As an owner of a small handmade shop myself, I’m always intrigued and drawn to other handmade shops. I love watching my children indulge in the greatness of a handmade item. An item that someone put their own love into.
Hence, let me introduce you to Marina, and her lovely handmade shop NomiLu.
Marina is a multi-talented woman, who creates heirloom swaddles with glorious trims, pacifier clips made of crochet covered wooden beads, and wooden teething rings with beautiful crochet for those little teethers to knaw on.
We are lucky to own one of Marina’s beautiful NomiLu hand crocheted wooden teethers. Since Adler is only a month old, the teething ring hasn’t gotten much use as of yet, but I can tell you that the crochet is beautiful and the wooden ring will be so very helpful for when the pesky teething hits us. Plus it gives me peice of mind that he isn’t going to be gumming on plastic. Durable and washable the teether will last all the drool this kid will throw at it! Plus the ring itself is a great shape for little hands to grab a hold of.
Now the Nomi Lu Bambi Pacifier Clip, we have definitely utilized and love! Adler is starting to get more accustomed to his Nature Sutten pacifier (my nipples are thankful for this!) and in doing so I have attempted to keep it near us at all times. This pacifier clip is perfect. A strong clip that stays put when clipped to your babe’s shirt (or we also clip it to our Happy Baby Wrap). The wooden beads are light and don’t weigh down your baby’s clothing. It also seconds as a teether, with wooden beads with some hand crocheted with beautifully neutral colors, ours is called Bambi with cream, brown and green.
I reached out to Marina, the woman behind the brand, wondering if I could pick her brain… So without further a due, let’s just see what makes this woman tick… Oh and what super power she would obtain in the perfect world.
What is your inspiration?
I know every mom answers this type of question by saying her kids are her inspiration and I will always answer the same way! My 2 little girls are truly the inspiration behind everything I make! They are usually the ones that always come with me when I do my fabric shopping or when I am trying to think of how to change something or of something new to add to the shop. When I hit a roadblock and can seriously not come up with anything, I usually will take time away from work and just spend all day with them. How they play, what colors they use to draw, what materials draw their attention, is all that I take in while spending time with them and utilize that information to make our combinations and color choices! But it’s not only my children, but all of our wonderful customers! I adore seeing everyones photos on our social media accounts and with every photo, I mentally file away the styles and colors that everyone is drawn to or responding well to and it all inspires me to create!
What are your dreams for this business?
To make a blooming brand of baby accessories and products that are classic and timeless, traditional and minimalistic! I would love to see our products, such as our heirloom blankets, be pass down and used with each new addition to your families.
It has always been a dream of mine to one day providing a working environment and jobs for other mothers who are stay at home moms. Moms who aren’t able afford day care while they go to work or who chose to stay home with their little ones. By providing a work place with a free child care program on site, we would love to be able to support those mother and families in need of a second income! I’ve always dreamt to do something like that and with this business in it’s blooming stages, I truly see us being able to make that dream a reality.
What has been your greatest struggle? How did you overcome it?
One of my biggest struggles is balance. Well, that and making sure to find time to get some sleep, haha. Balancing being a mother as well as running a full time business is tough. Everyone always tells you to find a balance and set aside specific times of the day to work, but for me that didn’t quite work out all the time. I would work around naps and bedtime, but because those were not always constant, I would have to find other times during the day to work. And each time I would work, although my kids were right in front of me, I would have this sense of guilt that I was not spending enough time with them! I have yet to find a way to overcome that struggle, but we have found ways to make it easier on me to balance being a mother, house wife, and run our business: planning and a child sitter. I ended up investing in a great planner and utilizing every inch of it to make sure that I had a pretty good idea of what I needed to get done on certain days and my goals for the week. Then once a week, I have a sitter come by for the day and I use that day to get orders out, make fabric runs, answer emails, clean the house, meal plan, and everything else you could think of that a mom would do! I am nowhere near overcoming my balance, much less getting sleep, struggle, but with the help of others, we are finding a semi balance in our lives to work with!
Who is your biggest supporter?
Oh most definitely my hubby! He was the one that pushed me to open up shop when I just started crocheting! If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if I would be where we are right now.
Are you a mom? What’s your most treasured memory.
Mama of 2! Naomi is 3 1/2 and Lianna just turned 2 in December. They are quite a handful, but I am so thankful that they have each other! My most treasured memory is when we brought Lianna home from the hospital. Typically you see photos of the oldest hugging the youngest or kissing the new baby in awe, but hilariously, Naomi completely ignored Lianna for a good 2 weeks after we brought her home! Like seriously ignored her! She acted as if there was no baby in the house and wouldn’t even respond to whoever was holding the baby. I guess that is my most treasured moment, because in that moment, we watched our baby become a big girl and sister and we watched her battle with her emotions and come to terms of her being there for someone else at all times. And now, they are inseparable and Naomi waits on Lianna hand and foot!
How did your shop come to be? Is this always what you wanted to do?
I started crocheting as a hobby after my second was born. Upon the insistence of my husband, I opened up shop a few months later and listed a few crocheted booties, hats, and scarves. I then had a friend approach me in regards to making a few unique accessories for her little one and after playing around with a few ideas, our NomiLu Pacifier Clips were born!
I actually always wanted to be a doctor, so starting this shop was something entirely out of my comfort zone!
What if anything did you go to school for? Does it help with your shop?
In 2013 I finished at the University of Washington with my Bachelors in Biology, aspiring to enter Medical school sometime in 2014. Our second was born just after I finished my final quarter and I chose to stay at home with the kids instead of pursing a career in Medicine. In no way did my BS help with what we are doing now, but all that schooling did teach me to not procrastinate and to make sure to plan ahead!
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
Hmm, a dolphin! Dolphins have always intrigued me and at the age of 13, I even did an entire research project on how dolphins use echolocation to communicate. Lets just say that our teacher was only expecting a 1 page essay and I brought in a full size research paper lol.
If you were a super hero, what would your super power be?
At first I would love to say that I would love to have the power to read my toddlers mind every single time they whine something my way without using their words, but after some though, I would have to settle on having the super power of moving things with my mind… Can you imagine how much easier life would be if I can separate the kiddos during bickering sessions without even leaving the kitchen!
If you could meet anyone, past or present who would it be?
I really can’t settle on just one person here! Past: Audrey Hepburn. I just love her classic, timeless, and traditional style! Present: Steve Harvey, lol that guy seriously makes me laugh! and I really respect how he handles himself in tough situations as well as stands up for what he really believes.
I don’t know about all of you, but being able to move things with my mind would be pretty amazing…
GIVEAWAY : Head over to @mama_sugs to enter to win your very own NomiLu Pacifier & Teether set!
Now don’t forget to give Marina and her shop NomiLu some love by visiting her through the following links:
Peace, Love & Tie Dye,