life

7 Great Scary Movies to Watch Before Halloween

I mean, I make monsters for a living, so it probably comes as no surprise that Halloween is my all time favorite holiday. My family loves horror movies. I think my children just naturally inherited it from me, because even my 2 year old loves all things “Halloween” and “skeery”. Like I was talking about with followers on Instagram recently, Halloween is basically a whole season for us – decorations go out the first week of September and stay up until Thanksgiving. We visit the pumpkin patch multiple times, walk and drive around town to check out everyone’s Halloween decorations several times a week, carve pumpkins, roast the seeds and in October, watch scary movies every single evening after dinner!

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PS – did you see the Mon-stor costume I’m working on for my toddler!?

But now that it’s a more appropriately “Halloween time” for the rest of the world, so I wanted to compile a list of mine and my tween’s favorite scary movies that we’ve watched so far this month! Viewer discretion is advised for probably all of these – my tween doesn’t scare easy so I let him watch pretty much any horror movie with me. We have an open dialogue through the whole movie so don’t worry – he knows if a ghost were to REALLY haunt our house, not to play with a Ouija board or provoke it in any way. 😉 I’ll start with my tween’s favorite first:

Hereditary

Gauge LOVED this movie and said it actually freaked him out in a few parts, and has rated it “one of the only scary movies that exist”. I agree that it was really well done, mostly because going into it I had read about how it is more of a play on mental health than a possession movie, and that aspect was so neatly packaged and well executed that I truly liked this movie for it. However… This movie made me physically sick at one scene. I’m not exaggerating – I had to leave the room because I almost threw up. I don’t want to post any spoilers but if harm to children in films isn’t your cup of tea, skip this film. I felt sick any time I thought about it for a full week after we watched it. It still makes me queasy and uneasy, just writing about it. *shudder*

Marrowbone

Marrowbone is one of the best traditional ghost movies I’ve seen in a long time, with a harrowing ending that leaves you questioning everything that led up to it.

Stephanie

I watched this one without Gauge, and really liked it! It was a unique spin on apocalypse/monsters taking over the world without really showing any monsters or gruesome violence. The trailer for this movie is pretty terrible. It doesn’t do the actual movie justice at all, and that’s why I put off watching it for so long.

Before I Wake

I really enjoyed this not-you-typical thriller movie, centered on a young boy who’s dreams become reality when he sleeps – but, so do his nightmares. Bonus points to this one because I share the same first name as the child.

The Babysitter

I don’t know why, but this movie feels like a throwback to 80-90’s horror movies in the best way possible. It’s campy & fun, but there is a bit of vulgarity and suggestive content. My son liked it, I think mostly because the hero of the story was a kid about his age.

A Quiet Place

Gauge and I both loved A Quiet Place! It was such a unique story line, and keeps you coiled in tension for most of the film because it’s so quiet, unlike most horror movies, full of jarring sounds and jump scare scores.

Black Hollow Cage

A blend of psychological horror & slasher film, this foreign film is very slow to build (very) but had such a unique premise I had to add it to the list for anyone looking for something totally different and off the wall to watch this Halloween!

Bonus suggestion:

The Haunting of Hill House

This one isn’t a movie but it had to make the list! I binge watched this entire series in just a few days and loved it! It was pretty scary at some parts, but also really emotional and beautifully done. The story is so unique and unlike most haunted house films in that it focuses on the trauma of the dysfunctional family after surviving growing up in a haunted house, while flashing back to the scary past and how it still impacts them as adults until they must confront their past.

Drop your thriller/horror movie suggestions in the comments!

 

 

Monsters

Halloween Magic Captured: These Roomy Tote Bags are Great for Halloween – and Everyday!

Halloween is my absolute favorite so when my friend Amber sent me some AMAZING shots of my monster totes in action, I seriously did a happy dance and almost cried! You can grab your own Monster Trick or Treat Tote in my shop – but hurry! I’m almost out and the last day to order for arrival in time for Halloween is October 25th!

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These photos she sent of my totes are just phenomenal, completely capture the spirit of Halloween and make me feel all mushy gushy inside!

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Amber is starting to branch out into product photography for makers and I’m seriously considering having her shoot some editorial Mon-stor shots for me, because I just can’t get over how great these tote bag photos turned out! I highly recommend you check out this boss babe’s Facebook & Instagram accounts and give her a follow. She is such a strong, inspirational mama and maker, and her feeds are just gorgeous. Scroll through to check out the rest of the amazing tote bag images she captured, and grab yours today!

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Get your Monster tote today!

Eco, makers

Sustainable Snack Bags That Make Lunch Fun – Meet Jane, The Creator of Snuppets!

I have followed Jane of Snuppets for YEARS on social media and I am so excited to be able to not just introduce you to her amazing snack bag puppets, but also help you get to know the maker behind this fun, sustainable children’s brand!

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Firstly, start by telling readers a bit about yourself!
 
I am a mother of three and have always been a maker at heart, even before I made a business of it! I have done everything from stationery to children’s clothing and even had a children’s boutique at one point. My kids have clearly inspired me and influenced my playful design style. I am motivated to continue “makin” and challenging myself to try new things. I am hoping to dive back into clothing eventually!
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Snuppets are SUCH a cute & unique idea. What was your inspiration for this product?
 
So, when my kids starting going to school I knew that I wanted to come up with eco-sensitive solutions for packing lunches. I made some simple little sandwich bags. When I was taking a walk with my son in his stroller I noticed that he was playing with his empty snack bag as if it was a toy. The idea struck me in that moment to make an interactive storage solution for kids so they weren’t left behind in the lunchroom and Snuppets™ were born! I immediately came up with the name when I thought of the snack puppet concept and decided to trademark my idea!
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After your first design(s) were such a hit, how did you go about evolving your product & adding more designs? Did you know from the start you wanted to continuously add new designs?
 
The evolution of the Snuppet™ has been quite a process! They started with hand stitched features and button eyes. Each one was so unique and one of a kind however I realized that if I wanted to grow the business, I needed to streamline my design process. I decided to draw the characters and have the fabric custom printed. I also started with a velcro closure and have moved to a zipper closure as I feel they are a bit easier to handle for little hands.
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Do you design & sew all of the Snuppets yourself? Do your children help with the design or creation process at all?
 
I design all of my products with the help of my built in focus group (my husband and three kids)! I sew all of my Snuppets™ with my own two tired hands! The making of a Snuppet™ is a bit laborious with the hand cutting and floppy ears so I have not had any success with finding a manufacturer that is up for the task (and I have tried!) I have recently enlisted the help of a local manufacturer to help sew my Reusable Straw Pouches. As much as I love the hands on sewing process, it is nice to have some inventory made so I can spend design time on the computer as well.
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As a mom of three, I imagine life can be pretty hectic sometimes! What are your best tips for time management and organization for maker mamas? 
 
Oh wow, time management is really not my gift. I generally have about 10 projects going at the same time (ask my very patient husband)! It is “organized chaos” around my house at all times! I have converted the corner of my garage to my sewing studio. It is nice to always have my machine out and ready to go so I will hop in there and bust a few things out while the oven is heating up for dinner! If I can steal a handful of productive creative moments throughout the day, I feel complete!
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All of your products make eco-friendly snacking such an easy option for parents. Tell us more about how you use Snuppets to create a positive environmental impact!
 
I really believe that being a true environmentalist is contemplating our impact with choices we make and always trying to do better. I challenge myself all of the time and admittedly have things I personally need to work on in my life. None of us are perfect, I certainly am not. We are all tempted by convenience in our fast paced world but it’s good to check in and challenge ourselves to make slight adjustments that can make a positive impact. The making of plastic bags have a negative impact on our environment and once used, they really never go away. They are virtually indestructible and will outlive all of us while wreaking havoc on our environment! Yes you can choose to recycle plastic which is certainly better than throwing them out however the chemicals released and energy used when recycling plastic is not a great solution. The best thing we can all do is reduce our use of plastic and choose to reuse! One Snuppet™ can last years and replace hundreds of disposable baggies! I have Snuppets™ that I have been using for 3 years. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
You can read some staggering facts about plastic bags here…Plastic Bag Consumption Facts | ConservingNow
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You recently began to share some more politically motivated designs for your reusable straw pouches. Did you find that taking a political stance affected your business in any way? (would love to hear about your choice to use your influence as a maker to create change!)
 
I do try and stay consistent with all of my products having the purpose of reducing waste. It keeps me motivated when I believe in what I’m making and while the growth of my business has been slow, I do feel like people become loyal when they feel it’s authentic.
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What is your go-to self care routine to prevent burn-out and overwhelm as a small business owner? 
 
I am 46 and still feel like I have so much growing to do as a person. Over the years, I have learned the importance of self-care & how it impacts me if I don’t make it a priority. I make time for exercise most days and try hard to make time in my life for people I love. I have recently carved out time in the mornings for some quiet yoga and meditation before my house wakes. I am feeling the value in this and while I have a long way to go in the meditation department, I can sense that this is going to become a habitual part of my daily life.
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Your branding is so on point – did you design your logo & product packaging yourself?
 
 I love the marketing side of making my products. I design all of my packaging materials/tags and coming up with names for new products is so fun. This past year I have added Happy Cloths and Seaside Straws to my collection.
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Where would you like to see Snuppets in the next 5 years?
 
My business has been a slow build but things have picked up the past year. Snuppets™ appeal specifically to children but the recent addition of products appealing to a broader market has helped grow my business. I do have some ideas on the horizon for new eco-sensitive solutions that I hope to launch in 2019. I would love to increase my retail sales online but overall, I am happy with the pace of growth for my business since I only have two hands!
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How many of your Snuppets do you personally use in your household? 
I really can’t say how many Snuppets I have in circulation right now in my house, probably around 20? A lot of them are older models or samples, I actually have very few of my latest designs!
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What is your advice for makers who want to begin acquiring wholesale accounts but aren’t sure where to start? 
 
I currently have 6 wholesale accounts. I am working on display ideas as I think this will possibly help grow my business in this department. I have found that stores like to be given a simple way to display. Space is typically an issue in the retail world so I feel that if I make it easy, they will be inclined to buy! I will keep you posted on this theory and let you know how it goes! (:

If Snuppets inspired you to make snack time more sustainable, pop over to visit Snuppets on Facebook or Instagram! If you can’t wait to get your hands on a Snuppet of your very own, head to Jane’s shop and pick out your favorite!

makers

Meet the Maker: Laura of White Willow Wearables – Fashionable Geeky Goodness!

I am so excited to introduce my amazing readers to creative fiber artist Laura Clark! She creates knitwear for fandom lovers – a way for you to stay stylish while flying your geek flag high! So let’s dig in and get to know the maker and mother behind White Willow Wearables!

The Baby Buddy Nursing Pillow

Photo Credit: Michelle Wells Photography

 

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I live in Calgary (Alberta Canada), I have one daughter who turned 7 months September 1st. My hobbies include knitting, reading and going for walks with my husband. This is kind of my side gig, I’m a graphic designer by trade and have a small business for that as well since I don’t plan on going back to work outside the home once my mat leave is up in December. I would love to be in a place where I’ve got enough patterns designed that it’s a passive income I don’t have to worry/think about as well as doing the occasional custom/made to order piece. I enjoy working but not going to work if that makes sense haha. I like having control over my time.

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Photo Credit: Logee Photo
A lot of your creations are fandom inspired, and I love that! Do you find that it helps set you apart from other knitwear designers, or that your audience is significantly different from other knitwear designers?

Haha, fun fact about being fandom inspired in my work: I thought it was a great niche to get into but it turns out that for markets it’s actually too niche. I haven’t had much luck at markets the past couple years which is partly why I expanded to more “generic” looking pieces that are named for things. So while yes it does set me apart I don’t think my audience differs too much from other knitwear designers. People have varied interests and we’re in a time when I’m on the older end (32) of the Harry Potter Fandom and we’re having kids that we want to pass on our love of things pop culture on to.
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Since you take a lot of inspiration from fandoms, I assume you have a love for geekery! What are your favorite TV shows/games/genres?

I do have a love of geekery, and it’s expansive. Favorite TV shows (some that I have watched multiple times) would be Buffy/Angel, Brooklyn 99, The Office (I have plans to re-create one of Pam’s cardigans), Gilmore Girls, Supernatural, Doctor Who and Firefly (and therefore Serenity). Games…I enjoy Sushi Go, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan and the occasional game of Risk. Genres would be fantasy/sci fi mostly, but comedy, and pretty much anything that’s not horror.

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As a mother and a maker, how do you balance running a creative business without getting burned out or overwhelmed? 

Well I think not being too busy in my business helps. Like not doing markets this year and any deadlines I have are my own so I’m not having to get stuff out for other people. As much as it would be great to have yarn support, I watch one of my close friends deal with the deadlines she has and for me with a baby that would be more pressure then I would want. Also, my daughter is a very easy baby. She has been sleeping well since the get go and wasn’t ever prone to colic or anything like that. So I’m well rested and can get stuff done while she naps. My husband is a great support system for me as well.

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What is your best organizational tips for keeping your yarn intact with a small child around? 
Ah yes, yarn and the small child. We’ve got some of those 2×4 cubby cabinet things from Ikea and my yarn is separated between stock (stuff I sell on my Etsy site) and non-stock (personal projects/stuff for patterns I want to design). When she wasn’t standing it was perfect but she’s starting to pull herself up now so yesterday I bought a couple of the boxes that fit into the cubbies for the lower shelves so she can’t pull individual strands or balls out. Once my stash goes down a bit it will be easier as I won’t have to fill as many of them with yarn.

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What is your favorite self care habits to keep your identity as a woman now that you are also a mother?


 I shower regularly, cause when my hair gets greasy I feel like crap so I make sure to shower when she’s napping. That way I can also guarantee some time to myself. I wear makeup almost daily too, and since it’s  because I want to and it’s not that I feel like I have to, I feel more like myself. Also I go to a knit night once a week. I used to bring her so the ladies would get some baby time, but now that she’s mobile it would be more difficult plus my husband likes his daddy daughter time and I get my own time with adults without having to worry about her.

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What does a work day look like for you, with a small babe? 

I start my day with yoga, I’m doing the 30 days of yoga with Adrienne right now, then it’s breakfast for my daughter and coffee for me. Then while she takes a small nap I have my breakfast and go through emails/notifications. I do my household stuff the rest of the morning while she just hangs out/plays/tries to get into everything. After lunch it is another (longer) nap for her and I do some design work/work on my Pinterest board for my knitting or work on the pattern I’m designing at the moment. Once she wakes up from her nap I feed her a snack and we go for a walk around the neighborhood (which will be coming to and end soon since winter is coming and people don’t shovel their sidewalks) to get some exercise and fresh air. She plays for a bit after we’re back then it’s either snack time or dinner for her and while she’s playing I’m usually knitting while watching her. She might have another nap, nap quantity is very much a day to day thing, but my husband will come home from work and make our dinner (I’m lucky I know) and we’ll eat then not too long after it’s bedtime for her. I’ll knit the rest of the evening usually while we watch TV or a movie together.

Go visit Laura on Facebook and Instagram & be sure to check out her shop!

makers, Uncategorized

Meet the Maker: Sarah, Creator of Smelly Faces – Oil Diffusing Soft Toys for Children

I’m so excited to introduce my amazing readers to Sarah Bodnar, creator of Smelly Faces! Smelly Faces are essential oil diffusing soft toys for children. Their huggable shape and oil infused brains that you put essential oils on for aromatherapy can be amazing tools to help children battling anxiety. A few drops of calming blends of oil and a huge hug from their soft friend can help children relax!

Hi, Sarah! First off, tell us a bit about yourself!

Hello!!! My name is Sarah and I live in upstate New York with my husband and two small kiddos. I married my husband 6 years ago right after he got home from Afghanistan at 21 years old. Since then we have lived in six different places, hoping we stay put for a while now though!

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Can you tell me a bit about how Smelly Faces work?
Smelly Faces are stuffed animal essential oil diffusers! All you have to do is place 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil on the wool “brain” and plop it back in the pocket located at the top of the head. Snuggle and Sniff!
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How did you come up with the idea for Smelly Faces? 

After college I frankly was quite lost. Moving from place to place and therefore hopping from job to job I found myself struggling very deeply with anxiety and depression. One day after helping my aunt with photography for her book, I felt that creative spark again for a for a flickering instant. That night the name “Smelly Faces” popped in my head along with the idea for the potato shaped creatures. I had decided to take this randomness for what it was and move forward with it, setting all fears/emotions aside. The next morning, after messing around on a sewing machine, the original Smelly Face was born!

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Do you illustrate all of your designs & branding yourself?
I do!! This is honestly one of my favorite parts. I have a background in digital media arts: animation so being able to draw, design, and brand everything myself gets me so pumped! I remember it took me a while to convince myself I was “fancy” enough to actually be a company. Branding and logos helped me a lot in this. It was a silly way to trick myself and feel “legit” but it worked! Cause if I have a mug with my company logo on it then it’s the real deal right?
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You were into essential oils before it was trendy – tell me how you discovered them and decided you wanted to share your love of holistic health with others through Smelly Faces.
My mom got me into them! Five years ago, were they trendy then?  I think that aromatherapy can be so great for everyone. Just like a smell can bring you back to a favorite childhood memory, more vivid than you thought possible, I think the smell of essential oils can help provide a similar affect.
 

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Which of your Smelly Faces is your top seller?
Probably the Unicorn!!!
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You recently published a children’s book that is super cute! That is such a different creative process from sewing – tell us what inspired you to write & illustrate a book
Oh dang, writing and illustrating children’s books is my passion. I love everything about it. Creating a new world, exploring characters and building a story line makes me geek out hardcore. I could write a whole essay answering this question, but I shall refrain. If anyone is interested in the importance and impact that stories have on us read The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Jospeh Campbell. It dives deep into how stories are routed in all of us as humans. This topic sparks all sorts of passion in me.
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How do you balance your busy shop with motherhood?
I value efficiency pretty highly. So when I do get time in my office I won’t spend too much time on any one thing. If there are too many hiccups I usually will just take that for what it is and move along. My husband works second shift so he usually plays with the kiddos for a couple hours in the early afternoon before leaving for work. This gives me time to sew. When I’m hanging with my babies I’ll often plot and plan in a notebook. I’ll also often get them involved in the process! Meaning, as I stuff a Smelly Face, they throw fluff at each other and draw on the cardboard box. Then after I put the kids down at night, I’m right back working again.
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What are your favorite ways to unwind from the handmade hustle?
My favorite way to unwind is to watch an incredibly ridiculous movie that I’ve seen about 3,847,284 times. Dumb and Dumber & Billy Madison are both some of my classic go-tos but there are many on the list. Also, cranking Led Zepplin or Michael Bolton (the cheesier the better) usually does the trick.
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What is your top advice for moms who want to begin to use essential oils for aromatherapy with their children?
That it is awesome! I’d say to do lots of research and pick which oils you personally as a parent feel comfortable with. Find a community of people you feel happy with to help you get educated on the subject!

Be sure to check out Smelly Faces online, and say hi on Facebook or Instagram!

life, Parenting

Ending Food Poverty – The Lu & Ed Lunch Program

$1 from every Monster sold through luanded.com will go to end food poverty in American schools.

Lunch shaming is an embarrassing epidemic for children in America. When children have insufficient funds on their lunch accounts, most schools have policies where the child’s hot lunch is taken away and substituted with a brown bag lunch consisting of a cold sandwich and piece of fruit – or in some cases, they are forced to watch staff discard their tray of food into the trash, and are left with nothing at all to eat for lunch, a cruel form of punishment for a problem that they can’t control. You can read more about the sad epidemic of food poverty in American schools here.

I am passionate about creating change with this little monster making business of mine. I already make a monumental environmental impact by using only textile discards, which diverts tens of thousands of pounds of textiles from landfills annually, but I want to use Lu & Ed to directly create positive change in children’s lives as well. I’ve been working out the kinks for the Lu & Ed Lunch Program since January, and I’m so excited to launch it!

All through September, $1 from every monster adopted through my shop will be donated to pay outstanding lunch debts & load funds onto lunch accounts at *Riverbend Elementary in Clyde, NC, a school in a region with an incredibly high level of food poverty.

*My original choice to donate to received a grant and is able to offer free lunches to students for the 18-19 school year, yay! With the help of the staff, I selected Riverbend Elementary, a school where over 50% of students are on food assistance.

Beginning in September, I will take also be taking submissions for the next school to donate to in my Facebook group

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Members can submit their child(ren)’s school or a school in their community through the 7th of each month, then I’ll create a poll for members to vote for the next school to receive donations. Members can add family or friends to the group to use their voices to vote for their local school.

The same school won’t be chosen twice in one academic year, allowing for a total of twelve schools that will receive donations from the Lu & Ed Lunch Program to pay off student lunch debt & load funds onto low income students lunch accounts, and to help fund summer lunch programs for communities where children face hunger at alarming rates.

How you can help:

Spread the word about the Lu & Ed Lunch Program – share this blog post with your friends

Join my VIP group & nominate your local school

Add your friends and family to the VIP group to increase the impact we can make together

Donate directly to your local public schools

makers

Meet the Maker: Candy of Bones and Guts

Today, we’re getting to know the creative maker and new mama behind the gothic inspired shop Bones and Guts! So excited to introduce all of you to Candy & her vibrant shop!

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First off, let’s get to know you a little! Tell us a bit about YOU!

I am still that goth girl sporting black lipstick, and having a love for things that people might find “too dark” or a bit strange. Don’t let my exterior fool you, though! I am a huge hippie at heart, and also a pretty big weirdo (okay, a dork!). Life is an adventure for me, and I try to make the most of it at all times. However, a big part of me that I have worked in my 28 years to overcome is my anxiety disorder and depression. I can honestly say, I am very proud of how hard I have worked to be fully functioning and able to pull myself out of dark times. When I was a child, I had panic attacks quite regularly, and now I still have them, but quite random and far in between. If you’re reading this and struggle with mental illness, I hope you find what works for you, and don’t let it define you.

When I was 22 I met the man of my dreams who happened to be my new next door neighbor. At that time I was in college working on my second degree in Entrepreneurship (my first degree was in Merchandised Project Development from FIDM), and I was a bit lost with where my life would go. My now husband became my best friend instantly, and we were married two years later.

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Our wedding was a fairy tale literally! I had rainbow hair and fairy wings! It was a wonderful day, and two years after that we had a baby boy. I absolutely love being a mother, and can’t imagine my life without him. It is wonderful seeing him grow and seeing my husband become a wonderful father. I am definitely not your typical mom. Being naturally weird has its benefits to parenting. For one, children do some strange things, and I am all for encouraging them or participating. With my tattoos, and when my hair is dyed, I guess I don’t fit the mold of what a mother is expected to look like, or at least what it used to look like.

Where are you located?

I have always lived in Southern California until this year – I will be an Oregonian! The hubby and I will be packing up our three dogs (our first children!), and our son to a new home!

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How long have you been painting? How long have you sold your painted creations?

I have been painting for as long as I can remember. Around six years ago, I wanted to start selling my art, and see if anyone would buy it. I used to only paint on canvas then, and still do occasionally. I wouldn’t say that right away it was a business. it definitely took some time for me to decide that I wanted it to be a serious venture. My love for art led me to want to build my business around what I could create and it is a full-time business (besides my other full-time career as a mother). It has been my dream come true to be able to work from home on what I love and see other people ecstatic with what I make.

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What inspires your art?

My aesthetic is quite eclectic, so it’s no surprise that my inspirations are surrounded by many different things. My fondness for nature is more than just a passing appreciation, and by the many art pieces I have created it is pretty apparent. I sort of stem the majority of inspiration around it and put my own perspective on it. For instance, I love mythical creatures and adding whimsical nature elements into it. Some other things that inspire me include gothic art and literature, bohemian styles, other cultures, and many different works of literature.

 
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Your shop was open before you became a mother. Did becoming a mother affect how you ran your business, or alter your art style in any way?
Becoming a mother has certainly changed a lot. My first concern was for his safety, and since my shop made a lot of beaded jewelry that I made myself, I decided to stop making necklaces with them. It is much simpler now but works out because the main focus is more on the painting. Selling my art was considered to be my full-time gig, and now as a mother of a one-year-old, I definitely feel like I am a mother first. Don’t get me wrong I am never late on orders or responding to customers, but he needs me more. He does occasionally try to help me paint, and I hand him a paintbrush to play with. I’m still trying to find the work-life balance everyone keeps talking about, and I’m sure it will come soon where I have more of a harmonious flow, but for now, I am okay with it being a bit muddled.
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Who has been your biggest cheerleader since embarking on your creative journey?

My husband has always been my biggest cheerleader. He pushed me to start the business, and that he would be there with me to help. He has stood by his promise, and always encourages me to push more. He is an amazing man and best friend.

 
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What has been the most difficult hurdle you faced since launching your small business?
If you have ever run a business, you know how many ups and downs it can have. It can be quite heartbreaking at times because you put so much effort, late nights, and being all consumed in it, and there is no guarantee that it will be enough. My main hurdles in trying to grow my business have definitely revolved around getting my business out there to the right customers. As I spoke of before, my anxiety can be a real b*tch (hope that’s okay for me to say). Sometimes it seems like a business now is a popularity contest, and if you don’t have plenty of friends who will share or comment on your products all you get is crickets. It’s hard for me to be vulnerable with what I’ve created and pushed it in other people’s face that they need it. I know it is something I will always be working on, or at least networking to get support from fellow artists.
 
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What does success mean for you?

Success to me is really two concepts. Stability, and passion. If I can pay my bills, and have enough to still travel, or have some fun with my family that is amazing! Now if I can keep my passion for it and have that stability, that is success to me.

 
You have a really interesting shop name, tell me more about it!
A lot of people ask me about my shop name. Since I was a kid I always knew I wanted to run a business, but not until high school did I think of the name. Bones & Guts comes from a phrase I would say to people I loved. I would say, “I love your bones and guts.” See, it’s not that scary, right? I wanted to use it as a shop name since a business is a labor of love, and a way to tell my customers and supporters the love I have for them for helping me make my dreams come true.
 
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While we’re talking about names, how did you choose your child’s name?
My son is a little over a year and is the perfect unicorn, faery Prince, and sometimes a monster that anyone could have hoped for. My husband and I went to Ireland back in 2016. It was an amazing trip, and when we returned I realized that the trip was so much fun that I came back pregnant. Our son’s name is inspired by Irish names and my love for rain, which is why we named him Rainn.
 
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What kind of music do you listen to?
I am really into metal, alternative rock, punk, folk music, some dubstep, and random songs in other genres as well. Some of my favorite bands are Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, Awolnation, 21 Pilots, Meg Myers, and Mumford and Sons. I’m sure I have a ton more that at this moment I can’t think of.
 
What are your favorite ways to unwind & keep your identity as a mother?

Let’s be honest being a parent, a wife, and a business owner can sometimes feel overwhelming. I’m glad I have several hobbies. Some I like to share with others, and some I need some me time for. If you can imagine the one thing that makes you want to do a happy dance when you get to do it, well, reading books would be mine. Reading is a huge passion of mine, and writing is as well. I suppose my love for reading caused me to want to write at an early age. I started writing poetry first, and now I hope to have a second career of being an author one day. I have self published one book, but I hope to get published by a company in the future. I also love nature, and hiking to be close to it! It calms my very being and is one reason why we are leaving California. I need trees around me and not just palm trees! Of course, art, more specifically painting, is a love of mine. It’s more than a hobby for me especially now that my business is just that. My love for art led me to want to build my business around what I could create and it is a full-time business (besides my other full-time career as a mother). It has been my dream come true to be able to work from home on what I love and see other people ecstatic with what I make.

Be sure to check out Candy’s store Bones and Guts, and give her a follow on Facebook & Instagram!