Friday, October 9, 2015

We made it on ABC World News

Yesterday was a crazy day! Amazon finally launched their Handmade At Amazon store which features handmade items from around the nation. It's going to be a rival to Etsy and is off to a good start. I applied early on to be a part of it and luckily Ollie & Olina was picked. The quilts fit into the bedding section of the site and I noticed that on launch, my quilts were on the face page. Totally exciting!

Later that day I was running around Bayshore with Gretchen and Elsa and received an email that I couldn't read immediately. Minutes later I received a phone call and it was from Amazon's PR team. They wanted to know if they could release my contact information to ABC News for a segment on that evening's World News. Um... YES!! At 2:30pm I received a phone call from ABC News and instructions on taking a selfie video and sending it to the news desk by 4:30pm. With school pick-up mixed in there, you can bet it was a CRAZY two hours. I got everything finished with help from my neighbor and Gretchen and we submitted the video.

On the 5:30pm CST ABC World News with David Muir, I was featured on the Made In America segment. You can watch the video here. The kids were excited, I was excited, Kevin was excited-- it was exciting!! Every day I wake up and think, "Today is the day my dreams will come true." And each day I get a little closer. I didn't get 100 sales in one day, it's not magic, but I know I'm headed in the right direction and I'm going to keep running at those dreams.

The journey of parenthood spans many memories - from the time we bring our children home from the hospital to when they start their own family. From their first steps to that walk down the aisle. From preschool to graduate school. Wouldn't you want to have a lovely keepsake as a poignant reminder of those cherished moments? Ollie & Olina honors those uniquely precious newborn months by sourcing the highest quality materials and pouring love into each item we create.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Committed to safety

Here at Ollie & Olina, we are committed to safety. Our heirloom quilt collections are made with premium cotton and durable stitching. Ollie & Olina is also a part of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). Safety is the top priority of the baby products industry. All Ollie & Olina products meet CPSC standards for quality. Here are some awesome graphics to keep in mind when keeping baby safe. Pin them as a reminder!!

More information on safety and certified baby products can be found at Baby Safety Zone, powered by JMPA.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ollie & Olina featured on Fabzlist!

Today Ollie & Olina is featured on Fabzlist! We sat down for an interview about the new heirloom quilt collection and what it means to be a Momprenuer. Follow this LINK for the full story!

What is the inspiration behind the heirloom collection? 
New mothers deserve a memento of their children’s first months. A little piece of function and beauty.  The journey of parenthood spans many memories – from the time we bring our children home from the hospital to when they start their own family. From their first steps to that walk down the aisle. From preschool to graduate school.
The Hello, Bear fabric collection from designer Bonnie Christine was instantly the perfect neutral and whimsical line to use for my heirloom collection. This fabric was inspiration on it's own! Illustrated with woodsy tones like pastel moss, conifer and bark, Hello, Bear invites all young at heart explorers to frolic and listen to the playful sounds of the wilderness. 

Being a Momprenuer, how do you juggle work and family life?
I've been working from home for a long time, and my children have grown up knowing that mom needs to take phone calls and they have to keep voices to a hush. I have an awesome calendar that holds all my important information and of course, my iPhone I can't live without. But my girls have grown into this business with me and really embrace it as well. They even help out in the studio when they can, and love to talk about the quilts and their special qualities. I let them play with scissors and fabric so that way we are all working together.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

School has finally started!

We started school in Wisconsin and wow was I ready for them to get back. Actually, they were ready too. My girls all operate really well with some routine and instruction. With Charlotte starting 1st grade, she's really hitting the big stuff now.

Our school year isn't all work. Elsa is taking a fun class at the YMCA and Gretchen will be taking a dance class on Wednesdays after school. Her 4-K class is only half-days. This is her first time taking anything like that and I know she's always wanted to. We have some passed-down dance outfits so all she needed was a new pair of ballet shoes. Gretchen also got her ears pierced!!! Lavender jewels. So far she has been taking very good care of her ears and is in LOVE with having them pierced. I know she's only 4.5yo but she was ready and knew exactly how they pierced ears and that it would hurt. She just simply wanted it done!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cow Showing for 4-H

This past month the girls showed baby calves at the County Fair. Our 4-H group hooked the tikes up with a farm and some baby cows. It sure was an interesting adventure. Both Charlotte and Gretchen were troopers! Their cow, Peanut Butter, was a stubborn little girl. The kids had to walk them around the ring, keep the cows head in line with it's spine, know their name and birthday, and of course smile at the judge. Neither one came close to winning but it made them excited enough to try again next year. I'm so glad the braved something new and stepped out of their comfort zone.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ollie & Olina Giveaway from Bonnie Christine

If you have seen my debut collection, Hello Bear, then you have also admired designer Bonnie Christine's work for Art Gallery Fabrics. She is the brilliant surface pattern designer that has dreamed up the Hello Bear line. I've used her collection as inspiration for the basis of my brand and thus you have my Hello Bear Heirloom Quilt Collection.

Bonnie Christine runs a blog called Going Home To Roost. Starting today, she's hosting a giveaway her blog for a $50 gift card to Ollie and Olina.

At ollie & olina, we believe two things: baby gifts should be functional and memorable. We know how important and cherished these moments are and how special it is to receive an unforgettable gift. Especially one that is handmade, right here in the U.S.!

What are you waiting for? Head over to Going Home To Roost and enter the givewaway! Bonnie is expecting her second child, a daughter, in just a few weeks. Send her some good loving while you are at it. And who knows, maybe we'll see some more amazing prints in 2016 from this talented designer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ollie & Olina

What a morning! After a few late-night phone calls and tech support, the Ollie & Olina website is up and running. It looks beautiful thanks to Zoe and Geri. I'm so thrilled with how this little dream of mine turned out.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ollie & Olina :: behind the scenes

As I look at my beautiful website and brand that is about to launch in three days, I realize that in no way did I do this alone. A few of you have heard me talk about Geri, and it was a learning curve for sure, but Geri from The Languid Lion did an awesome job of helping to pull out the dream that was stuck inside me and couldn't find a way out.

She has revamped her own website and has a great profile on Ollie & Olina and me.

Geri states, "Ollie and Olina is a new line of handmade heirloom quilts, bibs and burp cloths for newborn babies. Erika was looking to expand her budding business last year and needed some special packaging for her products. In digging a little deeper with Erika and determining what her real goals were, we ended up creating a new name, clarified her new target audience, specialized her line of products for a narrowing niche market and then got to work designing it all!"

And boy it's true!! We had a few ups and a few downs, but the end product is amazing and it's a dream come true. I know I still have to run uphill for at least another year to really get things going, but I'm ready for the challenge and I'm proud of what I've done.


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