What started as a side hustle in an Etsy shop designing handmade boots and bags has grown into a thriving business called Mason Dixon Made. Heather Holiday, our NJMOMPreneur of the week and the mastermind behind Mason Dixon Made, combined her love of making high-quality goods with her skilled craftsmanship to offer authentic, beautiful goods to her customers. We were easily inspired by Heather’s genuine love for creating sustainable fashion, the inspiration that started her down the road of entrepreneurship (hint: becoming a mother has something to do with it), as well as her passion for supporting the arts and her love of local spots around New Jersey, including one of NJMOM’s favorites, Asbury Park.
Owner and Creator of Mason Dixon Made & NJMOMpreneur: Heather Holiday
NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Heather: In a world of mass production, mass consumption, and reckless disposability, I seek something more enduring and more personal in what I make. I believe in the personal connection, individuality, and rootedness that come from our handmade boots and bags at Mason Dixon Made.
NJMOM: What inspired you to get into your line of work?
Heather: I started making shoes on a whim. I had a background in sewing and upholstery and one day while my infant daughter napped, I made her a pair of baby booties. She got so many compliments on them I thought maybe I should give it a go (Editor’s Note: we’re thankful she listened to her gut!).
NJMOM: What is your favorite part about your business?
Heather: I love prototyping new products and working with my hands. I’ve also surprised myself with how much I love dreaming big for the company and coming up with growth strategies, etc.
In a world of mass production, mass consumption, and reckless disposability, I seek something more enduring and more personal in what I make. – Heather Holiday, founder of Mason Dixon Made
NJMOM: What is your background in your business expertise?
Heather: I’ve always been a maker, but I used to do upholstery. I also used to teach sewing classes and was an apparel and quilt sample maker, too.
NJMOM: What are you most proud of in your career?
Heather: I’m proud that I had the guts to give this a real shot.
NJMOM: What is something few people know about you?
Heather: I used to want to be on Broadway.
NJMOM: What can we expect from you next year, personally and professionally?
Heather: Personally, we will continue to work on our fixer-upper and getting settled into our new neighborhood. Professionally, I hope to expand our footwear line to include new styles and possibly a vegan option.
NJMOM: What charitable cause are you most passionate about?
Heather: There is so much work to be done in our own community. My friend turned me on to this organization that helps the Robert Wright Elementary school in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia. These kids don’t have enough paper or supplies, and the art teacher is a volunteer! The arts are so important in education and I look forward to continuing to help and support this community.
NJMOM: Who is your role model? Why?
Heather: I have many role models, but the best woman in my life was my grandmother. I will always aspire to be as strong, wild and fearless as she was.
NJMOM: What is the best piece of advice a role model ever gave to you?
Heather: Believe in yourself and your work.
NJMOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by? Why is this quote so important to you?
Heather: Stealing this favorite quote from a friend because it is so perfect!
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” – William A. Foster
NJMOM: What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey with your family?
Heather: We have only lived in New Jersey for five months, but we have vacationed in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park for the last six summers, and we love it. Days Ice Cream Parlor is the best!
NJMOM: What is the best part about being a mom for you?
Heather: I love watching the relationship between my kids grow and develop. Saturday morning cuddles are pretty amazing, too.
NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Heather: I’m still getting to know New Jersey, but I’m pretty smitten with two women-owned businesses in Collingswood called Constellation Collective for their yummy morning eats and Occasionette for beautiful gifts and home items.
NJMOM: Where do you reside and vacation in New Jersey?
Heather: We live in Collingswood and we vacay in Asbury Park. We moved to Collingswood in November from Philadelphia. I love the cute little downtown area and Knight Park. I love our local Farmer’s Market!
NJMOM: What advice might you have for a fellow NJMOMpreneur who is just starting out?
Heather: Be true to yourself, you are what sets your business apart. Don’t compromise your integrity and take risks. Those risks are much easier to take once you assemble your community of badass lady bosses- so put yourself out there and start making connections.
To learn more about Mason Dixon Made, follow along on Facebook and Instagram.