Posted on May 06 2016
My name is Carmen West and I'm the owner/designer of Little & Lively, an apparel company located in Abbotsford, BC. I make ridiculously cute handmade clothing for littles and I just wanted to share a little bit about my company and personal life. This is the first of a series of blog posts which offers a behind the scenes look at Little & Lively, our workspace and how our products are made!
One of the values of our business is maintaining a healthy balance between work and family life (which isn't easy). I strive to keep business operations at home as much as possible (and I try to allow the same for my sewers and other contractors so that they can work from home and be with their families too). Sometimes it can feel like the business is taking over life, but by putting up boundaries and trying not to expect too much from myself, I've found a way to make it work! I run this business with the help of my savvy husband, Jordan, who keeps me organized and the bookkeeping on track, which is essential to the success of Little & Lively!
We have two daughters, Daphne & Wynnie, and they are the light of our life! I can honestly say I'm living my dream by being able to operate a creative business from home while being a mother at the same time! The multi-tasking can be tough at times but I wouldn't trade this arrangement in a million years! I really value the flexibility of being able to start and stop working around the needs of my kids and having an active/present role in their day to day lives!
Sometimes I feel so over-worked that I don't feel like I'm being the the kind of mom I want to be and I really beat my self up over it. It can be hard to multi-task to be both mom and entrepreneur and sometimes when I feel like I'm doing really awesome at one thing, the other suffers a bit. I know I'm not the best at multi-tasking so I find the best way to cope is to be really intentional about mommy time and then carve out designated chunks of work time when the kids are sleeping or having daddy/grandparent time.
It can be difficult to have a day off when you work from home because your to-do list is always staring you in the face! So when we have a free morning or afternoon as a family, we leave the house! We'll often have family outings at a park or go to a local cafe called Oldhand where we always run into friends and familiar faces!
Daphne is one of the funniest and sweetest girls you will ever meet and Wynnie smiles so easily! When stresses of the day starts setting in, my giggly baby girl or a hilarious conversation with my toddler can often melt me and put me at ease again. I wish you could be a fly on the wall and watch Daphne 'help' put tape on shipping boxes or bundle up little tissue paper packages which she intends to bring to the post office to send to 'her customers'. Or I wish you could witness my photogenic goofballs during a mini photo shoot where I'm aiming a camera at them trying to get them to both look at the camera at the same time - a nearly impossible feat but only possible because these girls are so sweet and not strangers to having a camera in their face!
I'll be posting more 'behind the scenes' posts about Little & Lively and how our products are made in upcoming posts!
1st Photo by Jayme Anne Photography
2nd Photo - Headbands by Minimoc