Balancing Life and Business
Olivia Bertalan is the owner and designer of The Crafted Co., an alternative children’s clothing company. Not only is she a business owner, she’s also a wife and mother of three beautiful children. We conducted an interview with her and learned all about how she balances being a mom and a boss lady.
Q: What inspired you to start The Crafted Co.?
A: Honestly, I supported small businesses that sold children's clothing and decided to start my own because I wanted to dress my kids in really cute clothes but couldn’t afford to splurge too much so I figured it’s a great source of income and I get to do something I love. When I went shopping for my kids, I didn’t want them to blend in with everyone else’s kids because I wanted them to be unique and it’s fun to get to dress them.
Q: You’re also a stay at home mom, how does that affect your daily work schedule and how do you make it work?
A: A lot of early mornings and a lot of late nights! Wake up before the kids and stay up after they get to bed. I’m lucky because I can get work done during nap times or daycare so I usually do a ton of work then. I don’t do all the sewing anymore like I used to so that’s nice for me to work on designing and things like that.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge with running your own business?
A: Realizing that it’s a lot more than just sewing and definitely finding the balance between having a husband and keeping a house clean and keeping children alive and staying involved in church the way we do. Definitely keeping everything running cohesively and making time for the important things.
Q: And then the biggest reward?
A: It’s probably the finances because we have the freedom to do things with our kids without worrying about taking money from paying bills and things. So we have the option to go to Disney with them or take them on cool trips, and we can look good while doing. Plus, I get to see where the clothes are shipped and to see the clothes that I designed getting photographed in Amsterdam is pretty sweet.
Q: Since most of your clients are moms, how has that been for you? Easy to relate?
A: It really helps that I am a mom because I can relate to them and they understand things about me too. For example, I make the clothes super functional and easy to wash because I know moms don’t have time to hand wash every item their kids wears. And they understand if their shipping is a day late, it’s because I got caught up with my kids and stuff like that.
Q: What’s it like being a mom while having your own business?
A: BUSY! But I don’t think I’d have my business without them because it’s inspired by them. It’s definitely busy but having them to bounce off of is part of the fun.
Q: What is your favorite way to de-stress?
A: Bubble baths, for sure. And I love shopping obviously, so I have that.
Q: Tips for other stay-at-home moms who also own their own businesses?
A: Outsource. That is the biggest help for me. It helps when I don’t have to do EVERYTHING on my own. Life is already moving so quick, but having to do all of the sewing and orders and other business stuff, it can be overwhelming so having that help was crucial in me continuing.
Q: Tricks for getting your kids to cooperate while you’re in work mode?
A: LOTS of snacks, occasionally a movie will work. Letting them play outside is a great thing too because they really love it and my office space is right next to the back yard, so I can open my window and watch them play and listen to what’s going on while I do my work.
Q: How is it working with children for the product shoots?
A: Let’s just put it this way, I’ve done two with other children and I have come back to using my daughter, Nealie, because she photographs well and she is great with our vibe.
Interview conducted by Rebekah Gonzalez