Mompreneur: Michelle Shepard
Company: Sweet Mady’s Paper
Tell us about Sweet Mady’s Paper
Sweet Mady’s Paper is a custom stationery, invitations and notes studio located in Virginia.
What inspired you start your business?
My love for all things paper! I was always searching for the perfect party invitation or stationery that fit me. Once I started designing my own, I was addicted. Also, I am a stay at home mom to three children and I really needed to find something fun for myself. So I decided to turn my love for creating fun, yet classic stationery into my own business.
How long has Sweet Mady’s Paper been in business?
Sweet Mady’s Paper was just a fun idea I had talked about for years. In December of 2007 (yup, just a few months ago!) my husband and I decided it was time to stop dreaming about it and just go for it. I am so glad I did!
What did you do in your past work life?
I have been a stay at home mom now for 4 1/2 years and prior to that I taught first and second grade in both Baltimore and Virginia. I absolutely loved teaching and working with kids. I hope to do some volunteer work with children as my kids get older.
What is your ideal workday like?
I am so fortunate that my 4 year old daughter and 9 month old twin boys all nap at the same time, so that is when I get most of my work done. I also find time to escape to my computer when my husband gets home. Ideally I would get up before the kids and get my work done, but with three young kids, sleep is still very important in our house!
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
What have been some of your major successes and challenges?
Most of my customers to date have been new moms or moms of young children. It has been so awesome to hear the excitement in their voice when they see their baby announcement or child’s party invitation. Hearing that someone actually loves what I designed for them is unbelieveable! The biggest challenge, of course, is that I am doing it all from home. But, hey, I do get to be home with my kids! Plus, I sent stationery to Kate Gosselin, from Jon & Kate Plus 8 and she emailed me that she loved them. That was awesome!
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Oh I don’t think I have one. It changes each day! Having an office at home makes the balancing act difficult. It’s way too easy to run and check my email or keep working on my latest design, but I just have to remind myself that my number one job is my family and that is truly what is most important.
What advice would you offer to aspiring mompreneurs?
Choose something that you love. It sounds simple and it really is. If you love it, go for it! Also, try to meet other local mompreneurs. Go to dinner with them and find out how they got started and what has helped them become successful.
What is next for Sweet Mady’s Paper?
I am looking forward to expanding our collections this summer to include more calling cards, a NEW Boutique Box and Wedding Invitations!
Sweet Mady’s Paper would like to offer a 10% discount to all Momprenuer Life readers now through May 1st. Just enter promocode:momlife during checkout. Enjoy!