So I got to thinking. If I was looking for baby items or motherly advice I'd want to know who the heck is running the show. Is this person or company real? What makes them a better choice than the next guy?
So without further ado, I give you the 5 Ws of The Jolly Owl.
My name is Malissa. I met my husband when I was 15. He is the brother of my best friend. And since I hung out at her house all the time I got to know him. But life went on and he moved away.
Fast forward to 2013. My life was in ruins. I was floundering like I never had before. I was going through the worst divorce a woman could ever ask for. Constantly being harassed and living in fear, not only for my life, but also that my children were going to be stolen from me.
It was through my best friend that I reconnected with her brother. To make a super long story short, we found out we were pregnant in March of 2015, but something just wasn't quite right. I was rushed in to emergency surgery on March 25th for a cornual ectopic pregnancy. I lost my right fallopian tube and the top right wedge of my uterus.
I also lost a piece of me that day. I never could of imagined the amount of pain of losing a baby that was so wanted. I was in the hospital for a few long days questioning if I'd ever be able to have another child.
It was because of this tragedy that my now husband called upon the LDS church for help. He had been a member growing up and knew of the kindness they could offer. We started to attend each Sunday with my 4 children. It would be that summer that we went to get my husband's 2 girls to live with us.
We got married on 11/13/15 and I was then baptized a member of the LDS church on 11/28/15. We welcomed our rainbow baby on 10/12/16 via c-section. I was scheduled for one due to the trauma to my uterus from the year before. And that was when we became one big happy family of 9!
This is my amazing picture ledge that my husband built me to put my kiddos school pictures on!! And those are all our kids. 😊
I get asked a lot if I would ever have more babies. And my answer will always be a yes. Unfortunately my left remaining fallopian tube was removed during my c-section for my own health. Heavenly Father has a plan for me and sadly, it doesn't involve any more babies.
Me up late working...
The What & When
The Jolly Owl did not start out as The Jolly Owl. It went by the name Lil' Bundle of Joy and was my very first and only venture on Etsy as a seller to date.
I was no pro sewer by any means, but I was inspired to sew when my oldest son was born at the very end of 2010. I opened shop in January of 2011. At that time I offered bibs, burp cloths, blankets and tag blankets. Simple items that taught me a lot!
Being a self taught sewer meant learning soooo much as I ventured further into my journey. I honestly don't remember what inspired me to purchase an embroidery machine, but once I got one there was no turning back.
I created my first owls with the help from a very nice lady I found via Etsy that turned my doodles into embroidery designs. As you can see I had much to learn!
Who knew there was an art to stuffing plushies!?! It took a few years, but I think I got it now. 😉
I've also learned how to make my own embroidery designs to simplify the process. I can't wait to show off what I can do this year!
I now offer many different plushies, sensory toys, and teething blankets. I also dabble in a few blankets here and there along with some of those super cute bandanna bibs.
I started out my journey on my dining room table in a 2 bedroom apartment. I quickly realized that I needed more space!
I've had my office in a bedroom in many different apartments over the years, but as of now, my office is in my unfinished super cold basement. Hench why I'm wearing a robe in the picture up above! (I'm also wearing slippers!)
I have a desk and 3 craft tables along with a few shelving units. My office is just over 100 square feet. The remainder of the basement consists of a play area for the kiddos, a laundry area, and then 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. We also have a storage area by the furnace.
My sewing machine is on one of the 6' craft tables and my embroidery machine sits on a small 4' one. I have my other 6' craft table that I use as my cutting table up on bed risers to raise the height more to standing height. Better for the back!
I recently redid the way I store my fleece and minky! I hung it all on hangers in my laundry area which has been amazing! My ironing station is just below it.
Our house is just a rental so there is a limited amount of renovations we can do. But we are here for the long haul while we save up to buy a house.
I will do an office tour as soon as I get it organized! We have a leaky foundation so I have lots of bins to keep my fabric dry and off the floor! Slowly but surely I think I'm getting there.
I love babies and I love to create. So why not create fun stuff for babies?? I never imagined that my little Etsy business would allow me to stay at home with my kids. I started this adventure with really no expectations and it still blows me away that people love my stuff enough to buy it!
I like to think I got my talent from both my parents. My mom always helped me with craft projects growing up and I worked construction with my dad starting at the age of 13. I tried to go back to school to become an interior designer, but with a new baby and a crazy household it just wasn't in the cards.
The Jolly Owl is a reflection of myself. If you ask any of my sisters or friends you'll learn that I am an overall jolly person. And I've loved owls before they were even cool again.