Sunday, May 10, 2009

"How It's Done" with Modern Frills

Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful, creative
and enthusiastic moms out there!


Since most every mommy likes frilly stuff, today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite, brand new Etsy shops - Modern Frills. And, as a first in our "How It's Done" series, we're focusing on an Etsy start-up shop as well as a sister-to-sister business team!

Modern Frills was created by two of my fellow mommy friends, Jennifer and Kristina - who are also sisters! Our kids go to the same elementary school, and we've gotten to know one another by hanging out in the school yard each day when we pick up our kids from school.

Modern Frills offers truly unique designs created with appliques from some of the most popular designer fabrics on girls, boys and womens shirts, tank tops, onesies and tote bags. They also offer darling "couture" bows made with the designer fabrics that you can custom order to match your shirt!
Modern Frills has had a great debut on Etsy, with steady sales, and is already receiving trade show and wholesale inquiries. Plus, Jennifer and Kristina already have a small cult following here in Dallas! You should see all of the little gals running around the neighborhood in their Modern Frills!

I love their take on children's clothing, because they combine the most popular designer fabrics from Amy Butler, Michael Miller, Anna Maria Horner and Joel Dewberry, with interesting, modern layouts. The colors really pop against the solid tanks and tees, and the fabric combinations just shout sweet and sassy at the same time!

Like most sisters, Kristina and Jennifer are definitely a lot alike, but their differences are also what makes their business partnership the perfect match. Kristina is more on the creative side - she comes up with many of the designs and ideas for new products. Jennifer focuses more on the practical, business side of things - and also helps hold her sister back just enough so that she doesn't go completely nuts on a creative streak!

Jennifer is also great at reminding Kristina that they want to grow slowly enough that they are still able to focus first on their kids and families.

Some of their newest designs are these adorable tote bags. The little
girl silhouette style is my absolute favorite! I love the contrast of the black against the modern fabric, and it's just so darn sweet.
What I consider to be one of their most genius ideas is their couture kids bows. They're made using designer fabrics - the same fabrics that you probably already have in your child's closet! You can custom-request a bow to be made in a fabric to match an outfit you already have, and to go with your new Modern Frills shirt! I love finding accessories that you can mix and match. So, we know that Jennifer and Kristina are definitely creative, and definitely make a great business team. But, how have they been able to launch a new clothing line while juggling 2 households and 5 kids between the two of them?

I asked Jennifer and Kristina to tell me more about their new business, their relationship and how they are keeping things running smoothly at home while nurturing their growing business. So, let's find out "How It's Done."


~When people ask you what you “Do” how do you respond? (i.e., work, business, blog, mom, etc.) I usually say that I stay at home with my kids. That is what I do. I may mention Modern Frills as a side note, but I don’t consider it my job. I try to limit my working to when the kids are in school, napping or sleeping. It is tricky sometimes.

~How old are your kids?
Ava Kate is almost 3 and Aidan is 6.

~What are your top goals for your business, career or blog?
Ideally, I would like our business to grow slowly over the next couple of years. Once both my kids are in elementary school, I would like to take up about 20 hours a week. If it becomes more than that, we will have to find help. My kids and my husband are and always will be my top priority.

~What are your top goals for your family and marriage? My top goal for my family and marriage is to always put them as a priority in my life. We are raising our kids in a Christian home with lots of love and happiness. We choose to live every day with lots of laughter together. We have a lot of fun together and I want it to stay that way.

~What are the top 1 or 2 things you do to keep your life in “balance” while you work toward these goals? Slowing down. It seems that we are always have things to do or places to be. We limit the amount of extra curricular activities for the kids so we have time as a family to “just hang out”. We also have date night with our kids individually.

~What is the greatest obstacle or challenge you face in reaching these goals? Not letting the crafty side of me interfere with my family time. When I get an idea, I obsess. I want to make it right away. My sister holds me back. I can be scattered because I want to do 10 things at once. Jennifer helps me stay focused.

~What resources do you use (books, blogs, websites, people) to help encourage and educate you? I get ideas from everything and everywhere. I love, love, love fabric, trim, paper and all things cute. I am just trying to incorporate them into clothes and accessories.

~What do you feel is your most important characteristic in helping you live your life well and keeping things in balance? Attitude. I try to live life with a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances. Sometimes life stinks, but there is always tomorrow.

~What advice would you give to another working/blogging mom if they asked you for it? Don’t let it take you away from your family time. Your family should always be the most important thing in your life. Oh, and also….love what you do and have fun doing it.



~ I am a stay at home mom of 3 kids - was an elementary school teacher for 8 years before our 1st child was born.

~Madeleine is 8, Jacob is 6, and Dylan is 3.

~For our business, I would like for it to grow slowly. Once our youngest child is in kindergarten, I will have more time to devote to the growth of our business so that one day a buyer from Nordstrom or Neimans will see our stuff and want it for their store! :)

~When thinking about our family, we are doing our best to raise caring, confident children in a loving and supportive home. We enjoy spending time together as a family and supporting the kids at whatever it is they are doing...a sport, piano, and school projects.

~To keep a balance, we do not over-schedule our lives. Each of our children typically picks one extra-curricular activity and that allows us time after school and on weekends to relax, go to the park, or go for a walk together. Also, my sister and I belong to a moms group at our church and I really enjoy this time with fellow moms!

~I think the greatest obstacle right now is time. I want ou business to grow, but not to the point that it interferes with being there for my family- so it is a fine line and I have to keep it in check

~Kristina really is the creative one and she comes up with so many of our ideas. I think for me, an idea can come from so many places...the other day, I got an idea from a pair of shoes that I love.

~Not worrying is a big thing for me. That doesn't mean that I never worry about something, but I really try to let things go, say a prayer, and focus on what I can change or influence instead of all those things that I can do nothing about.

~Make sure you keep a balance in your life with work and family and enjoy what you are doing!

Thanks, Kristina and Jennifer! We love your Modern Frills and can't wait to see
your success grow (slowly, but surely!)

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