Growing Up Wild is an Etsy shop run by WAHM of two, Kelly Engel. Her shop features gorgeous, hand-made organic baby products she makes out of her home. I love Kelly’s commitment to making items that are good for families and good for the environment, and I’m so excited that she’s one of our sponsors for the Just for Baby Giveaway. The winner of Robot Love’s giveaway will be able to pick a pair of adorable organic shoes from Growing Up Wild.
To find out more about Kelly and her wonderful, eco-friendly shop, see my interview with her below the cut.
Interview with Kelly Engel
How did you learn to sew?
My mom taught me to sew when I was little. She used to make wonderful outfits for my siblings and I. While she worked she encouraged us to make clothes for our dolls and stuffed animals with the fabric scraps.
When do you first remember becoming environmentally conscientious?
My mom swears I sprang from the womb that way. Caring for the environment was a concern of mine from the very beginning. In elementary school I was organizing road side clean-ups and reading articles about environmental protection. By middle school I had organized and environmental club at our school which led community wide efforts.
What made you decide to open your own Etsy?
I loved my career as a second grade teacher until the day my first was born. I had always known that I wanted to be a stay at home mom during the early child years. When he arrived I began sewing clothes for him. When we were out people often asked me where I shopped. That gave me the courage to begin selling my own clothing both locally and on Etsy. It fits in beautifully with our lifestyle. I can be home with my children and still do something I love to help support our family.
Why did you choose to focus on baby clothes and shoes?
There is nothing sweeter than those first few years of life! I have really sensitive skin so it was no surprise that my son did as well. So many of the clothes he was given at birth were cheaply made and were so itchy after just a few washes. I wanted to switch him over to organic cotton which would be gentle on his skin but I couldn’t find a large selection in my area that, nor could I afford what few choices there were. This led me to creating my own line. My Etsy shop currently features mostly my shoes and screen printed onesies and tees as I just delivered my second son on July 21st. I hope to soon have my appliquéd and handmade clothing available again once we settle into a pattern.
I love the prints you use. How do you choose fabric for your shoes?
I found an amazing organic fabric supplier in a fellow work-at-home mom who is also located in the Pacific Northwest. She carries such wonderful prints and I love supporting another momma!
What is your long-term vision for Growing Up Wild?
Truthfully I do not yet have a long-term vision for Growing Up Wild. I love sewing and the wonderful photos and stories that I get from customers about their purchases. I do one day hope to return to the classroom when my own children are school age so we will see how the future goes.
The Just for Baby Giveaway starts on July 30 and runs through August 10. Come back on July 30 to enter to win a set of Kelly’s precious organic baby shoes!