Lisa Whelton of Made Just For You By Lisa loved being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) but missed having something else – just for her.
So she bought a sewing machine and started stitching for the first time since childhood. She turned her ‘me time’ into a home business.
‘Sew far, sew good’ the mother of three says about her business Made Just For You By Lisa.
Once her three-year-old, 20-month-old and five-month-old are off to bed, Lisa gets down to work.
She trades in the daytime routine of play dates and errands for scissors, patterns and sewing.
“I love the products I can make with a sewing machine,” the Langley, B.C., resident said. “I love that I can get them done in one evening after the kids are in bed.”
Sewing brings Lisa tremendous satisfaction and pride.
“I often sew very late into the night when the house is quiet and everyone is asleep,” the former high school teacher said. “That is my favourite time day.”
The business was born about 7 years ago.
It allowed Lisa to bring in an income, still enjoy family time with her husband and three daughters and fulfil the duties of motherhood.
“I want to spend all the time I can with my kids,” she said. “I could go to work – and some days I really want to — but I know I would regret missing out when I don’t have to. “
The business can make life feel like a bit of a juggling act at times, she said.
The biggest struggle Lisa faces is getting too popular, she said, admitting sometimes it is difficult to find the time to get everything done when she has a wave of orders to fill.
But it is worthwhile when she can deliver custom-made products to her customers.
“I just intended to sew for fun and made some dresses for my girls and some other small things,” she said.
“Then a few people asked me to make things for them and suggested I should start selling. So I decided to take a leap and put myself out there.”
Lisa’s products range from snack bags to blankets and other baby-related essentials using the softest flannels and flannelette, plus minky fabrics which are luxurious.
“Paired with coordinating items like burp cloths or car seat/stroller strap covers, they make deluxe baby shower gifts at reasonable prices,” Lisa said.
Her nursing covers feature a corner terry pocket for nursing pad storage and also to wipe up spills without needing bulky receiving blankets.
Made Just For You By Lisa, which features speciality fabrics and hard to find flannels from the U.S., has grown steadily since she launched it.
Among the list of her successes, Lisa counts having a steady stream of orders as a top accomplishment because it means people want to use her services.
“It keeps me busy about four or five nights a week but isn’t overwhelming,” she said. “I have also had the opportunity to donate to several silent auctions for fundraising efforts like the Run for the Cure and local events to help local moms in need. That is very rewarding.”
Working for other moms is something Lisa doesn’t take lightly.
“I love that I am making products for other moms who appreciate how much time and work it is to have three little girls so close in age,” she said. “They are always very grateful and understanding if I can’t get to the fabric store until the following day or if I didn’t manage to get to the post office within business hours though most of my custom orders ship within 72 hours of ordering regardless.
“Mommies are a great network as well and I love that most of my business has come from referrals and recommendations. I always support other WAHMs and am very grateful when they support me.”
There are other perks to starting the sewing business, she jokes.
“I get to keep all the practice products,” she said.