need some mama motivation / inspiration? the women featured on #mondaymama have all that and more in their bag of tricks!

aaaand i'm finally back with a Monday Mama and i couldn't have brought you a better gal!

before we dive into all her amazingness - hey...quick questions -
  • where's the best place to snag a going home outfit for a sweet baby girl?
  • annnndddd...tell me your best girl names. once again - my farmer and i can't seem to figure out the one thing we should probably figure out. naming is just so damn hard. do we even have to? don't make me do it.
okay okay okay - enough about me...

i hate to do the name dropping thing and all that jazz, but have you heard of a little blog called living in yellow? rad as we all know erin is, her sister has a trick or 20,934 up her sleeve as well. say hello to business savvy / talent / hard working / amazing mom all rolled into one!

say hello to chelsea of Joyfully Said Signs.

let's hear all about this bizz, but first, as a reminder -

Monday Mama is a little series i put together to feature moms who have started their own businesses. i was curious as to how these moms were balancing their day to day lives and still looked like they had brushed their hair...because friends...i'm still struggling. #hotmess

with that...chelsea of Joyfully Said Signs!

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

CHELSEA | While I was pregnant with baby #3, I got into sign making as a hobby, for our own home. However, I've always been an entrepreneur at heart (as a kid I spent a whole summer making friendship bracelets and then held a big sale in front of my aunt's quilt shop, and another summer I created a whole library system in our playhouse and distributed library cards around the neighborhood... so yeah, it's in my blood I guess). When orders started coming in for my signs through the Facebook pictures I was posting, I ran with it. Soon, my sign business developed into a way for me to quit my school counseling job and remain at home after my maternity leave with baby #3! I was also able to hire my sister-in-law, two cousins, my mother-in-law, and my father-in-law, and two friends. So we truly are a "family" business, which I love!

KARLI | who's your biggest support?

CHELSEA |  My husband, Wes, is definitely my biggest supporter and fan. He has encouraged me every step of the way, shamelessly shares my Facebook posts all over his wall, prays for me, goes on wood runs for me without ever complaining, didn't blink about me quitting my full time career to pursue this dream, and overall displays nothing but total confidence in me. He is awesome! My sister has also been an extreme support, and through sharing our work on her blog, Living in Yellow, she has helped our business to grow tremendously as well. My parents and in-laws are great too!

KARLI | what's been your biggest win?

CHELSEA |  I'm going to say that my biggest win was taking the leap of faith to quit my job and pursue my business with single vision. By quitting my job, it sort of took away my "out", and caused me to develop a deep determination to make my business a success. I also feel that God has blessed that leap of faith, and my faith has grown through it as well! I feel I can trust Him more freely than ever, and that is definitely a win in my book!

KARLI | ...and your biggest lesson learned? 

CHELSEA | The biggest lesson I've gained in the last year is that there is no room for negativity when growing a business. Things will inevitably go wrong (we experienced a whole month where the paint on our signs stopped sticking to the boards... that's a REAL problem for a sign maker, ha!), but you cannot let the negative voices, whether they are someone else's or your own, win. I have struggled with this in the past, but by the grace of God, I have had a real revelation in the past year about how to shut those voices down and choose to believe in myself and speak only positive things about where things are headed. Attitude is so key!

KARLI | any losses? 

CHELSEA | My biggest loss has been free time. It's not that I don't ever have free time... but I don't choose to just sit and relax after the kids go to bed very often anymore. There is ALWAYS more to do... and while I love what I do, I am finding that I have to find balance. Having a baby and starting a business in the same year is not necessarily recommended, but it has worked out for us. However, I am having to re-learn how to carve out time for the things in life that keep me sane and healthy- things like exercising, cooking healthy meals, and just letting myself sit and veg from time to time.

KARLI | how do you balance Joyfully Said Signs in addition to taking care of THREE kiddos!?

CHELSEA |  Balancing my business with my kids has been tricky to say the least, but it is getting better. As we started to grow, I was very careful to plan my work times around the kids' schedule, so I would paint while they were at school or in bed. Eventually I hired help, and we worked one day a week. Soon, that grew to two painting days a week, and we outgrew my house (the business was taking over!). Since moving out of our house, I have been adamant about only working two days a week outside of the home, because it's a priority to me to be home several days a week also. Even so, on the days I'm home, there is still work to be done (answering emails, designing custom signs, phone calls to vendors that we work with, etc.). I struggle with guilt, and sometimes fear I spend too much time doing work activities when I'm home. On the flip side, it is normal for parents to have responsibilities that don't revolve around their kids, so I think finding a healthy balance is the key. I read a great book called "Make it Happen" by Lara Casey which suggests that creating a 3-5 item to-do list daily is key, and on the days that I do this, I'm so much better at getting my work tasks done during nap time, and then feeling free to turn my attention to my kids and housework the rest of the time. This whole area is totally a work in progress for me though!

KARLI | where do you see Joyfully Said Signs in one...and five years?

CHELSEA | My husband encourages me to set really high long-term goals, but I find myself preferring to just build things one step at a time and see what happens. I'm honestly not sure where we'll be in one or five years, but my hope is that we can develop into a commonly known national brand while maintaining a relatively small and close-knit workforce. I'm not necessarily interested in running a "factory", but rather want to be known for creating quality, handmade signs that add beauty and meaning to homes. If we could support our family of five solely through our business, that would be amazing!

KARLI | and to a fellow mom who's thinking she wants to start her own business - what would you tell her?

CHELSEA | Go for it! You will regret not trying more than you will regret giving it a go and seeing what happens. Marketing is key to most any small business I can think of, so do whatever you can to learn how to market your business well. I truly believe that with the help of the internet, the sky is the limit.... it's an exciting era to be a business owner!

oh chelsea - you've completely stolen my entrepreneurial heart! so inspiring and so motivating. now...if you're feeling the same way - show chelsea all the love and check out her social media...and you can just feel free to snag yourself some home decor while you're at it!

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 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