*Update: The giveaway has ended. Thank you all for playing, and congratulations Dusty! Check your inbox for details.
I am amazed by mamas. All mamas. Each and every mother has a unique story, unique hardships and struggles and unique and special love for her babies. Each mama lays down her life in a million ways every day for her family, whether she stays at home, works from home, or goes to work outside the home to help support her family. Each of these jobs is especially impressive and difficult and each deserves praise.
When shopping for products for my family or my home, I especially love to support shops run by mamas. It makes me feel good to put my hard-earned money in the pocket of a mom who's working to support her family, rather than shopping at big name stores. Those are great too- so many mamas work for big name stores- but there's something really personal and tangible about shopping on Etsy where you can see the photo of the sweet mom who makes her products by hand. It's fun to follow shops I love on Instagram and see the shop owner's life behind the scenes. You don't get that from the big shops.
When I started thinking about adding sponsor options to the blog, one of the things I wanted to focus on was finding ways to support mamas. I want to feature women who take their talents and use them for the good of their families. I want to help them in their endeavors, any little way that I can. Mamas are amazing!
And so friends, meet Lilah Higgins. Wife to Zac, mama to sweet Fletcher and another on the way, co-owner (with her husband) and creative mind behind Techne Arts Design, owner of TechneArts Etsy shop, and blogger (over at Just a Sparrow). Sounds like a lot right? To me too. I was smitten with this girl the moment I read her first email, and LOVE everything in her Etsy shop (I especially love the new gold & silver leaf prints!!).
I'll let Lilah tell y'all a little bit about herself:
"My husband, Zac and I, decided before we got married that I wasn't going to work. We believe that our God-given roles just wouldn't be fulfilled well for us as individuals if I wasn't at home, supporting and caring for our family. Even before we had kids, I was home cooking, cleaning, and keeping the house up so that when Zac got home, we could just be us. This meant that for a good chunk of our marriage, we were dead broke. We live simply, which we love, but at times, living simply is really difficult.
The idea for our at home business started when I was pregnant with our first son and my husband was out of work for a month (the longest we've ever gone unemployed). He had a number of seasonal, part-time jobs over the course of our 1 year marriage at the time, but just couldn't seem to land a full-time, steady job in his field of choice. We're both tech nerds (hubby more than me) and so we started researching what kind of business we could open. My parents supported me greatly in that they paid for art classes for me for the entirety of my childhood. I've always loved design and my dad, being an architect, I've always been around computers and skilled designers. I remember as a little girl, sitting at my dad's desk, playing on Windows Paint and designing him "big faces" and love notes for his desk. As I grew, I was asked to commission a few art pieces which eventually led to my interest in Photoshop and graphic design. During my late teen years, I had churches, family, and friends asking me to design invites, business cards, brochures and more.
When my husband and I sat down to talk about what kind of business we could run, graphic design and artistry was first on our minds. After we put our website up, we waited and waited, sometimes it feels like we're still waiting for that big break. One day, I was digging through a countless amount of my old drawings, sketches, and paintings and decided they would do well to don someone elses walls! Enter my Etsy shop, a fun, easy way to sell my art directly to anyone who wants it!
Now, our son (Fletcher, 10 months) naps very well, so I use that time to balance between keeping up the house and managing art, my graphic work, and my Etsy shop. Somedays, I'm not able to accomplish anything regarding business except maybe check the stats to see how traffic is doing. Somedays, I get really frustrated with balancing the two! To my dismay, I've often let Fletcher cry a little long after his nap if I'm working. But, when it comes down to it, I am mama before I am designer. Sometimes I just want to hide under the veil of motherhood too! I like the lack of checklist items and the ability to just get down on the floor in my yoga pants and chase a crawler around.
Owning your own business is a scary, challenging thing. You really have to put yourself out there without much feedback to get things off the ground and especially as an artist, that's really hard at times. My hubby gives me full support and wonders at how I do it all. He is now gainfully employed and can no longer put time into our business, but he changes many more diapers than I ever thought he'd need to. There are a few late nights sprinkled in there as I attempt to build our business, but at the end of the day, when the computer's off and the baby is asleep, I am still my husband's wife, gladly. We really are able to work as a team in all aspects and I appreciate my "business partner" very much. We are now expecting once again and can't wait to see what else, business-wise or not, God has in store for this little family of four!"
Isn't she sweet?! In case you didn't love her enough already, Lilah has offered to give three beautiful pieces from her Etsy shop to one lucky reader! This amazing prize includes:
The total value of this amazing prize is $83. Not bad, huh?! To enter, follow the Rafflecoptor to win city! Best of luck, and I'm jealous of whoever wins! (Hope it's you!)
|1 Antler "Breathe" Watercolor painting|
|1 Original "be brave" Watercolor painting|
|and 1 Set of 3 Love & Baroque Style Watercolor Postcards!|
a Rafflecopter giveaway