Here at The Mommy Spot Tampa, we love to support local mom entrepreneurs so every week we will be featuring a new one. Juggling motherhood and your own business is always a challenge so we want to hear how all of the other mommies handle it. We are very excited to announce Ashley Denk as this week’s Featured Mompreneur, take the stage Ashley…
What is the name of your business and what is your title?
Flutter Bunny Boutique, Custom Nursery Decor and Accessories, Owner/Designer
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have a two and a half year old daughter named Chyler.
Are you a native to Tampa? If not, tell us why and when you relocated here.
I am originally from New Jersey and my husband has lived here in Tampa all his life. I was working in New York City when my mom, also a Florida resident, met my husband and introduced me to him. We had a whirlwind, long distance romance for a very short period of time. It was only a few months after we met when I decided to move here to Tampa and start my new life. That was seven years ago (Wow!).
Tell us about your company and how you became a mompreneur.
When I was four months pregnant, my dad was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident. This news was devastating. I found myself unable to just go through the daily functions of life and realized I needed a “project” to keep me moving and motivated. It was at this time I insisted to my amazing husband we get started on the baby’s room.
I ended up redesigning my daughter’s room from floor to ceiling, but when it came down to the accessories and perfect decor, I just could not find exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a room that could grow with her and everything seemed to be just a little too pink, too baby, or just not right. So I decided I would design it all myself. I ended up creating her ceiling mobile, letters, wall decor, crib skirt, window treatments, and more.
At that point in time, family and friends started asking me to help design and create items for their own babies and I was delighted. I loved it! When my daughter was about a year old, I decided to make a go of starting my own business doing what I love; designing and creating nursery decor. My daughter’s mobile was a butterfly mobile and that is how the name Flutter Bunny Boutique came to be.
Since opening my business almost two years ago, I have expanded my product lines to several styles of nursery mobiles, growth charts, baby age blocks and more. My business has grown to the point products now reside in 40 states throughout the United States and the District of Columbia, as well as several countries throughout the world. And every piece is handcrafted and custom made to match my client’s existing decor.
What is the best part about being a mompreneur?
I love my job! One of the best parts of being a mompreneur is the flexibility of working on my own schedule; doing what I love, when I want to do it. I have been fortunate to be able to stay home with my daughter and not miss out on a moment while also growing my business. I can work around her schedule which allows me to do both things I love, being a mom and and a designer. And with the line of business I am in, some days she is my inspiration for a new product!
What is the hardest part about being a mompreneur?
The hardest part has to be the discipline needed to achieve all of my daily tasks. Being a mom comes first and foremost, however an established routine is necessary so you can go through the day with focus. Responding to emails and creating new products does not put the groceries away. Without a schedule, it is easy to become overwhelmed and not know where to start your day.
How do you balance motherhood and running your own business?
I don’t know that I do, although I have been told I run a tight ship! A schedule is a must when being a parent and running your own business. Though I am not sure there is ever a perfect balance. I think if I give 100% to my business on any given day, than I am not giving that 100% to my daughter and family at the same time.
Though some days I may spend more time than I would like trying to grow my business, I try not to feel guilty. I know I am raising an independent daughter who will endeavor to set and reach her own goals, just as I was raised. And help from my husband, family and friends is extremely important to maintain a comfortable balance; it really does take a village.
Any tips or advice you would like to offer other mompreneurs (or aspiring mompreneurs)?
You can achieve anything if you are passionate about it. Some days will inevitably be more difficult than others. Just because you are a mom and a business owner doesn’t mean life does not happen as well. There are challenges and obstacles.
Create a business plan. Set your goals and write them down. Being organized is very important. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake and never stop learning and growing. And be sure to take time out of every day for yourself, your family and your friends. It is important to tackle each day anew.
Where can we find your organization?