Shop Small :: CinderEllie Designs

Thank you, Cinder Ellie Designs, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by Cinder Ellie Designs; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

CinderEllie Designs

It has officially been one week since we have returned home from Disney. Life hits us, of course, the moment we got back. Ollie has gone from baby steps to running, literally. We had our anniversary to celebrate as well as Mother’s Day. And our refrigerator went out! I know life is full of ups and downs but this week we were just full!

Thankfully, I have a ton of Disney things still on my mind to keep the magic in the air. One is our final shop in our Shop Small Spring series, CinderEllie Designs. Her flowy tank was just perfect for our waterpark day at Typhoon Lagoon! I absolutely adore it. The color is something that I don’t have a lot of so I keep finding myself grabbing it from my closet as a top that’s a bit different than my normal routine. I love the glitter print as well!

If you are heading down to Disney, use the code “springfling17” for 20% off at her shop through the end of the month! Also, head on over to our Instagram page today for a special giveaway with her and Ellie ‘n Ollie, our new magically inspired tee shop!

CinderEllie Designs

Here is a little bit more about Ashly, the owner of Cinder Ellie Designs:

How did you get your shop started?
After leaving the classroom in January 2016, I found myself a little flustered. I’m a creative person, and my house was always cluttered with projects that I couldn’t wait to start. I am truly blessed with a patient man for a husband because he is always supportive and must have known I NEEDED a creative outlet. I started making my daughter shirts with the machine I had once used to make bulletin boards and activities for my students.

In August, my former student and babysitter asked me if I had thought about selling shirts. I laughed at her and asked her what she wanted me to make her. I made her a few shirts, and her comment sparked my interest into researching the possibility of opening my own shop. It was kind of a snowball effect of me making things for her and her family which turned into more requests from more people. I quickly needed a way for my friends and family to easily reimburse me for the things I made. At the end of the month, I jokingly created an Etsy page.

In September 2016, I launched my Facebook page and uploaded a few designs to my shop. I feel incredibly blessed to have done so well in such a short amount of time. CinderEllie Designs has been an incredible creative outlet while also helping me stick to our budget (most of the time) and helping out with a little income.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
The hardest part of owning a shop is the fact that I want everyone I reply to via message on Etsy to be absolutely ecstatic about their experience with CinderEllie Designs–regardless of if they order a product from me or not.

I have said yes to rush orders I probably should have said no to because I empathize with my fellow procrastinators. My husband gets asked countless times each week for approval of each order I ship out. We once spent 30 minutes on a shirt that had an odd layout- scrutinizing it to ensure it was absolutely centered. I just want to make sure everyone has a great experience with CinderEllie Designs, and the perfectionist side of me comes out in full force with each order.

What is one thing unique about you?
I am great at making little-bitty pieces of paper. That was actually what my dad warned my husband about before we got married. Since I was little, I have always loved crafting. With crafting comes messes. And tiny pieces of paper. I got in trouble in Kindergarten because I thought the grass we were cutting out of construction paper for a picture we were making would look better cut a different way. I stayed in from recess that day. Give me a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun, and I can conquer the world.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
The absolute best part of owning CinderEllie Designs is making someone’s event even more special. I have helped announce pregnancies, celebrate birthdays, and coordinate outfits for magical vacations. I love that I am a part of so many happy milestones in complete stranger’s lives. That probably makes me weird. Or creepy. But it’s true. I also love that CinderEllie Designs gives me a creative outlet, and I have complete ownership of what I do in my small business.

How did you get your shop name?
My daughter’s name is Ellie. When we are being silly, I’ve always called her CinderEllie. Her favorite Disney princess was Cinderella for a time, and she went through a period where she would hide her left shoes (only her left shoes). When I opened the Etsy shop, I knew most of my designs would be inspired by her loves and interests. I immediately knew CinderEllie Designs would be my Etsy shops name for this reason. She’s a strong-willed, spunky little girl. Could there be better inspiration?

What is one way that you keep organized?
Organization something I am still working on. Like I said, I literally opened this shop almost as a joke. I have envelopes for each month of the year. I also use Etsy to keep my current orders organized. My husband is also amazing at creating spreadsheets, so he helps me keep up with inventory and numbers.

How do you balance family life and work life?
Sometimes I completely fail at the balancing act, but I try to keep designated days/nights for CinderEllie Designs. I also have pulled many late nights so I didn’t miss out on anything in Ellie or my husband’s life. Other times they go on Daddy-Daughter dates so I can focus on getting orders out. I travel for work part-time, so I’ve had to get a lot better at using the Google Calendar app on my phone to keep track of where I’ll be each day and what days I will be fulfilling orders. I also recently moved my workspace to a room that is not directly attached to my house. Having a designated, separate space for home and CinderEllie Designs has helped with my family/work/CinderEllie Designs balancing act immensely.