This mama's attitude on life and work is perfect " you've got to have fun". If you have a little girl or niece you should check out this company! This awesome husband and wife duo create these classic, stylish little girl dresses! Get to know Stacy the entrepreneurial mama behind Alice & Ames!
Made in the USA
Tell us a Little about yourself, your family and your business.
My husband Geoff and I are based out of Arizona and have three daughters-- ages 1, 4, & 6. We started Alice + Ames less than a year ago as a creative outlet for myself, while also crossing our fingers it could maybe turn into an extra income for our family. Geoff was in his second year at a tough commission based job and we had a 5-week old baby when I registered our website domain, definitely a stressful time to start dumping time and money into a new business venture! It snowballed into a full-fledged family business and we feel so lucky that it did. We're now able to work at home together with our girls just like we've always wanted and we're so excited to see what's next!
What did you do before starting Alice & Ames?
Before Alice + Ames, my husband and I worked together as wedding and event photographers. After the birth of our 3rd daughter, we decided it took us away from our girls too much on the weekends and we closed up shop. We knew we loved working together, being creative, and primarily working from home, so Alice + Ames was the perfect segue!
How did you come up with your company name and why?
Alice was one of the names on our short list when I was pregnant with my first. We never ended up using it for whatever reason, but I still loved it. Ames is a fragment of my middle daughters middle name, James, it's only missing the first letter, J-- which is my youngest daughters middle name. (Did you follow that!?) Together the names just sounded so sweet and classic, which is two words I'd use to describe our brand.
What inspired you to start your own business and how did you start it?
I've always envied families who work together from home. To me, that is the American dream! Not to jinx it, but my husband and I are very compatible, and we both love being home with our girls. It may not be a very traditional lifestyle, but it's one we've always wanted bad enough to work really hard for. We feel pretty blessed every day that we're able to pull this off!
Is there a specific tool you use that makes managing a business easier?
I could definitely be more organized and tech-savvy when it comes to this, but I'm a very hands-on person so pen + paper is a must for me. I create weekly to-do lists and it feels good to physically cross things off as I go. As far as our website, I don't know how we ever got anything done without Shopify + Shipstation!
What Were some of the learning curves of just starting out?
Oh gosh, where do I even begin?! As a new company, it was really hard to keep up with demand. Growing pains are real and it took some figuring out each month. It seemed like we were constantly making changes to our shipping process, our packaging, our purchase order sizes, etc until we got into a good groove. In a perfect world, we would've had all that figured out beforehand, but it's hard to know what works and what doesn't until you're in the thick of it.
What's it like being a business owner and mom, how do you schedule both?
While 90% of the time it's a dream come true being able to work from home, there's that 10% of the time where it actually feels much harder. Thankfully I'm able to get a lot done during nap and bed time, but when I can't it gets tricky. It's easy to get distracted, to feel needed elsewhere, and to get that cloud of mom-guilt every once in a while when there's three cute little girls you'd rather be playing with. We're still trying to figure out the perfect balance (ha!) with everything, but for now, it's been fairly manageable thanks to the help of my husband.
What has been your greatest lesson in business & motherhood?
I've learned how necessary it is to be patient and flexible in both business + motherhood. A lot can be out of your control and it's important to not get down on yourself when things don't meet your expectations.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs & mothers?
I would say try to have fun with it! What's the point of owning your own business if you're not enjoying yourself along the way? If you're comparing, taking anything too seriously, or being too hard on yourself-- snap out of it! Get to work and have some fun!
What does a “normal” day in your home look like?
We like to have slow mornings spent playing with the girls and staying in our PJs way too long. One of us will then get some work done while the other entertains the girls, and then both of us get some more work done during nap time. We try to both be done in the early afternoon before our older girls get back from school so we can all play-- either a trip to the park or pool together before dinner and then it's bed time! Once the girls are down for the night, we log in another hour or so of emails while watching our favorite shows and eating ice cream together. ;)
Besides business and your family, do you have any hobbies you love to enjoy (when you have the time)?
I've always loved photography. We may not shoot wedding photography anymore but it's been so fun to be able to still use my camera a lot for Alice + Ames stuff. We're also big foodies over here and our favorite thing to do is go out to eat together. Eating is a hobby, right?
I’m a huge coffee lover, and I'm always looking for new types, do you have a particular favorite or if you don't drink coffee maybe favorite drink!?
A diet coke for me, please!
If you could travel anywhere or do anything in the world what would that be?
I want to take all my girls to Paris, they'd love it!
Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
My Mom! She's so selfless, is constantly doing things for others, never complains, and always has a smile on her face. Growing up around that much positivity is something I'll always be grateful for.
If your children learn one thing from you what would you wish that to be?
That they can do anything they put their mind to! As long as my girls grow up to be confident and happy, I'll feel I've done a job well done! :)
As I venture down this road of being a work at home mom I hope I remember to keep your positive and fun loving attitude Stacie! Now go check out her shop!