The reason I began writing this blog was to help promote my own Etsy shop…every article I read about expanding your small business included content marketing – AKA blogging! I dreaded the process of coming up with things to say…after all who would read them. The entire process was for promoting my own products but how did I do that, on my own platform with sounding sales pitchy. Needless to say if you’ve followed my blog you’ve probably noticed that I kinda missed the mark on the whole self-promoting thing…however, what I did find was some wonderful small businesses to highlight. And I love it!
A few months ago I was invited to take part in an Instagram loop giveaway (here are the all the shops that participated) which was the first time I heard of Lovely Tot Designs; she was also part of the loop. I instantly fell in love with the fact that that this shop not only sells super adorable baby items, but Lovely Tot Designs gives back to their community! How awesome is that?!?!?! I knew then that I simply had to find a way to work with her.
Fast forward a few months my Little Miss was chosen as a brand rep for her shop!!! Yay!!! I couldn’t be more excited to finally partner with Ashleigh, I took this opportunity to interview her and here is what she had to say!
Please tell me a bit about yourself and your business. Who are you? What do you do? And where do you do it?
My name is Ashleigh Trato, I work full-time as an Occupational Therapist and I own Lovely Tot Designs, a baby accessories company. My studio is currently occupying space with all of our workout equipment in one of our spare bedrooms, but I have somehow managed to make it my own functional and creative space!
What made you decide to start your own business?
I was once a pediatric occupational therapist and I wanted to give back to families like the ones that I was so lucky to work with. Pediatrics is very near and dear to my heart, so I thought, if I am not working in that population (currently), then I can still find some way to be a part of it. Never in my dreams did I think “full-time job”, but now I could really see myself doing this for the long haul — I mean, why not?
What is your company’s mission?
Our mission is to make the lives of parents a little easier by providing stylish accessories that do not require a lot of time to manage. In providing this product to our consumers, it allows us to giveback to NICU’s in our local area. Our hope is to be able to provide enough care packages to cover all 55 beds four times a year or more.
What services / product do you offer?
We currently have available in our shop: bibs, single and double knot top hats, knotted headbands, hair bows, and digital nursery prints. Stay tuned — there is MUCH more to come!
What is unique about your brand?
We attempt to be as organic as possible, and all of our products are handmade.
To what do you attribute your success?
Hard work and dedication. Owning a small business is not easy and it requires a lot of creativity, time and belief in yourself. I just try to stay positive and enjoy any success whether it be a sale or even adding a new item to my shop.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Do your research and take courses to improve your business and find a friend/person in the industry that you can bounce ideas off of and help you maintain your sanity :).
Does your business currently give back either to a charitable organization or to your local community? Please tell me more about it.
Yes. We currently donate to Covenant Healthcare Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We provide families with a care package that includes: a book, snacks and water bottles, a product from our shop, and a notepad and pen.
I will soon be starting the “Babies Giving Back” campaign with the launch of Kaylie’s Kollection. All profits from that collection will go towards the Children’s Heart Foundation, an organization that helps children and families that have been affected by congenital heart defects. I am hoping to bring together other small baby accessories / apparel shops that also give back to their own communities or charitable organizations in a babies giving back campaign. If you are interested in becoming part of the babies giving back campaign please contact me for more information.