforgettable and 100% unique, just like our children.  We are also very partial to monochrome!  Creator, Lucia Maxwell, has had a long time passion for graphic design learning many of her skills from her father's photography business.  She actually honed those skills as an attorney designing many of the demonstratives used at trials.  Once she had her son Graham and decided to stay home with him, she started a successful line of art for children's rooms.  With Grey Ham, she strives to produce designs that reflect her son's childhood and the city he lives in...the best city!"

She's a hard working, creative, inspired, and driven stay at home mommy who also runs her own company! Props. This is no easy task and life quickly becomes juggling, balancing, and trying to stay on top of all the craziness. I have so much respect for her and the growth that she has already experienced in just weeks! It is phenomenal and very telling. With that being said ... meet Lucia!


Lucia and her lovely family


Where did the name "Grey Ham" come from? 
My 20 month old son's name is Graham.  When I was pregnant with him, I use to call him my little Grey Ham.  Just something silly I would do.  I liked it for our brand because it was different!


Who/What inspired you to start your own clothing line? 

 After having my son, I started a really successful nursery art business.  I'm still doing that but I wanted to do something that also included my love of fashion.  My son is obviously my biggest inspiration.  It's so easy to design things when I am just thinking of him.
 

What has been your biggest challenge so far?  

The upfront costs!!  With the nursery art business, there really weren't any.  I'm taking a bigger leap of faith with GH.  It's fun and scary at the same time!
 

For those that are considering starting their own business, what advice would you offer them? 

One word.  Instagram.

 

What is something you hope to accomplish with your brand? 

I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself, so I'll be happy if things continue to be successful and people like our designs.
 

If you were deserted on an island and could only have 3 items with you, what would they be?  

TV with cable, sunscreen (or I'd burn), and lots of "refreshments."

 

What is something super quirky about you? 

I'm double jointed and can put both legs behind my head. 



Thanks so much Lucia! I love your answers :) ... and I've always been jealous of double jointed people! I have a hitch hikers thumb does that count? HAHA jk. But for real, I'm grateful for meeting such a gem as you and look forward to staying in touch and getting to know you better! I'm honored to support such a great brand and am thrilled to see what happens next!!

Lucia is amazing and is offering all my readers FREE SHIPPING on any purchase now through August!!! Yes, for real... I'm actually serious :) Just go to greyhamnyc.com and enter the code "thelittleslife" to claim the discount! I'd jump on that if I were you :) Also be sure to follow @greyhamNYC on instagram so you are the first to know about flash sales and giveaways!! You won't be sorry!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Meet Hannah // Flychicks Handmade Goods

It was almost a year ago that I randomly found this sweet chick (pun intended) ;) and her sister's little business. Or maybe she found me...I honestly don't remember now, but it's one of the best things that's happened on my little blogging venture! Hannah is one of those people you'd be lucky to meet. She's down right genuine and passionate! Just icing on the cake that she's found her "thing" and decided to make it available to all of us to enjoy! She is a busy lady, but driven. She stands for quality and works her tail off to bring you only that... nothing less. Even if that means super late nights and a customer who asks for ridiculously specific dimensions on a bag... she's up for the challenge! I seriously love it and am so inspired and honestly so proud to know her.

I reached out to her a couple months ago because of a major surgery and a need that I felt only she would know how to meet and be up for. I'd soon be undergoing a prophylactic (preventative) double mastectomy. My mom (who just recently did the same) told me that one thing that REALLY helped her was having a fanny pack to put the drains in (sorry for the TMI but its the truth people, and its real life). Her only gripe was that the one she had was super ugly. Why can't we have function and style put together?? That's where Flychicks came to my mind immediately! I sent her the dimensions of the fanny pack my mom had that fit all the drains perfectly and added in some special requests and she totally pulled through for me! check it out below!


obviously this was taken before I had my surgery. thought I'd spare you drain photos.


I'm obsessed with floral and strips paired together and really these two prints are a match made in heaven! The pack is soft so I could wear it in bed even, and when I'm done using it this way, she included a leather cross body strap to replace the one around my waist. HOW PERFECT!

You really have to check out her shop and if you ever get any ideas of your own that you don't see on her website, TELL HER! She loves to bring new ideas to life and especially loves to give you what you're looking for! She's basically really awesome ;)

Here's a couple photos of the matching tote bag and clutch that I already have from her that I loooooove!



Now that you have a good idea of who this lovely lady is, lets learn a little more about her and why she started this fab little company in the first place! Here's a little Q & A I was able to do with her!


How was FlyChicks Handmade Goods born?
In 2010 my sister, Emily, and I decided we wanted to make a tote of some sort. We realized we didn’t really know how to sew, so we went to our mom’s house, borrowed her sewing machine and set up shop in my sister’s living room. I Googled YouTube videos, online tutorials and anything I could think of to teach myself. I was determined.  After a couple hours of this, I decided we need another sewing machine.  We drove to WalMart and I bought my first sewing machine: a Singer with a years free subscription to Martha Sewart Living!!!! BONUS!
It wasn’t until I finally decided to call it a night at 4 in the morning that I realized that there was no turning back. I had found my calling. This is what I was meant to do.

Any significance/inspiration behind the name?
FlyChicks Handmade Goods was created and named by my sister and I. It didn’t take long for us to decide on a name. We really loved the word “Fly” and wanted that to be the base of our brand. We went back and forth a few times with different ideas and combinations, but when we thought of “FlyChicks” it clicked. It just felt right. The word “Fly” has many different meanings to us:  growth, height, endless possibilities … it also means cool, great, awesome, creative. The word “Chicks” refers to cool girls/young women(all around awesome “chicks”)
To be able to put those two words together and create a brand that was made from an idea is such an amazing feeling.

What would you say you’ve learned from the experience of starting your own business?
It is hard. It takes a lot of time, patience, determination, discipline and love. When you love what you do, it makes it a little easier to do it. I’ve learned that it’s always changing and growing too.  I love being inspired by other shops and creative people and knowing that there are no rules.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I have two different work schedules. My son’s father and I share custody of Jack (6 years old and the coolest most loving person I know). So a few mornings a week I get him up and ready for school/camp, drop him off, get home around 9, have my coffee and head up to my studio. I check my custom orders for the day, and get sewing. I will admit that I have some pretty serious attention problems, so sometimes in the middle of my lists, I get an idea in my head of a new bag or tote or something and have to make it right then and there. Whatever works, right?
Around 3pm, it’s time for me to get ready for my “day job”. I bartend 3 nights a week at night at this restaurant I’ve worked at for 9 years. I’m there till 2am. Then I do it all over again the next day.  I really don’t like it. It can be fun at times, but all I think about when I’m there is FlyChicks. Hopefully someday I won’t have to bartend anymore!

What is a goal you really want to accomplish this year?
Running your own business is a learning process and it’s always changing. As of today, a short term goal for me and my business would be to work less at my other job and focus more on FlyChicks. It’s really hard doing both.

Who/What has inspired you the most when it comes to building your business?
An obvious answer would be my son and my family so I can help support our home and our life, but to be completely honest, the people and shops I have met through social networking inspire me daily. I see all these women and men who have built a life for themselves and their families doing what they love. To see this being a possibility for me makes me giddy! Knowing that anything IS possible is amazing. When I receive such incredible feedback from my customers, it is only a reminder that I CAN DO THIS. I CAN turn my dream into my life!

What is something that is super quirky about yourself?
I’m not going to lie. I had to send out a mass text to a couple of my close friends and family to answer this question.  I couldn’t think of anything. My favorite response from my sister was “singing jingles”!
I LOVE singing jingles, commercials, advertisements, products…you name it, I dig it! I think in another lifetime I was meant to be a jingle writer!
Runner up answer from my other half: When I’m cooking, I like to listen to Big Band Radio on my Spotify. I love that 1940’s & 50’s music era!


Thanks so much for sharing Hannah! I can totally relate with the jingles! I used to sing them as a kid all the time instead of cute little kid songs and my mom thought it was so strange haha. Some things just stick ya know? I love your business advice... simple and true. You are clearly a determined gal with a LOT going on! A mama with two jobs, one being a business owner, is not in any way easy. But it's so obvious that you are doing what you love... it shows. 

If you aren't following her on instagram (@flychicks_handmade) already, well you must! That way you are up to speed on new product, flash sales, and give aways! Check out her website as well flychicksonline.bigcartel.com . Hannah, being the generous lady she is, is offering 20% off for a whole week!!! Just use the code, SUMMER20 when you check out! Thanks so much, Hannah, for letting me share! Wishing you all the best as you grow your business! xx

Monday, July 7, 2014

Wednesday

pc: Imkristen.com
 Tomorrow night I'll be trying my hardest to fall asleep, knowing that in the morning I'll be undergoing a very tough, life changing surgery. I'm soaking in every moment with kids and husband. I'm enjoying every embrace knowing that very soon they'll have to be very distant. I'm a hugger. Not to sound weird, but I give "real" hugs. That's just how I was raised and I think you can't get any better than a good solid hug from a loved one. It's going to be really hard. It's going to be hard not to be able to hold my "baby". When he asks, I hold him. Maybe that's spoiling him, but I know all too well that the days where your kids ask to be held are so fleeting. And is there even a such thing as loving your kid too much? I think not. I'm going to have to let people do things for me that are "uncomfortable". I wont be able to shower myself, do laundry, brush my hair... the list goes on and I can't even tell you how easy it is for me to dwell on those "ugly" parts. But in all these emotions I have building up to such a big uncomfortable unknown, there's this blanket of peace I have felt as of just a couple days ago. It may be a thin one, but its there. All the prayers that have been said, the planning and care that my husband and my sister in law (Danna's really MY sister) have worked so hard at organizing, the cleaning, repairing, and major organizing of my house that was done in secret by my family (Mom, Dad, Nena, Erica, Eric, Josie) have all made me realize how truly blessed and cared for I am. This part has been so good for my soul. My body is just a body, and I try to take care of it because I kind of need it to be a good wife, sister, mom, auntie, etc., but in the end, what I treasure most right now are all the things that are hardest to put in words. The moments that come with chills, big fat smiles, tears of joy, and an overwhelming feeling that God is doing something and using people in my life. I want to live. I want to know. I want to be proactive.

Wednesday, July 9th at 7:30am I will be at Johns Hopkins Hospital to undergo a prophylactic double mastectomy. Don't google it. Just know its a preventative double mastectomy because I don't want cancer and I'm at high risk due to some stupid genetic mutation (BRCA2). I posted more about this a few months back. I'm going to try to keep up with this blog when I can because it may be a good distraction for me as soon as I am able to type. I want to thank everyone who's thought of me, prayed for me, PM'd me questions and advice and shown care and concern for me. I'm so grateful beyond words. I know I am not the only one to experience this. In fact, there are many that have had cancer and didn't have the opportunity to attempt to prevent breast cancer at all. I'm grateful that I had the chance to toil over what decision I would make to be preventative when it comes to cancer. I'm glad that my eyes are opened and that modern medicine is giving me head start. I do not feel bad for myself, but I'm sobered by the reality of what I'm about to step into.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." (Matthew 6:25-7:29)