Why did you start your company?
On a whim, I took up weaving woven wall hangings about a year ago and posted them on instagram. Because of the interest, I started an Etsy shop! Shortly after my hands physically could not weave another, BUT I knew I had to keep creating and selling. I absolutely loved it. Although it was definitely an impulsive start, the fire was lit.
Tell me about the journey of your company?
I was walking around in Austin with my sisters and happened upon a piece of Mudcloth in a vintage shop. I didn’t know what it was or where it came from, but I fell in love. I bought it for a ridiculous amount of money and made pillows for my own home. Again, I posted on Instagram and had so much interest that I knew I had found my next product!
What has been the most satisfying achievement so far?
Oh my goodness, so many things. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see my products in people’s homes and businesses and hearing wonderful feedback. That is still so surreal for me.
What has been one of the most difficult parts of starting and growing your business?I have gone through a number of sources for my fabric. Finding the right fit has definitely been a huge growing pain.
What advice would you give to other parents/moms trying to start their own companies from home?
Start! Just start! It won’t be easy and you may fail, but that is part of the process. I really do feel that those growing pains are necessary and make you, and your business stronger!
What makes Mae Woven stand out, what makes your products and brand different?
Once I learned more about Mudcloth, I started doing market research. I didn’t see any other businesses selling for a price I could afford, so I was determined to find a way to keep my cost low and make my products adorable for the average person, without sacrificing quality. I also have the pillows made locally by stay at home moms, which has been amazing! I have felt such a great connection between our brand and customers. It really still feels like a dream!
What have you learned about parenting and family as you’ve started your company?
Oh man, this is a tough one. I am a total control freak and think I can do it all. I was running myself ragged working during every nap and when my kids went to bed and still not keeping up. I knew this was not going to work. My husband and I had a little intervention and at the start of the year I hired a part time nanny. Shortly after I moved my office from out of our home and hired my first employee (who happens to be my little sister! So fun!). Anyway, people say it all the time and I chose not to listen for too long: do what you are good at and need to do, hire out the rest. We’re still working out kinks of course, but the time with my family has been so much better and I am able to be so much more present with my kids!
What do you wish you had known when you started that you have learned?
Again, I wish I would have hired things out more quickly. A friend recently stressed “there are NO rules in business” and I wish I would have believed that earlier on!
What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
It is pretty awesome knowing that I built this, without help. Definitely a cool feeling. Again, I love the “no rules” attitude, feeling that I am in charge and can do things my own way. It also feels pretty great to provide jobs for women who may not otherwise have work. But nothing tops seeing people loving my products.
What are some of your favorite activities to do with your children?
My husband is from Southern California and we just spent a week there, technology free. We agree that it was one of the best weeks we’ve ever had with our kids. Riding scooters and bikes on Venice BLVD, playing on the playground, running away from waves on the beach, just spending quality, undistracted time with them. It was amazing. At home, we love to hike on the trail right by our house, bath time/dance parties, read books…we are all happiest outside, exploring together.
What advice would you give to first time moms?
Chill out! I was so crazy with my first. Literally, everything was on a schedule. I HAD to feed him at the exact times, we could not be late for naps or bedtime. I was a freak! And it caused me to enjoy everything less. Also, nursing was hard with him and I’m pretty sure it was stress related. I committed to a more relaxed start with my daughter and it has been night and day. Everything has been easier and dare I say, more fun?!
If you had to describe your company in 3 words what would they be?
Quality, unique, affordable.