I met Grace about ten years ago, when we started high school together (THAT WAS TEN YEARS AGO?!). Most of my classmates I knew since kindergarten, but Grace joined up with us at the beginning of high school. My creeper-memory remembers admiring her from afar – she’s so pretty! That skirt, I love it! (It was a dark blue pleated skirt with large white polka dots, I do believe.) Even better though…she was (and is!) good and kind. She may not know this, but she was always someone that I truly admired – her love for Jesus, impeccable taste, creative spirit, bright eyes, kind heart..what’s not to love?
Fast forward ten years…Recently we reconnected on Instagram of all places! and I found out that she had a baby girl about two months before I had JP. Motherhood has an amazing way of connecting women across time, space, and culture. All of a sudden you share this major thing in common and it bonds you to other mothers in beautiful and unexpected ways. Circumstances are always different, and everyone has their own story…but your heart is changed and it is as if their struggles and joys become your own. Seeing Grace share the beginnings of her journey on her blog and Insta has blessed me and given me consolation. Additionally, through her pictures, I noticed her donning some adorable headbands, so naturally I inquired about them. Turns out she MAKES them for herself and Iris! Lucky for me, she opened up an etsy shop,Miniwhatnots, shortly after I started having headband envy 🙂 To celebrate her opening, I asked if she would mind doing an interview and a giveaway and she graciously indulged me! Like I said, she’s a kind soul!
First things first: Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you from? What are your interests? How would you describe your family?
I am from a little bit of everywhere, but I identify myself as an Oregonian ;), so naturally I’m a big outdoor enthusiast and love hiking. I would describe my family as laid back but a little chaotic haha. We try to take things as they come and love to adventure. But sometimes we forget to set the alarm, or find ourselves trying to reach the end of a hike in darkness because we aren’t the best at time management ha.
When did you learn to sew? Who taught you?
My mom always made costumes for us growing up so I watched her sew from a young age. I think when we traveled the U.S (in an R.V crammed with five people, a chicken, and a bunny) is when I really learned though, which was around nine or ten. We picked out a fabric from each state we visited, and then my mom taught us how to whip stitch hundreds of 2×2 squares together by hand into the front of a quilt. I thought it was pretty cool; we still have that quilt and it’s so fun to remember all the things we did in each state by looking at the fabric.
Let’s talk shop! First the basics, what are you creating for your shop? What’s your favorite item that you make?
I’m basically making bibs, headbands, and mobiles, but in a few different styles. I also make adult headbands, because mom’s deserve a little something too! I think hopefully as it grows I’ll narrow it down to the things more people tend to gravitate towards, but for now it’s fun to create options! I think my favorite things to make are the mobiles, because it takes so long and feels so rewarding when I finish! Plus I like shiny things and I use gold on most of them 😉
When it comes to creating your whatnots, what inspires you?
I think necessity is one part. As I’ve gotten to know mom life there are things I’ve found we really need. My daughter is a fountain of spit-up and drool, so unless she wears a bib I have to wash six times the amount I should be each day. But I don’t really like “baby” things, so I want to put fabrics on her that are functional as well as more funky. I also have a hard time washing my hair regularly, so I live in topknots and headbands to maintain a small amount of dignity! Aside from necessity, the idea of keeping a style identity really inspire me. I don’t think you have to give up “adult” space when you become a mom, I think it’s important to make home a place thats works for you and baby.
Now onto some questions about Motherhood. Has Motherhood changed the way you see the world? If yes, how so?
Motherhood has definitely changed how I see the world! I feel like my life is much more measurable that it was before Iris was born, and now my existence is based on the journey she will take in her lifetime rather than on my own goals or accomplishments. On a lighter note haha, I have also been amazed at how nice people really are! I have a lot more appreciation for strangers because people can be incredibly kind when they see a mom struggling with a baby and a thousand bags!
What are some of your favorite parts of being a mom?
So far it’s been the best to watch how my daughter learns new things so fast. I feel like yesterday she was a tiny newborn blob, and today she is laughing and trying to roll over. I also love how being a mom really encourages you to find joy in the small things. I would have never thought that my baby getting a teething ring into her mouth would get me so excited haha.
What is more challenging about your new role as a mother than you anticipated?
I think letting go of control is a huge obstacle for me. It can be so hard to trust that Jesus has a perfect plan for Iris’s life, and it is not dependent on me. I think as a mom you want to protect your child from anything that isn’t sunshine and rainbows, but I know that a rich life is made from the good and bad we experience. It’s a challenge to embrace this and something I know the Lord will continually check me on as Iris grows.
Any words of encouragement that you would like to share with your fellow new mothers out there?
I think being a mom is so much easier when you give yourself a little break! Easier said than done, but you don’t have to be put together or have a squeaky clean baby 24/7. It’s ok to let your baby use a pacifier or not, sleep in your bed or not, wear cloth diapers or not. We are all doing the same hard job and it’s important to do whats right for you and your baby. I think we have to take things in stride, and smile when things don’t go as planned because it’s ok! It is ok to let your baby cry for a hot second while you get a cup of coffee, and it is ok to wear them close to you all day. None of us know what we are doing, but we love our babies fiercely so be proud of the job you are doing. Honest to goodness I think it makes me a better mom to dry myself off after a shower before I dry my baby off; don’t be afraid to take care of yourself too because you are doing the most important job we can do!
Thanks so much, Grace! Isn’t she swell? Now, for the giveaway! Grace will mail one lucky winner their choice of headband and bandana bib. Use the Rafflecopter below. To enter you will need to provide your name, email and leave a comment on this blog – go check out Grace’s shop and comment which items are your favorite! There are some scrumptious fabrics and styles! Even if you don’t have a wee one, these would make awesome, unique baby shower gifts. I love the Mama Knot Turban Headband – I have it in mint. And JP looks so fashionable in his little bandana bibs!
Thanks y’all! May the odds be ever in your favor!