Small Business Series : Why I Started Willow Crowns

I'll occasionally get e-mails or questions on Instagram asking about WC, why I started it, how I balance it, how to make a small business successful, etc. I don't know that I'm particularly qualified to give advice on any of those, but I thought it might be a fun idea to do a small business series on the 'ol blog and talk about my experience as a (very) small business owner. 

A good place to start is at the beginning. Why I started Willow Crowns. If you've been hanging around here for long, you know it's a focus of my Instagram and a big part of my day to day life, which is something I really never expected.

Let me be super honest. I expected being a stay at home mom to completely fulfill me. I don't know why, since I had no experience with it, but I just kind of assumed it would be everything I needed/wanted and that it would be great not to have to "go to work" every day.

The first thing I learned is that motherhood is work. Whether you leave the house or don't, have a full time job outside of parenting or not, it's hard work and that you can't phone it in. 

The second thing I learned is that it didn't completely fulfill me. Don't get me wrong and don't get all riled up. I absolutely love staying home with my daughter and if I could only choose to do one thing, that's what I'd be doing, hands down. I would never trade this job and try to remember how lucky I am to have it, but there was a definite longing for something else that was coexisting with my love of motherhood.

Around the time O was 10 months old, I started to miss doing non mom things and feeling like I wanted to do something for myself. I think a big part of it was that I was two months into our move to Texas. Getting to know new people has never been a real strength of mine so I was pretty lonely in a brand new place with a husband who worked a lot. We were feeling stressed from buying our first home, a little isolated, Ryan's new job was kicking his butt, and it was honestly a really hard time for us. 

I was already making (the crappiest) little headbands for Liv (because I was going to punch the next person to tell me what a beautiful little boy I had), and thought I may as well see if I could sell some on Etsy. Maybe I could contribute a tiny bit financially, be creative, and have something that was mine. It was what I did during naps, late at night when I was still home alone with the baby, and it was really therapeutic. My early efforts were beyond embarrassing and if you bought something during those early days, I'm really really sorry. 

I really didn't know if it would grow or be a total dud, but it kind of didn't matter at the time. It was cathartic and gave me something to focus on besides the stress and unhappiness we were working through. It made me a better mom because I was doing something for myself, so I felt like I had more to give when it was "mom time". Does that make sense?

So that's how Willow Crowns was born. Crowns because duh, they're headbands and Willow for the name of the street I grew up on, the little piece of home I really needed at the time.

A couple of ideas I have for future posts are how I grew the business, talking about branding, time management while still being a full time stay at home mom, and anything else you'd like to know! Let me know in the comments if there's something you'd like to hear about related to WC or being a small business owner! 


p.s. Steph has posted a live stream of her thoughts/actions from our Spring launch today and I think it's a fun read if you're interested!


  1. Love this! Can't wait to hear more!:)

  2. I've been a SAHM for a year now - my daughters are 3 and 1. I don't feel fulfilled like I thought I would. Like you, I wouldn't give up staying at home for anything, but it's not what I thought it would be. I have an idea for an Etsy shop but haven't quite been able to figure out how to get started. This has been very inspiring, thanks for writing it.
    PS: I bought your starry night headband last month for my daughters first birthday and loved it!

  3. I love this and I applaud you! I too love to craft and I have been making some fun little felt headbands for P (just for fun!) the thought of making these for the masses I can't even imagine. We love your product (and you!) and we are so happy to see you are so successful!

  4. I'm a SAHM and freelance designer. It's the best of all worlds.. Sometimes parenting kicks my butt and it's naps all around in the afternoon. Most times I get my daughter down for nap and I create artwork for clients for 2-3 hours, and she wakes and we all feel refreshed. People constantly ask what I'll do when my daughter (plus siblings??) go to school, and having this outlet makes me feel better about that day already. Or maybe getting them to school, sitting for a minute, and managing the day will be enough... Either way I feel better having this outlet, glad you have the same!

  5. This is a fun series, I'm excited to hear more! I have always wondered about the corporate side of it. Do you have to register it as a business? What about taxes? All that stuff is totally over my head.

  6. This series could not have come at a more perfect time! I just started my own custom cookie business in February and I did not expect for it to have blown up as fast as it did. Because I'm so new at this, I'm struggling trying to balance it all-being a stay at home mom, plus working, plus making my marriage a priority plus my "me" time. There are not enough hours in a day sometimes but I guess it's a learning process. I'm excited to read your future posts regarding this subject!

  7. I always love reading your posts on the realistic 'joys' of having a toddler. My daughter will be 3 in a month and it's nice to know I'm not the only one already contributing to her future therapy fund! ;)

  8. Really looking forward to this series!! I'd love to get some advice on growing your Instagram following, tips on figuring out shipping costs/pricing, and how you take such beautiful photos! :)


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