Today We Introduce You To Janice from Busy Little Hands
Busy Little Hands started with a busy Mama trying to find little things to keep her baby’s little hands busy. The busy Mama worked as a Management Consultant for years until the travel was too much and the yearning for creativity was desperate. Walking out on a great career, several flower shops were bought and loved into success. But then a sweet little baby girl was on the way and Mama wanted to sell the shops to care for the sweetest baby around. Because this Mama can’t sit still for too long, Busy Little Hands has come into existence!
My name is Janice Kalin and I grew up with a creative Mom who taught me the ins and outs of a sewing machine and the rewards and satisfaction of creating works of art very early. Through all the twist and turns that my life has taken, I was always making and creating with my sewing machine.
My little bitty girlie has inspired everything I make. I wanted to create thoughtful toys to challenge her mind, motor skills, imagination and creativity. We do a lot of traveling so finding compact, interesting toys and accessories for travel was essential. It was difficult to find well made and thought provoking toys and gifts. So learning what would interest my daughter (and me), I designed some toys and accessories to make our lives more fun. With all the lead poisoning and toy recall scares, it is nice to know how and where things are made.
Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
When my daughter was under two, we traveled A LOT! She had been on 50 flights by her first birthday! I was in need of some things to keep her entertained, contained and she had to feel that she was 'in charge' of her activities. So when we were not on a plane, I was searching for things to take on planes. Each store I would go in, I would ask 'I need something for my daughter's busy little hands'. So I started to make things (had to keep myself busy too!). So I started making things to keep my little hands busy in order to keep her little hands busy. And when you meet my daughter there is no other word than 'busy' to describe her!
Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
This shop borders on the child-related realm – but I just love everything in it! http://www.etsy.com/shop/plushism
Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
All of the fabulous people that I have met through custom orders! I love doing custom orders and it often spawns a conversation with them. I have gotten to know people around the world and chatted about their families, tax issues, moving countries…… it is all so fascinating!
Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
I love being a seller on etsy, however, I am struggling to find a mix of online selling, art shows, and etsy selling and this crazy social media. I need to find a balance that will work for me and realize that it is ok to post listings on facebook – I am not bothering people! I am also terrible at adding new listings and keeping my site current……. I just need to sit and do it!
Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I want to make sure that people LOVE their creations so I put a lot of time and love into each one. I have so much fun making all the little embellishments and little details to make everything I make is sweet and unique. I read a book to my daughter – Unique Monique - and I want all kids to have their own special backpack or accessories so they feel special and so that they don’t match everyone else’s pottery barn backpack!
Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
I live in North Carolina and LOVE it, but I grew up in Canada. So I listen to CBC radio all day long! I could not survive without it!
Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
Of course I am a mom and that takes just about all my energy, but I also run the PTA at her school, run the auction at her school and I love to read. My husband is a big runner and he has recently guilted me into running again! I certainly don’t consider myself a runner – but I run. And my favorite pleasure is the Duke Lemur Center. It is an education facility that has that has the largest number of lemurs outside of the island of Madagascar. I volunteer there one or two days a week. I am so grateful that I get to see all my little lemur friends and take people on educational tours through the center to teach them about these fascinating primates and the conservation efforts that need to happen in Madagascar and around the world.
Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?