Tell us about your business.I’ve always wanted to be a mother and have a career. And after having my two children I was more determined than ever to make it happen. A friend of mine told me she was going to make “stuff” and sell it online. It seemed like as good of an idea as any, especially considering I come from a line of makers. So I taught myself how to sew and got started. I called myself, “Freshly Picked” and set up an online shop. I was able to experiment with more products and eventually land on an item I was proud to sell: a leather baby moccasin. Working at my kitchen table with my shoestring budget, I made lots of different versions of the soft-soled shoe until I had one that was both adorable and functional. I’d like to say things, “snowballed” but that’s just not the case. I hustled, and HUSTLED at craft shows and began networking and dipping my toe into the game of public relations. All of our moccasins are still made in the USA.
What makes your business stand out?My customers, my tenacity and my team make my business unique. I have some of the best customers around, they are loyal and amazing. They are the reason that Freshly Picked has seen the success that we have in the past year. I really fee like they grew my business into what it is today. A good friend once referred to as me 'scrappy' when we were doing a business deal, and the name has stuck. I didn't go to college for business or anything, really. But I am determined to see Freshly Picked successful and will work and hustle for that to happen. I have also been really lucky to have the best employees around. They are great to work with and see the whole vision of the company and are as dedicated as I am.
What's the best business advice you've received?'Do what you do best and hire out the rest.' Most small businesses fail because the owner can't or won't hire others to help. If you try to do everything at the end of the day you will do nothing. And then to 'be grateful', to me gratitude is the secret to a happy life.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.Vote now
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now