hey hey! first of all. i want to say how absolutely thrilled and thankful i am for the positive feedback regarding last week's feature on maegen from the modern tulip and mimi's creamery. 

i loved featuring maegen and learning from her...and now we're back this week featuring katie of little mango.

(as a quick reminder - i'm running this monday mama series because i was really curious as to how all these moms were doing it all and still looked to have their sh*t together. i wanted to learn from them...ask them questions. and that's how the series was born! i digress...)

i've "known" katie via blog land for a few years now and i even creepily asked her to be my real life friend (more than once). please please please katie...i know we'll be besties.

well...instead of being my bestie she totally agreed to be featured...and here's some of her own words -
First things first – mama, don’t cut yourself short. You are running a household, raising two sassy little gals, being a fab wife to your farmer AND running two businesses! You should be allowed some days where you’re maybe not showered (…days, a week here and there, not that I can relate or anything J/K ) or out of PJs until you change into a new pair the following night. It happens and we all deserve that, because let’s be honest, we all have so many irons in the fire – whether you stay at home with your kiddos, work away from the home, whatever your day entails. Onto the business….

KARLI | where did your idea for your small business come from?

KATIE | Little Mango has been  a dream of mine since my first son, Cruz, was born. I loved seeking out small shops with cool, unique clothing and accessories to dress him in and, in the process, I loved that I was helping other mamas with their dream. When I was preggo with our second son, Leo, I put together my business plan and mapped out my timing to get the shop off the ground. I knew I wanted to carry brands I loved and that I knew were great quality and different than what every othe rkid was wearing. I reached out to those mamas and asked if they would let me carry their goods in my shop and the rest is history! I spend an obscene amount of time on instagram looking for the newest and best brands to carry in the shop.

KARLI | who is your biggest support?

My family and friends have been such an amazing support system - from helping to provide care for my boys while I'm working on inventory, out at our Pop Up shops, in meetings, etc to being some of my first (and best!) customers to helping spread the love of this little business of mine. I can't even begin to thank them enough.

KARLI | what's been your biggest win?

KATIE | For me, it's as simple as I get majorly giddy every single time I hear someone comment that they've heard about my shop from a friend or they've purchased something from my shop and love it...anything like that. I'm so proud of this business and love that word is spreading about Little Mango.

KARLI | any valuable lessons you've learned?

KATIE | Yep. I’m very trusting of people…sometimes to a fault. The outcome has been that I’ve gotten burned by a couple businesses I’ve tried to work with – for example, I’ve placed orders and they either weren’t fulfilled, weren’t done as agreed upon, took much longer to receive an order than was agreed upon, etc. Even though it’s taken a lot of my time (like a major waste of precious time), I eventually have gotten these businesses to right the situation and have learned what I need to do to avoid this moving forward.

KARLI | do you work outside the home?

KATIE | Nope. I left my job in April 2016 and opened Little Mango in June 2016. I knew that if I was going to do this right, I needed to put my full effort into getting it off the ground and give it a chance to succeed. However, part of the plan for me to leave my job was that I would have more time to spend with my boys. I have someone who helps watch my boys 3 days a week and then the rest of the time it’s about finding the balance between giving them the attention they need and getting work done. Most days, I get up around 5am and work until they get up at 8am, work during nap times and then again when they go to bed. Does it suck? Yeah sometimes I would love to just kick back and watch The Bachelor with a glass of wine, but I also LOVE what I’m doing right now so much that it isn’t hard to do.

KARLI | what would you say to someone who wants to start their own small business?

KATIE | Do it. If you have a passion for something and are willing to work harder than you ever have to achieve it, you have to do it. I gave up a successful 12 year career in casino marketing to take this leap, but I knew that if I didn’t do it now, I would always look back and think “what if.” But I’m not shitting you when I say you have to be prepared to work your butt off. The hours are off the charts, you will try things and fail, you will feel like you don’t know what you’re doing most of the time, it won’t be easy. But you know what the best part of this is for me? Even though I’m working more, I don’t feel like I used to (stressed, drained, always tired, etc) because I’m doing this for me and it’s my business and something I love doing.

KARLI | how do you balance your business and your kids?

KATIE | This is the hard part. One major positive to being a SAHWM is that I get to be home with my boys. In my previous work life, I traveled a ton, worked long hours, was always on call and ultimately I missed out on precious time with Cruz. After having Leo, quitting my Corporate gig and starting Little Mango, I’ve been able to be more present. I spend my days with Leo, I get to pick up Cruz from preschool, I get to feed them dinner (on time) and have some actual time with them before bedtime. It’s pretty great. But don’t get me wrong, there are also times that I am stuck on my phone updating social media, following up on emails, returning phone calls and I feel like I’m totally neglecting the boys, but it has to get done. I just hope they grow up and appreciate that their mama worked hard for them, was her own boss and are proud of what we built.

KARLI | future plans for Little Mango?

KATIE | Little Mango is hitting the streets! We have a vintage camper being remodeled into a mobile boutique. This will up our game and give our customers a chance to shop our shop in person more often, but for me it still allows me the flexibility to make my own hours and spend that quality time with my boys.

KARLI | where do you see your work in one and five years?

KATIE | My goal for 2017 was to have a mobile boutique – and we are going to have that in the first quarter which I’m so excited for! Within the year, I’m hoping to expand the sizes we carry – currently we offer newborn to 6 year and I would love to be able to offer bigger sizes and cater to more ages. In five years, I hope to have a physical storefront that has evolved into more than just clothing & accessories for kids. My dream would be to have a shared space that can be utilized for baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties – because this mama loves to throw a good party!

oh mercy! did everyone else love reading about katie and little mango? now if only i had a background and successful career in marketing...think of the possibilities.

in addition, see why i want to be her bestie? she's remodeling an old camper into a mobile shop. she's brilliant. AND she loves a good party. AND she wants to open an event space. when i show up in nebraska with a bottle of champagne i hope she's not totally creeped out. at least i think it's nebraska... 

what i'm saying is this - if you love to shop and throw parties and support small shops...you'll adore katie. so let's show her all the love!

also, don't forget to use the code SEPTFARM20 for 20% off until april 30th, 2017! shop 'til ya drop, gals!

you can also join the Little Mango VIP Insiders Facebook Group for exclusive sales and new arrivals!


and hey! are you a mama or know of a mama who wants to be featured on Sept. Farm for the Monday Mama series? i'd absolutely love that. the only criteria is that you have to be a mama AND have started your own business...you know, so you can share your wealth of knowledge on how you're keeping your sh*t together while simultaneously tending your children throughout the day AND working. hello power-multi-tasker. just send me an e-mail at karli@sept-farm.com.