In December of 2012 I was newly pregnant with Skylor and I jumped on Etsy to sell jewelry I was already making for myself. It was something I did before starting my blog that I enjoyed. Shortly after I started blogging and recording our lives here and on YouTube and I scaled back on Etsy and threw myself into learning everything about video editing, shooting and writing.
In 2015 I didn’t enjoy making jewelry anymore and I made a growth chart to track the boys heights. I started selling these to local moms and families all over the US. I quickly realized how much I hated USPS as they ruined 5 of my orders, upset my customers and myself, so I stopped making them all together.
One day I was on Instagram and came across the cliche #boymom t-shirts. I had been looking for boymom shirts for a while but HATED the design and price of these ones. It was basic Hanes T-shirt with an ugly font. I think she was charging like $52 or something ridiculous.
Hell to the no!
In true Chelsea form I said I can totally make something better.
So I did.
Clothing is something I’ve loved since I was little so creating my own shirts wasn’t that strange of an idea for me. I originally went to school in Chicago for Fashion Merchandising when I was 18 before I transferring to GVSU. This wasn’t a new passion of mine, maybe just one that was pushed aside when I had kids.
So just like that the first ‘house of boys‘ shirt was created, followed by ‘house of girls’ and ‘house of twins’ which are sold out currently. The house of boys shirts started flying off the shelf, I literally couldn’t keep up with the demand sometimes. Apparently boy moms want everyone to know they are a boy mom. I get it though, because living in a houseful of boys is like living in a frat house!
Speaking of frat houses…
As the months went by I started keeping a list in my phone of funny or clever things I wanted to print on shirts, not just for adults, but for kids too. The next boy mom shirt I created was “I run a frat house shirt.” Just like the house of boys shirts the orders were coming in left and right, sometimes people were buying both at the same time, it was awesome to see those notifications on my phone! A cash register noise would ding and sometimes Jerek would yell from the other room” you got another sale!” It’s very exciting feeling.
Today these are my two best selling shirts, it makes me even more proud to be a boy mom.
I started to make a couple more shirts that were geared toward motherhood and not just for families that had kids of the same gender like the house of boys were designed for. In came the “Eat Sleep Mom Repeat” and the “Embrace the chaos-mommyhood” shirts.
Next up was the wedding related shirts, after all, I was planning my own wedding! I kept seeing the normal “Mrs.” or “married!” tee’s and I just didn’t like them, I wanted something different. So I had created the ‘girlfriend fiancée‘ shirts and then a week later the Wifed Up shirt was then born.
The funny thing is, I get more orders of women ordering the wifed up shirts for their soon to be husbands to wear on their honeymoon! I love it! A design that most people buy to wear the day after they get married they tell me.
On June 5, 2015 I sold my first shirt. It’s been a little over a year and I’m 3 sales away from 500 sales! It’s exciting and hard work, all while I work in corporate full time, run my videography business and blog/vlog! I’m starting to look into trade marking, expanding in both kids and adult items and possibly selling in local shops!
One of the frustrating things I’ve stumbled across is a big Instagram account that started making house of boy shirts way after I did. While the designs aren’t the same, I can’t help but get a little butt hurt that I created them long before they did. Such is life though ya know! I realize that these things happen all the time and I’m starting to see how I can trade mark certain ones, be better about marketing and also open my own website so I’m not just tied to Etsy.
This has been my goal for a while now; a online store that is more than just Etsy. I’ve been working insanely hard on new logo, a new website and working with wholesalers to bring in other clothing then just my t-shirts! You guys, this is the stuff I learned in college and dreamed about doing, working for a company, buying clothes that you would see in shops. The reality is, I don’t have to work for someone else to do this, I just had to do the research on how I could work for myself!
You guys know that I’ve been rocking the capsule wardrobe life for over 6 months now. So the pieces that will be added into the shop will be perfect additions to any wardrobe! They will be based around neutrals, simple patterns, and great for moms that want to spice up their yoga pant wardrobe! I’m so excited about whats to come, it’s going to be a real online store and maybe one day I’ll have a little shop, a brick and mortar store! A girl can dream, err wait, no no, a girl can WORK TOWARDS IT! I don’t dream here, I just do!
With that being said, keep your eyes open for more announcement’s regarding the shop! You can also follow along on the new/separate Instagram for the shop; East + Willow. There will be sneak peaks of new shirts, new clothing, accessories, coupon codes and big announcements so make sure to follow along!
To celebrate almost being at my 500th sale I’m doing a giveaway of 2 Eat Sleep Mom Repeat in the exclusive muscle tanks! It’s crazy to think there are hundreds of people all over the world wearing something I created. As a thank you to all past and future customers, I’m also offering 10% off all orders for till August 19th with the code THANKYOUSALE.
Love you guys and cheers to East + Willow!!!