Kimber and her husband Nick run a wooden toy and decor company in the beautiful state of Utah! I love their desire to give back, with each purchase of a toy a new tree is planted, you can't get much more awesome then that! This duo really create beautiful intentional toys while homeschooling their littles ones and growing a business. Read up on this entrepreneurial mama and how she balances motherhood and business. Then check out her shop!
Hand Made in Utah
Tell us a Little about yourself, your family and your business.
We design, make, and sell modern and personal wooden toys! We keep the entire operation in-house from our offices and shop in Utah.
What did you do before starting Little Sapling Toys?
Little Sapling Toys launched back in 2008, so we've been doing this for a long time now!
How did you come up with your company name and why?
It was a serendipitous brainstorm while taking a walk. Little Sapling Toys represents the what and who of our business.
What inspired you to start your own business and how did you start it?
Nine years ago the wooden toy market was meager and we wanted to bring modern design into it. Once we had our opening line of toys designed and proto-typed, we listed them on Etsy and took them around to children's boutiques. Since then, it's been hard work, trial and error, and hundreds of new designs.
Is there a specific tool you use that makes managing a business easier
What were some of the learning curves of just starting out?
We've been all over the place with our wholesale program and it's taken the better part of eight years to get it managed into a scale-able program that works for both us and our amazing retailers.
What's it like being a business owner and mother, how do you schedule both?
Nick and I both run the business and parent full time, so our success is dependent on balancing off each other and being clear with what we need. We homeschool, which gives us a large quantity of time with our kids, and they spend a lot of time helping take care of the family and business as well.
What has been your greatest lesson in business and motherhood?
When I learned to honor myself for the good instead of the shortcomings, it changed my life. In turn, I try to keep my self talk positive. For example; for years I would try to make goals to get to sleep earlier. It evolved into constantly feeling like a failure because I would stay up late working night after night. When I learned to honor myself, I simply said, "I'm a hard worker. I stay up late working and it's one of the reasons I own a successful company." Honoring myself has freed a lot of anxiety and that energy is much better spent of my family and business.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and mothers?
If you want a successful business, you need to treat it like such and put in the effort and the hours. Network, trust your gut, and immerse yourself in business books, podcasts, and videos.
What does a “normal” day in your home look like?
We plan out our days the night before and are pros at being flexible for changing circumstances. We have employees that we need to be available for, so we get going in the morning as a family between 7-10, work, homeschool, and run errands until dinner, and then eat and get the kids in bed by 8pm (even our older ones). After bedtime, we usually focus on the most important/urgent task that we inevitably didn't get to during the day. We take Sundays off and mostly lounge or visit grandparents.
Besides business and your family, do you have any hobbies you love to enjoy (when you have the time)?
I love to spend time with my extended family, play games, and road trip.
I’m a huge coffee lover, and I'm always looking for new types, do you have a particular favorite?
Brewed cocoa beans from Utah local company Crio Bru.
If you could travel anywhere or do anything in the world what would that be?
Too much pressure to decide! I love travelling, but don't have a dream trip planned.
Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
In all cheesiness, my husband, Nick, is an inspiration to me. When we first met, I was amazed that I found someone who liked to spend SO MUCH time with me. Since then, I can see that my whole life (as I know it) is possible because Nick has shown constant support as I invest in myself in learning how to run a business.
If your children learn one thing from you what would you wish that to be?
Kindness to others. Hard work is a close second, but kindness wins because our world needs more love.