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March 27, 2017

MONDAY MAMA | KATIE of LITTLE MANGO


hey hey! first of all. i want to say how absolutely thrilled and thankful i am for the positive feedback regarding last week's feature on maegen from the modern tulip and mimi's creamery. 

i loved featuring maegen and learning from her...and now we're back this week featuring katie of little mango.

(as a quick reminder - i'm running this monday mama series because i was really curious as to how all these moms were doing it all and still looked to have their sh*t together. i wanted to learn from them...ask them questions. and that's how the series was born! i digress...)

i've "known" katie via blog land for a few years now and i even creepily asked her to be my real life friend (more than once). please please please katie...i know we'll be besties.

well...instead of being my bestie she totally agreed to be featured...and here's some of her own words -
First things first – mama, don’t cut yourself short. You are running a household, raising two sassy little gals, being a fab wife to your farmer AND running two businesses! You should be allowed some days where you’re maybe not showered (…days, a week here and there, not that I can relate or anything J/K ) or out of PJs until you change into a new pair the following night. It happens and we all deserve that, because let’s be honest, we all have so many irons in the fire – whether you stay at home with your kiddos, work away from the home, whatever your day entails. Onto the business….

KARLI | where did your idea for your small business come from?

KATIE | Little Mango has been  a dream of mine since my first son, Cruz, was born. I loved seeking out small shops with cool, unique clothing and accessories to dress him in and, in the process, I loved that I was helping other mamas with their dream. When I was preggo with our second son, Leo, I put together my business plan and mapped out my timing to get the shop off the ground. I knew I wanted to carry brands I loved and that I knew were great quality and different than what every othe rkid was wearing. I reached out to those mamas and asked if they would let me carry their goods in my shop and the rest is history! I spend an obscene amount of time on instagram looking for the newest and best brands to carry in the shop.

KARLI | who is your biggest support?

KATIE |
My family and friends have been such an amazing support system - from helping to provide care for my boys while I'm working on inventory, out at our Pop Up shops, in meetings, etc to being some of my first (and best!) customers to helping spread the love of this little business of mine. I can't even begin to thank them enough.

KARLI | what's been your biggest win?

KATIE | For me, it's as simple as I get majorly giddy every single time I hear someone comment that they've heard about my shop from a friend or they've purchased something from my shop and love it...anything like that. I'm so proud of this business and love that word is spreading about Little Mango.

KARLI | any valuable lessons you've learned?

KATIE | Yep. I’m very trusting of people…sometimes to a fault. The outcome has been that I’ve gotten burned by a couple businesses I’ve tried to work with – for example, I’ve placed orders and they either weren’t fulfilled, weren’t done as agreed upon, took much longer to receive an order than was agreed upon, etc. Even though it’s taken a lot of my time (like a major waste of precious time), I eventually have gotten these businesses to right the situation and have learned what I need to do to avoid this moving forward.

KARLI | do you work outside the home?

KATIE | Nope. I left my job in April 2016 and opened Little Mango in June 2016. I knew that if I was going to do this right, I needed to put my full effort into getting it off the ground and give it a chance to succeed. However, part of the plan for me to leave my job was that I would have more time to spend with my boys. I have someone who helps watch my boys 3 days a week and then the rest of the time it’s about finding the balance between giving them the attention they need and getting work done. Most days, I get up around 5am and work until they get up at 8am, work during nap times and then again when they go to bed. Does it suck? Yeah sometimes I would love to just kick back and watch The Bachelor with a glass of wine, but I also LOVE what I’m doing right now so much that it isn’t hard to do.

KARLI | what would you say to someone who wants to start their own small business?

KATIE | Do it. If you have a passion for something and are willing to work harder than you ever have to achieve it, you have to do it. I gave up a successful 12 year career in casino marketing to take this leap, but I knew that if I didn’t do it now, I would always look back and think “what if.” But I’m not shitting you when I say you have to be prepared to work your butt off. The hours are off the charts, you will try things and fail, you will feel like you don’t know what you’re doing most of the time, it won’t be easy. But you know what the best part of this is for me? Even though I’m working more, I don’t feel like I used to (stressed, drained, always tired, etc) because I’m doing this for me and it’s my business and something I love doing.

KARLI | how do you balance your business and your kids?

KATIE | This is the hard part. One major positive to being a SAHWM is that I get to be home with my boys. In my previous work life, I traveled a ton, worked long hours, was always on call and ultimately I missed out on precious time with Cruz. After having Leo, quitting my Corporate gig and starting Little Mango, I’ve been able to be more present. I spend my days with Leo, I get to pick up Cruz from preschool, I get to feed them dinner (on time) and have some actual time with them before bedtime. It’s pretty great. But don’t get me wrong, there are also times that I am stuck on my phone updating social media, following up on emails, returning phone calls and I feel like I’m totally neglecting the boys, but it has to get done. I just hope they grow up and appreciate that their mama worked hard for them, was her own boss and are proud of what we built.

KARLI | future plans for Little Mango?

KATIE | Little Mango is hitting the streets! We have a vintage camper being remodeled into a mobile boutique. This will up our game and give our customers a chance to shop our shop in person more often, but for me it still allows me the flexibility to make my own hours and spend that quality time with my boys.

KARLI | where do you see your work in one and five years?

KATIE | My goal for 2017 was to have a mobile boutique – and we are going to have that in the first quarter which I’m so excited for! Within the year, I’m hoping to expand the sizes we carry – currently we offer newborn to 6 year and I would love to be able to offer bigger sizes and cater to more ages. In five years, I hope to have a physical storefront that has evolved into more than just clothing & accessories for kids. My dream would be to have a shared space that can be utilized for baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties – because this mama loves to throw a good party!
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oh mercy! did everyone else love reading about katie and little mango? now if only i had a background and successful career in marketing...think of the possibilities.

in addition, see why i want to be her bestie? she's remodeling an old camper into a mobile shop. she's brilliant. AND she loves a good party. AND she wants to open an event space. when i show up in nebraska with a bottle of champagne i hope she's not totally creeped out. at least i think it's nebraska... 

what i'm saying is this - if you love to shop and throw parties and support small shops...you'll adore katie. so let's show her all the love!

also, don't forget to use the code SEPTFARM20 for 20% off until april 30th, 2017! shop 'til ya drop, gals!


you can also join the Little Mango VIP Insiders Facebook Group for exclusive sales and new arrivals!


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and hey! are you a mama or know of a mama who wants to be featured on Sept. Farm for the Monday Mama series? i'd absolutely love that. the only criteria is that you have to be a mama AND have started your own business...you know, so you can share your wealth of knowledge on how you're keeping your sh*t together while simultaneously tending your children throughout the day AND working. hello power-multi-tasker. just send me an e-mail at karli@sept-farm.com.
March 24, 2017

OH HEY, FRIDAY! | MONDAY MAMAS + SNEAKING CANDY


hey look! we really do have a new button. yay! no more tacky kissy-kissy. i felt like it was killing my vibe. my blogging vibe...

anyway...

this week i took sawyer and kaye to their very first swimming lessons...ever. and talk about cuteness overload. i wish i had pictures, but sawyer's class is a parent-tot class so i actually have to be in the water. lame.

but let me tell you - classes where you just get to watch (like gymnastics)...way better. i'm that dumb mom with the ear to ear grin thinking to myself - did you see how much better my kid was than your kid?!

remember when i wrote about how competitive i am a few weeks ago? yeah - that has most DEFINITELY transferred over to being competitive for my children. it's a problem, but i don't think it's fixable.

but one thing i'm not competitive about is oh hey, friday! - mostly because i haven't figured out how to turn it into a competition. but anyway...

1 | grab this here snazzy kissy-themed button and link back to Sept. Farm.
2 | link up your post at the bottom of this post.
3 | tell all your friends + have a fantastic friday.


1. MONDAY MAMAS!
you guys...did you see my post from monday? oh mercy...i'm absolutely loving this and i've only done one feature. 
here's what it is - basically i've been reaching out to some different stay-at-home / work-from-home moms (who are in the same boat as me). they are balancing their family duties (kids, laundry, cleaning, meals, etc.) at the same time as starting their own business!
the first monday mama feature was all about maegan from the modern tulip who also runs mimi's creamery. if you want to go have a look - you totally should! maegen is a doll and her business is delicious! 
also - if you know of someone (or you are someone) who would be a good fit for a monday mama feature, please E-MAIL me your interest!
2. new office



oh mercy, friends. i need an office space. i've been holding off on doing this mostly because we need to build a garage so i can move the furniture that's in our future office. either that, or sell it. ha. in the meantime, i really just want a small spot where i can get some of my sh*t organized, not to mention things like baby books, important family documents, appliance manuals, warranties for those appliances...you know. things you have to keep but you don't want to keep but definitely need put somewhere so when you really do need them...you can grab them. guh. and then all my work stuff and blah blah blah. 
all this to say...what do you think? everything is from cb2, so it's not super expensive, it's simple, i think it'll get the job done...without taking up too much space. hmmm...i'm so bad at this stuff.
3.  sneaky sneaky
you may have seen on instagram a few days ago a little story about kaye being sneaky.

so...here's how that went down. on the farm our acreage spreads out over...several square miles or something like that. we have a blanket in the very back of my sequoia and when we are driving around on our farm roads looking for tractors or our farmer or just whatever the girls are welcome to roam about.

well...a few days ago sawyer was just sitting in her seat, but kaye was being awfully quiet. i called back to her, "what are you doing back there?" because i couldn't see her. and she sat up and said, "i'm just laying down on the blanket."

a few minutes later we parked, got out, and started kicking a ball around. naturally i wanted to snag a picture of kaye holding the pink ball in her pink boots. well, after snapping those pictures i showed them to kaye and noticed chocolate on her breath. it was then that i asked her, "where did you get chocolate?"

she was FLOORED that i knew she had been eating chocolate. she found a random bag of m&m's in the back of the car and was sneakily eating them when she was "laying down" on the blanket.

now, i don't love that she was eating chocolate before lunch...but what i REALLY don't love is that she was being sneaky. not cool. it's like a gateway to bigger and bigger lies. i'm going to need to pull out some super-mom parenting / ninja / jedi mind-tricks to somehow help her realize it's okay to eat chocolate, it's okay if i say no she can't have any chocolate, but it's not okay to be sneaky...please please please don't be sneaky.

4. obligatory sister picture
you know...because they are playing together in front of a green field and they look so darn cute.
5. outlander

i know i've talked about this way way too much, but come on. so...they outlander series itself has eight books. and each book is insanely long. but...after some intense dedication...i've finished all of them. and now i'm depressed about it. like...really torn up. the good news...the author is writing a ninth book. the bad news...it won't be out until late 2017 - i'm speculating. 

so...in the meantime...if anyone has some seriously good books to recommend please send them my way!

happiest weekend! i hope you all have all sorts of wonderful plans! (or maybe just a lot of relaxing!)

link up, ya hear?

March 20, 2017

MONDAY MAMA | MAEGEN of MIMI'S COOKIES & CREAMERY


i have some exciting news to share this morning!

and by exciting i mean...fun. supportive. encouraging. all the warm fuzzies.

it all started a few months ago when i was thinking of myself as a small (small small small) business owner. i've been stretching myself, but at the same time, loving it.

i was looking at other instagram accounts and online shops and i just kept thinking - how in the hell are these ladies doing it? they are moms. they are running businesses. and they actually appear to be getting dressed every day (something i've been struggling with).

meanwhile - here i am telling my two best gals, "mommy's working for just a few more minutes!.........." in yoga pants with unbrushed teeth...and hair. unbrushed teeth and hair. hello time management - i clearly missed this lesson in college.

it got me thinking - i would so love to talk with other women in my shoes. i need to pick some brains. get some ideas. learrrrrrn from these gals!

and then i though - hello! i write a blog. i could learn from these gals AND feature their businesses on my blog. that's a win / win all over the place, am-i-right? i'm right.

so today i'm so excited to share with you maegen of the modern tulip. but...not only does she write a wonderful blog, last year she and her husband teamed up to start their own business...i'll let her share the story...

maegen says - 

Girl I think you are rocking life to say the least! This mommin' gig and business owner gig ain't for the weary I can admit that much. Sometimes I get myself totally together and head out the door and it's 2pm before I've realized I've forgotten to brush me teeth. So I hope that puts it into some perspective for you.

I do NOT have my sh*t together. And when I envy those I think who do - I remember they are probably on the struggle bus in the same way! (karli says - preach it!)

Mimi's Cookies & Creamery is our sweet little new baby on top of the other two real life babies

KARLI | where did your idea for your small business come from?

MAEGEN | My mother-in-law (aka Mimi to the grandkids) is known for her famous chocolate chip cookie. And if she knows people are coming over she whips up a batch so that when you walk in the door they are coming out fresh and warm from the oven. Oh my soul - talk about divine! We've always joked she should have a milk and cookies truck and share her famous, delicious cookies with the world. My husband scours craiglists and other trade/sell websites for old cars. (karli says - is this a guy thing? my farmer does the exact same thing.) He stumbled upon the 1957 Grumman Oleson truck and instantly thought, "this would be perfect for the cookie truck!". It started as a joke and before we knew it Mimi's Cookies N' Creamery was born and 4 months later we had the LLC in hand, truck renovated and we were making our first batch of cookies and ordering in ice cream to share with our community. It was a whirlwind!

KARLI | who is your biggest support?

My husband and I run this business together so we support one another majorly, but my mother-in-law is our biggest support. She's always willing to watch the kids so that we can get something done or she helps bake cookies if we get majorly busy. She's proud to be the Mimi behind the truck and it definitely brings her joy to see how successful it's been!

KARLI | any valuable lessons learned?

MAEGEN | Delegation. I'm one of those people who wants it done a certain way and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who knows how to accomplish that. Cue the eye roll! It puts so much pressure on me and when I can't come through (because I can't do all things) I get frustrated with myself. I'm learning to delegate tasks to my husband and our employees. It's been a big blessing because not only does it take some pressure off me, but they have great ideas and come up with things I would have never thought of myself. Win, win!

KARLI | what would you say to someone who wants to start their own small business?

MAEGEN | Success doesn't happen over night. It takes a lot of dreaming, planning, scribbling and scratching out.

KARLI | how do you balance your business and your kids?

MAEGEN | I think I'll always be trying to find balance because my kids schedules are ever changing as well as my business priorities. I do my best to work before they wake up, during nap time or after they go to bed. I just try not to do it every single day because otherwise I get burnt out. So one day I might take a nap while they nap or do housework, read, paint my nails instead. And I'll plan to work that morning or night to make up for it. Maybe the next day I'll work through nap time and I won't do an ounce of work after they go to bed and I'll instead spend time snuggling my husband while watching Netflix. I've learned balance won't always look the same day to day.

KARLI | future plans for Mimi's?

MAEGEN | We want to have a lot more Mimi's trucks in the surrounding areas and then maybe one day (wayyyyy down the road) all across the US. The key is to keep dreaming big dreams!

KARLI | do you work outside the home for someone else in some capacity?

MAEGEN | I do not work outside the home. Just mama/blogger/business owner

KARLI | where do you see Mimi's in one and five years?

MAEGEN | In 1 and 5 years I see us having a few more trucks and possibly a brick and mortar here in Johnson City, TN.
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oh mercy! did everyone else love reading about maegen's mimi's as much as i did? i mean...that's rock star status. can you even imagine being her kids (when they get a bit older)? they'll be going to school saying...yeah...my mom and dad have an ice cream truck. NBD.

my girls will go to school and say...yesterday i picked up some feed corn out of a field.

it doesn't have quiiiiite the same umph. ya know?

but ice cream - ice cream is the love language of all ages. TRUTH.

so, if you just happen to be in the johnson city, tennessee area and need to book a truck...i hear Mimi's is super, extra yummy! or, we can support this working mama in other ways! visit her...


and hey! are you a mama or know of a mama who wants to be featured on Sept. Farm for the Monday Mama series? i'd absolutely love that. the only criteria is that you have to be a mama AND have started your own business...you know, so you can share your wealth of knowledge on how you're keeping your sh*t together while simultaneously tending your children throughout the day AND working. hello power-multi-tasker. just send me an e-mail at karli@sept-farm.com.

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