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Today, I bring you a giveaway from SouleMama Sponsor Silk Oak. In Jan's words:
"Silk Oak is hand printed, eco-friendly clothing made with love in Ithaca, NY since 1977."
For behind-the-scenes life peeks and updates, check in on the Silk Oak Blog!
SouleMama: Tell us about your background. What path led you to the work you do today?
Jan: My upbringing certainly didn't prepare me for being a mother of 6 or going into any kind of business. I grew up in the theatre, with NYC as home base for my Mom and I. While there were some years that we were working in NY, we usually led a fairly nomadic life, traveling around the country. It was while touring with shows that I found myself spending every spare moment in the wardrobe department, learning to sew and knit. I continued to hone my skills on my own as I got older.
SouleMama: What inspired you to start your business?
Jan: My kids were my inspiration. Frustrated by the lack of colorful, natural fiber, gender neutral children's clothing and wanting an alternative to battery powered toys, I decided to take a leap and open a store that sold all the things I was looking for. I was able to sell my own work, as well. At the time, my daughter was 5 and my son was 18 months. 1977 was pre-internet, there were no how-to books, small business seminars or e-courses and there weren't a lot of women owned businesses. It was trial by fire! I made a lot of mistakes but what an amazing learning experience. Through all the challenges, there were so many positives. I could still nurse, the atmosphere was kid friendly and I could bend the schedule to suit the needs of my family. Every day was "take your child to work day". Through the years, my husband and I divorced. I remarried and with my 2nd husband, I gained a sweet little step daughter, gave birth to my 2nd son and, just shy of 40, gave birth to my Bonus Baby girl! At times, it's been chaotic but, what a blessing to have been able to have it all, family and creative work.
SouleMama: Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
Jan: "This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature... I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I love. I rejoice in life for it's own sake. Life is no brief candle to me, it is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." ~ George Bernard Shaw, "Man and Superman"
SouleMama: Tell us about your customers.
Jan: My customers are the best! Having been around for 33 years, there is a lot of continuity there. People who first bought for themselves, had kids and bought things for them. Now, those kids are grown and buying Silk Oak for their kids. The connections that grow over time have turned customers into friends.
For today's giveaway, Silk Oak is generously offering the following to ONE winner:
~ Dragonflies for the whole family!
In addition, Silk Oak is offering all SouleMama readers 15% off all Etsy purchases between now and the first day of Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere!). Use coupon code "soulemama". Expires March 20th, 2011.
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Thank you to Silk Oak!
To enter, please leave a comment in today's post (one entry per person, please). Comments will close on Sunday by 8:00am EST. Winners will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced here in this post on Sunday.
Comments closed! The winner is...
So darn cute....love this:)
Posted by: Rhapunzel