1. Krystine, we’re thrilled to have you visit the blog today! We know our readers are going to love checking out your beautiful designs. Growing up, what did you envision you would do with your life? Is Ruffles & Buttons anything close to what you imagined?
Growing up, when I was asked what I was going to do with my life, my answer was always that I wanted to be a wife and mom. I never dreamed I would own such a busy business, but it does make sense. I’ve always liked designing; I’ve always been a very creative person, and entrepreneurship runs in my blood, as my dad and mom both own businesses and have my whole life.
2. How exactly did Ruffles & Buttons come to be?
I was due with baby #4 and nesting. My husband and I had just finished totally rehabbing the house we had recently bought, and I was trying to get ready for my baby girl. I decided to try my hand at a couple gowns for her and posted the pictures on Instagram. The response totally caught me off guard, and I went ahead and started filling orders here and there. It got to the point where I could no longer keep track of orders on slips of paper but had to upgrade to a notebook. I then decided to open an Etsy shop. That was April of 2014, and it’s done nothing but explode since.
3. I can see how; your designs are adorable! Does inspiration come easily to you? Do you ever feel “stuck” with a design? If so, what do you do for inspiration?
I usually seem to have more ideas than time to get them out of my head, but I do occasionally get stuck. When I’m looking for inspiration I usually just look around, browse my fabric collection, etc., and something will usually come to me. Most of my designs come as I’m cutting, so I guess creating is what inspires me most of all.
4. You run a great small business while homeschooling four kids. What does a typical day look like for your family? Do you ever find it difficult to balance your orders, homeschooling, and other obligations?
It’s a delicate balance, that is for sure! I try not to have too much structure because with everything going on it would cause more stress than anything, so we go with the flow for the most part. My sewing room is the middle room in the house, so I’m basically in and out all day between meals, cleaning, and helping the kids with schoolwork. There are definitely days when it’s exhausting and a whirlwind, but I feel like God has given me the passion to be creative. He keeps blessing me with amazing customers, and He also gives me the grace to juggle it all.
5. What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing is probably a toss-up between designing and interacting with the amazing customers that I deal with every day, sometimes even through the entire first year of their baby’s life.
6. What are your dreams for Ruffles & Buttons?
I would love for Ruffles & Buttons to grow to where I would mainly do the designing and could have teams to do the sewing, etc., but we will see where God takes it. I always say I am just filling the orders that God gives me, so it’s all up to Him.
7. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start her own business?
Work hard, be real, be original, work your passion, keep your eyes in your lane, and don’t get distracted by would-be competition or other things that can sidetrack you. Whatever your idea is, work it; make it your own. Make your idea unique in the way that your customers search for you because your style can’t be found elsewhere. And most importantly of all, put God first.
8. Anything potential customers should know about your business?
Infant gowns are my “thing.” Along with the huge number of styles that I make, I have recently come out with a style that is custom-designed for the customer per order. I personally design the fabric with the color scheme/theme and the child’s name. It’s a style that, as of now, I haven’t found anywhere else and is definitely a top-seller in my shop.
Along with gowns though, I also have a variety of pant sets for the little guys, fancy accessories like bibs and newsboy caps, and also a gift shop section including birth announcement pillows, which are a big hit.
Although I am the one who sews the majority of orders, I do have four helpers as of now that make getting the large volume of incoming orders completed a lot easier, so they definitely deserve a pat on the back.
We’re grateful that Krystine took the time to share about her business and her goals as an Apostolic small business owner! Take a minute to browse her shop; we know you’ll find items you love. If you know someone who’s just had a baby or will soon, Ruffles & Buttons is a great place to find a unique gift.
You can find Ruffles & Buttons online at these links: