Meet our newest Small Business Saturday Mom Jillian O’Neil from Middletown. She is the mom of 1 beauty Sadie Grace and started Simply Sadie’s in 2012. Read on to find out more about Jillian and Simply Sadie’s.
How did the idea come about? The business was created out of the philosophies of my family for many years. The items we handcraft, we have been making for our own family since I was a child. When my Daughter, Sadie was born, I knew that I wanted to try to limit her exposure to unnecessary chemicals and by products to the best of my ability. We were purchasing all natural soap and it became very expensive. I decided to attend a master Soap making class and from there we started experimenting with our own recipes. The other items we already made and people would remark on how great they were and how I should start selling them. It started out as holiday gifts for family and friends and organically grew into Simply Sadie’s.
What is special about your business? In addition to all of our products being handcrafted using sustainable, all natural, organic and vegan products-each item is reiki infused while it is being crafted. We are not a mass production line. Our crafting studio is in our home. It’s a family affair. Any product that we sell has been long time tested in our home and something we use on a regular basis.
How do you manage having your own business and motherhood? It’s a delicate balance, but it is helpful that I include Sadie in the production and sales process. We use it as a life skills learning environment. Much of the back end work is done while she is at school at Montgomery Montessori during the day. The fun stuff-crafting and the sales (she is a natural salesperson) is done together. Having her be involved is a way that we can incorporate more time together (because let’s be honest, she is the only job I really want to have). There are a lot of lessons that can be taught by incorporating Sadie into the business. She’s learning measurements and chemistry, aromatherapy, alternative option for medicine and body products, math, sales,time management and advertising. We really enjoy the time together.
Walk us through a typical day: In a typical day, I drop Sadie off at school and spend a majority of the day updating our website, packaging orders, scheduling farmers markets and sales, and trying to reach out to new venues to carry product (real estate agencies, bed and breakfasts, boutiques). Of course, I have several loads of laundry going, the dishwasher, the wood stove, dinner and whatever other household tasks need to be completed during that time going as well. At 2:30 I leave to pick her up at Montgomery Montessori. When she gets home, we do her homework at the kitchen counter, while I finish up dinner. Then it’s off to dance class at The Dance Diamond 4 days a week. Sadie is on their competition team. Depending on what events are up coming, I may craft product during the day but much of it happens on the weekends when we have extended time together at home.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a mom wanting to start her own business what would it be? Know your goal. Clearly define your objective. Are you starting this business to supplement income, to replace income? For me, I always wanted to be a stay at home mom. The career I had kept me away from the home more than I was present. I couldn’t stand it. I needed to figure out a formula that would not only allow me to be home, but be able to incorporate extra hours in with my girl. I didn’t want to have to do parties where I was out of the house. I wanted to do craft sales where I could have her with me at all times.
Share info about your business:
Product can be found at Late Bloomer Farm in Goshen, NY, Strandz Hair artistry in Wappinger’s Falls, the new Pleasant Stone Farm in Middletown, or by contacting us via facebook or the website for local delivery or shipping. We have wholesale pricing available.
We also offer a fundraising catalog available to schools, private organizations, clubs etc
Our products include: Handcrafted soap, lip balm, deodorant, toothpaste, linen sprays, body rubs, salves, shave creams, lotions and more.