From a young age I have loved to cheer people on. Perhaps it was my mom’s penchant for celebrations & making! I have found the joy in scanning the walls of Paper Source for the most delightful cards, the cards that make me laugh out loud and those cards that say the things that I am incapable of putting into words. I have loved opening up my home to host, whether it is just a friend or an oversized Friendsgiving. I adore putting together both homemade and store bought gifts that I think might just bring a smile to a loved one’s face. I simply love to make and to give.
So many of us have the desire to do all that I’ve written about above, but with endless to-do lists some of us also need a little bit of help along the way.
I have created a company that helps people create. Whether it is curating a box of delightful goodies for a bachelorette party thank-you, personalizing a wooden bridesmaid box for a bride to treat her bridesmaid, or creating a comforting box of goods for a new mom, or helping put the final decorative touches on a bridal shower or a baby shower, I help create things that are hand-crafted and unique to each event. I have found such joy in translating client’s aesthetic into something lovely and personalized just for them.
I launched my official e-commerce site on February 4th, 2014 and sent a, “HEY YOU GUYS! I JUST LAUNCHED!” e-mail to friends and family and fired up on all of the Craft Box social media accounts.
All the magic happens here in our apartment on the UWS! I have a brand spanking new desk (yahoo!!) and dedicated work area in our bedroom.
I have one super adorable, attention-seeking little rascal, Xander. I would like one more. Maybe two more? I’m not sure I should put that out into the universe quite yet. Delete, delete, delete.
Our little guy is pure joy. He is a real hugger. And a real kisser. Lots of age inappropriate open mouth kissing. He is a bundle of energy with a penchant for climbing things he shouldn’t, Central Park (especially the Central Park zoo and the water that shoots out of the ground on the playgrounds), and his Music for Aardvarks class. He also loves his vacuum and his penguin light sabre I got him from the zoo.
I prepped blog posts to keep Craft Box current and visually interesting. I didn’t want it to look stale, or worse, that I had abandoned post one month in! But then I was 2 weeks overdue with Xander and I was digging into my stockpile! I tried to continue to create, shoot, and prep. I actually completed the first set of bridesmaid boxes when I was 7 days overdue. Large and in charge with gold glitter everywhere. Sounds just about right.
I feel very lucky that my husband has afforded me the opportunity to pursue this passion of mine. Not only financially but emotionally, through encouragement on those days where I’m not so sure it is worth it and to celebrate me on those days I hit my small but mighty milestones. It has, I believe in many ways, strengthened our relationship by encouraging a mutual respect for one another’s professional pursuits.
I also love that I get to be with my best little bud all day long! And it means I get to take him to music class and the zoo and the park and … I get to be a present part of his day to day.
At the end of every day when Xander is still alive and I am, too.
Earlier this year I told my mom with utmost sincerity how grateful I was for everything she had done for me. As a new mom I have been completely awakened to how much she sacrificed and unconditional love she gave us relentlessly. She thanked me and told me how proud of me she was – as a wife and as a mother – and that Paul and Xander were blessed to be sharing their lives with me. I always think of how overwhelmingly lucky I am to have all of them so her comment resounded with me.
Me time? Huh? Kidding!
Every morning I get up before Xander and Paul to go work out. It is more than physical for me, although I like feeling strong, it is more-so about kick starting my day revitalized. It also gives Paul & Xander time to hang out in the morning as Paul usually doesn’t get home until Xander is already in bed.
NBC and social media.
It depends on where we are going. Living in NYC minimalism on-the-go is key!
My friend Miriam, exceptional mommy to the cutest UES little lady, Alden, recommended a couple of books to me and emphasized the importance of getting Xander on a schedule early. And so I did. By referencing the books she suggested (12 Weeks to 12 Hours of Sleep & Happiest Baby on the Block) alongside an iPhone app, Moms on Call, I had Xander on a schedule and sleeping through the night early. He now knows the routine and goes down without a peep and stays down for his naps & through the night. The structure in his schedule has been a life saver for us.
I read an article with some mom advice when he was about 7 months old and one thing that stood out to me was: don’t diminish the work that you do that effects your child’s behavior in a positive way. Like the aforementioned sleeping. Siting that often times parents say, “well we got so lucky that little Timmy was a good sleeper!” But as the author points out, that statement completely diminishes the work that you invested in getting him to sleep well. It is hard work!
I love celebrating others and I love giving and I love creating. Craft Box has evolved into the perfect marriage of these three things. I also love that I can support other small businesses by sourcing for boxes (I just actually placed my first wholesale order with one of my favorite all natural, small batch body care businesses) using their beautiful, and often handmade, goods.
Closing the computer and being present when Xander is awake. We have a nanny who comes in 2x – 3x a week but when she isn’t here I still have work going on and a lot less time to do it. But, regardless of time constraints, I make a bit effort to commit that time to Xander and Xander alone. Then when he is snoozing, nap time or night time, I start DIY-ing, packing and shipping orders, and tackle my inbox. That pesky inbox.
Of course my husband as previously mentioned and my big whole family (including friends that are family) that offer affirmations and support my business through said affirmations and purchases.
But big ups to my dear friend Ashley Wheeler who has been a solid fortress of business knowledge, particularly in the sales & wholesale sector and has helped guide me with each email I send begging for her opinion (often responded to and then an immediate Facetime to walk me through it). Her excitement for Craft Box parallels mine and a friendship and encouragement like that is an emoji of hands raising the roof.
Also to Carlie Palmer (neé Mayo) who originally brought the idea of Bridesmaid Boxes to the table and thus started the wheels turning in my brain.
But! I also love Robin Hood and all of their amazing work. I’m running the NYC Marathon this year for the Robin Hood Foundation and can’t wait to raise some money for them to keep changing lives and empowering the disenfranchised.
Joy, Chaos, Love
Remember that every baby is different and every mom is different. Do you, it will work. I promise.
And hey, give yourself some grace. We’re all doing the best we can.
If you want to order something with the code but it is a custom something, contact Craft Box and Leigh-Taylor will push it through with free shipping!