New Jersey is home to many ambitious and talented women who juggle family, career and home. A select few of these women are also extremely busy building their own companies to help better manage their whole work-life balance. At NJ Mom, we want to highlight these extraordinary women building NJ businesses and learn the secret to their success.
Littlest Crochet Shop: Making Toys With Natural & Recycled Materials in New Jersey
NJ Mom, Brittany Welsh, the owner of an eco-friendly toys and accessories company called Littlest Crochet Shop, based out of Mercer County, New Jersey, has been busy building her business and brand.
We had the opportunity to ask Brittany a few questions about her business and herself; here’s what she had to share.
NJ MOM: How did you come up with the idea for a natural toy company? what inspired you?
Brittany: I hate to say this, but I didn’t quite come up with the idea for Littlest Crochet Shop. All I knew was that I wanted to be able to make my own hours and not feel guilt ridden every time my daughter was home sick from school. The thought of having to decide whether to cuddle my kids on a snow day vs. digging my car out of the driveway made me cringe. Crocheting has always been a part of my life and I’ve just been grateful to stumble on recycled fabric yarn & simple ideas to bring Littlest Crochet Shop toys & accessories to life. Each day I get one more step closer to a clearer image of what my small business can turn into. I think all too often stay at mothers who come up with a small home business idea get discouraged when things don’t go according to plan. Sometimes not knowing whats ahead and no business plan are OK, it can lead to greater things.
NJ MOM: What’s your background or education in business?
Brittany: My professional background is in sales & retail management. While at my last position I was lucky enough to have a supervisor that allowed me to run a $4 million department as if it were my own. She had confidence in my business decision making skills when I was unsure of myself. I thought she was absolutely crazy. Looking back now, I know I wouldn’t have had the strength to hit each Littlest Crochet Shop road block head on without those experiences. Giving up has never been an option for me.
NJ MOM: Who is your role model?
Brittany: Being a huge advocate of the Instagram community, I would have to say all the WAHM who have taken a chance and chased their dream of being a small business owner. Most days its hard doing the mom stuff. Between cooking, cleaning, reading books and being a full time chauffeur, I’m always awestruck at the tenacity these women have to create a future for themselves. Whenever I have a moment of complete defeat (toddler temper tantrum, baby refusing to latch, orders pending) it’s a breath of fresh air not feeling so alone as I scroll through my feed of messy homes and new product designs.
NJ MOM: What’s the best piece of advice a role model ever gave you?
Brittany: I am a woman of the social media era, self proclaimed 😉 The best advice I’ve ever received came about while scrolling through Pinterest.
“Finish What You Started.”
Such a simple concept. If I’m ever feeling discouraged about a failed prototype or marketing campaign that was less than successful, I think back to those few words and they push me through. I figure I might as well see it through even if I’m not excited about the latest attempt. I don’t know where Littlest Crochet Shop will take me, but I do know it will end on a high note because of that philosophy.
NJ MOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by?
Brittany: Just recently I came across the quote:
“We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea, and you don’t believe in miracles?”
Something about it makes me feel so incredibly small and influential all rolled into one. With that, I can’t help but live everyday as if anything is possible.
NJ MOM: Where do you reside and vacation in New Jersey? What do you love most about the area?
Brittany: Currently, I reside in Mercer County. I love the parks and culture surrounding the area, being so close to city transit attracts a variety of commuters. It’s not uncommon to hear multiple languages while at the local grocery store. I am however a born and raised Jersey girl from the south coast Long Beach Island. So I will gladly be bias and say the island has the best beaches in the garden state! If you’re looking for a quiet, family-friendly vacation LBI has all the putt-putt and salty breezes anyone could ask for.
NJ MOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Brittany: Off the top of my head I would recommend Marcello’s Restaurant located in downtown Bordentown. My husband took me there when we were dating and have gone every anniversary since. The restaurant itself is quite small, but it never disappoints. If you’re in the Bordentown area I would definitely encourage you to stop in for the vodka rigatoni.
NJ MOM: What are your favorite things to do in NJ?
Brittany: So many amazing places that I’ll gladly offer up an option for each season. In the Spring you can catch me running the trails along the lake at Mercer County Park. Summer is reserved for beach trips to Long Beach Island and lunches at The Chicken Or The Egg. Next, in the Fall we stop by Russo Farms in Chesterfield for all of our cider, pumpkin & doughnut needs. And finally, in the early Winter, Jersey City is full of family-friendly outdoor holiday markets thanks to organizations like The Jersey City Project, HDSID and 6th Borough Market.
NJ MOM: Anything else you’d like to tell mothers in New Jersey?
Brittany: Nothing is ever too far away. Being from a state located between two major cities that has farmland, the pinelands, coastal beaches and four seasons of weather, you can have it all!!
You can currently find Littlest Crochet Shop items at the following New Jersey baby and specialty gift shops:
Hazel Baby (Jersey City, NJ)
Noyes Museum of Art (Oceanville, NJ)
Items are also available at: The Little Garden Studio (Vancouver, WA) and Carly Bartosh Studio (Bangor, PA)