I've spent a lot of time with kids through the years. Before becoming a mom, I was a babysitter, nanny, second grade teacher, private tutor, and children's event coordinator- I knew I wanted to offer something that would be fun, creative, educational, and hands-on.
Around that time, I had ordered hand-painted, wooden peg dolls to use as decoration on a table at my daughter's Lilly Pulitzer birthday party. I didn't realize the girls (11 and 12 years old at the time) would actually want the dolls to take home with them. I was happily surprised that 12-year-olds still found them interesting and adorable.
That party made me realize the appeal that these little wooden peg dolls had to a range of ages. The peg dolls also reminded me of something my mom would have painted or played with as a child. I was drawn to their tiny size and their vintage feel (with fresh Lilly outfits on, though :)...
I decided to paint my own dolls, enlisting my artistic mom in this little painting adventure. She is retired and often enjoys taking painting classes and so this seemed like a perfect fit for her, too. I thought we would be a good team- I could place the orders for materials and work the booth, and she could do the painting.
When the materials first came in (wooden peg dolls and paint), I couldn't resist trying to paint one myself. My first one was a funny failure but I kept trying to get it- so that I could contribute to the "making" part of it, too. While I was showing my mom how we could do this, I became hooked on painting these little cuties. The more I painted, the more ideas I had of what I wanted to try to paint. It unleashed a side of me I didn't know about yet. I learned to start simple and to learn along the way, and suddenly I had painted 100 peg dolls to sell for the Holiday Market.
Those little peg dolls raised a good chunk of change for our school, and I was gifted with a new hobby. The reactions of everyone who saw them also made me realize what a draw they were and that I should consider selling them year-round. The biggest hurdle that was stopping me was being able to organize the actual "selling" part of it- keeping track of orders, costs, profits, shipping, etc. I waited and waited- only selling at the school fund raiser, a few craft markets, and handmade shops- until Square came along.
Originally, I was introduced to Square by asking merchants what they were using when they ran my card through that "little white square". I was amazed at the simplicity of being able to take credit cards with a mobile phone or tablet. I was intrigued by how it worked and signed up for a Square account so that I could start learning about it.
Then, I began noticing that the system had become a lot more than just a little white reader, - I asked a shop owner about it once, and he showed me all of the things he could do with Square in his brick and mortar shop. I realized then that Square offered a host of operating options and systems. Everywhere I went, it seemed like small businesses were using and loving Square.
Fast forward a couple more years to where we are now, and I am ready to grow and open my own online shop- with the help of Square! The exciting part is that I am also expanding my shop offerings and adding a new line of items for children! If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that my kids and I made sensory boxes in lots of different themes.
We shipped them all over and asked for feedback. You all on Instagram helped tremendously this summer by answering questions and helping us realize what works best with this new product. I am so excited to unveil to you our new additions and our new shop! Here are 2 photos for a quick peek into what's coming...
Building my shop with Square has been easy and quick- I have had the best care with the Square platform. I have been so thrilled with their courtesy and patience. The directions have been thorough and the responses to my questions have been timely and helpful. What I have really loved is how encouraging Square has been as they see the shop coming together. We have hopped on calls when needed and emailed as needed to bring the store to life together.
It has been a wish come true to work with Square, and I am extremely grateful that they offered to create a shop for me. Knowing that I have a system in place and the tools I need to stay organized in every aspect of running the business makes me feel at ease about this step into owning my own shop. Square has given me the confidence to go for it with the support to back me up as I run this small, one-person business.
And, so...here we go! Welcome to my new Square Online Store! I hope you love what we have created!
Thank you to Square for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.