I want you to meet Mandalena. She is the sweet business owner behind Wild & Blissful Collection and has the cutest little handmade and natural baby goods. She was sweet enough to send some for baby boy, and we love them!! She’s (almost) local, so be sure to read more about her experience as a mompreneur and check her out!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family:
I’m Mandalena the owner of Wild + Blissful collection. I am married to Oswaldo, and we are raising two beautiful little girls, Kylie (8) and Charleen (2) in Simpsonville, SC. I am originally from Germany, and my husband is originally from Venezuela. We bought a fixer upper last year in September, and have finally completed the interior. This year we are working on the exterior. It has been so much fun for the entire family to be involved in. We love doing things as a family and feel it teaches our children a lot when we allow them to be involved.
2. What prompted you to start a business?
Being a mom of two girls, I loved accessorizing, but many of the items that were my style, were a ridiculous price. The few items I found in my price range were just not my style. I prefer more neutrals and solids, nothing bold and out there. So I decided to start making my own. Some of my friends saw my items, and they requested my work. First it started with just bows, then I added matching bibs, and it just continued. It took on a life of it’s own. I created a website in July 2017 and made it official.
3. How did you decide on the name/brand of your business?
This took me a really long time. I sat for weeks throwing out names. Finally I started to think of words that described kids, motherhood, family, etc. It’s mainly what my business is surrounded by. So the first word that came to mind was wild. Let’s be honest, motherhood is a wild ride. Half the time we’re not even equipped for situations we come across. I may have two girls, but they can rough house just as much as boys can, they are wild! But I knew I couldn’t stop at just wild. So I started looking in the thesaurus for synonymous of happy, love, joy, etc. I came across the word blissful, and it was perfect. Blissful means: extremely happy; full of joy. Which is the exact word to me that describes the feeling of motherhood, kids, family, etc. I felt like there was no better word to describe it, blissful. So it just kind of fell together. Wild + Blissful. I added on the word Collection because I am constantly releasing new “collections”, and it just gave it the final “ahh that’s my business” feeling.
4. Tell us more about your product/business and your role:
I handpick all the materials and fabrics used. I make sure to find them at a great quality and great cost, so that I can help keep the cost low to my customers. I handmake all the items, photograph them, and create my web design. When I get overwhelmed and receive huge loads of orders in, thankfully my family helps pitch in, and pull it all together in time!
5. Do you have a storefront or do you work from home?
I do not have a storefront, and hasn’t been a dream of mine. I love working from home and creating my own hours.
6. What does a normal “work” day look like for you?
I start work as soon as Kylie leaves for school, 7:00am, and I usually come to a stopping point at 2:00, when I pick her up for school. Once Kylie is home from school I put my work aside, and focus on helping her with homework, finish up housework, get dinner started etc. In between those tasks I respond to customers and emails.
7. How do you handle work + kids?
I can’t say that I know how to handle both roles yet. Working from home has been such a blessing and also the hardest challenge. I love being involved in everything my children do, but I also really want this business to succeed. I just recently set a schedule to keep myself from going into work-a-holic mode. Even though I try to get most of my work done while Kylie’s at school, I still have Charleen at home with me, and Charleen is 2. If you have a 2 year old, then you know the struggle and I don’t have to explain it. She doesn’t understand the phrase “give me one second please”. Fortunately, my husband is very supportive and picks up wherever I end up slacking!
8. How do you balance all of the roles that you have?
I’m trying really hard to stick to my schedule. If I don’t, I feel like I lose my balance in it all. Even though I have tried to set this schedule, I still feel like my mind isn’t balanced. It’s hard to shut off mom mode. When I’m working, I’m constantly thinking about the kids and my family.
9. What is the best aspect of having your own business?
I love that I have the privileged of setting my own schedule. If Kylie is sick and has to stay home from school, I can move around my schedule and care for her as needed. I also get to create my own work load and choose how busy I can and cannot be!
10. What is the hardest part about owning your own business?
Sacrificing time and energy away from my family to work. Since I work from home, I am constantly surrounded by my kids, and it’s hard to not just drop everything and play with them.
11. What are some long-term or future goals you have for your business?
I honestly haven’t really thought too far ahead. I didn’t even think it would get as far as it has. So I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and hope it keeps gradually growing.
12. What do you do when you’re not being supermom?
Ummm…. sleep? After balancing a business, being a wife, a mom, taking care of the house, and life, all I can think of is attempting to get some sleep!
13. What famous person would you love to have dinner with, and why?
I don’t know if she’s considered “famous” but to me she is, Tayler Gunn. She’s the owner of Wildbird Ring Slings. She started her company making her own ring slings and it has exploded. I’d love to pick her brain on how she got to where she is today and all the advice to has to offer.
14. What are the best resources that you’ve found as a small business owner and mom? (podcasts, online or local resources, people, great vendors, etc)
Regarding my business, the best resource has been just plain old fashioned trail and error. As crazy as that sounds, I have learned the most from my mistakes. I’ve learned what did and did not work, and what people liked and didn’t like. I have learned to take the critiques and learn from them. Best resources for being a mom, my mother. I mean now I look back and think “oh that’s why you did that, now I understand”. Also a lot of trail and error. I thought I’d be the perfect mom by the time I had my second, but she’s a completely different challenge than my first. I feel crazy for still not being fully equipped for many situations.
15. What is one piece of advice that you can give to a mom starting a business?
Perfect your work before you start selling. I wish I had perfected my work before I started selling it. I always want people to have a positive first impression when they see my work, and I can’t say that was the case with my earlier items. I have grown so much since I first started and I wish I had taken the time to better myself first.
Go show Mandalena some love!