My name is Kayla. I live in Cloquet, Minnesota, near one of the Twin Ports on the famous Lake Superior. I am the proud mama of two wonderful young men, named Colton and Joseph. They are the reasons why I started my company, Handmade Mama LLC. They both keep me on my toes. They push me forward each and everyday. I’m lucky to have them as my best friends and helpers. But I’m also very grateful to be their Mama.
As a child, I discovered my grandmother had an extravagant sewing room. I watched her while she worked and assisted her with little projects here and there. She always gave us full reign to create what we wanted. I hadn’t done much sewing other than a required home economics class in middle school, where I made a pillow and a duffle bag. After that, I had this spark inside me that that fueled a desire to make things for my home. I made a couple sundresses with my mom’s machine. I remember my friends would ask where I bought them from. I was so proud to say that I made them myself. After that, my passion for creation and sewing flickered and waned, but I didn’t know it was a fire burning inside me waiting to be ignited again.
For years, I had been thinking of purchasing a machine of my own. I really wanted to get back into sewing, especially during the cold winters in Minnesota. My grandmother inspired me to create and learn as a child, to learn a trade that could bring myself and others joy and happiness. Every year, she would make all the kids pajama pants. She would also make every new baby in the family a special embroidered blanket with their name.
In March 2018, my mother decided she was moving to Hawaii after most recently living in South Dakota. One week, I came to visit and help her go through her things and see if there was anything I would want to keep. She wanted a new beginning for herself. As fate would have it, I found her sewing machine. I began to feel that fire inside me rekindling again.
In early winter 2018, I would drive Colton to and from school, and at the time, Joseph was just a little baby. He was born in early August. I would always try to rush Colton into the car, take his coat off, and buckle him during the frigid temperatures. Then, when we would get to school I would rush to get him out of the seat, put his coat on, and get out of the car quickly so he wouldn’t get too cold from the door being open. It was such a process every day and I just thought there had to be an easier way.
I had the idea to make them both car seat capes. With a stroke of luck, I was able to develop my own pattern. I deployed my mom’s old sewing machine and immediately got to work. The finished cape wasn’t perfect, but it turned out better than I expected for being so rusty. Reinvigorated, I then decided to make one for Joseph as well. After countering my previous mistakes on the first, it turned out perfectly. I was so proud of my creations that I posted them on Facebook. Other parents were immediately interested, and I was asked if I could make their children capes too. I went to the fabric store and picked out the fleece that spoke to me. I made a page to manage and market to other parents that were interested in purchasing one or requesting a custom order. I wanted to use my page for showcasing my new creations and display what other items I could offer.
After keeping busy with that, I started to get special requests for other items like blankets, clothing, and doggie items. I stayed inspired making baby booties, burp cloths, bibs, and other projects. Soon I was getting requests for all kinds of clothing items, and this began to write another chapter in my story along this journey. As the capes slowed down for the warmer weather, I started to focus on other projects. My little business that I just started on a whim had begun to grow into something much more. I knew now that I needed to make a Facebook page that wasn’t just for car seat capes, but for all kinds of customer needs. I needed to come up with a name that would identify what kind of product I was creating, and the love and work I put into each item. I settled on “Handmade Mama LLC”. It seemed fitting, considering this was started due to making something for my own children. I always cherished something that could be custom and handmade, so to me, it was a perfect name.
For a short period of time, I opened an Etsy shop. With all the special orders I was receiving, and this passion reignited inside me for creating these items, I knew this was going to be long term. I knew I wanted my own webpage. I wanted to create this small business and grow my passion into my dream job. It’s something I love doing and find so much joy in. I love making people happy and creating things you can’t find in big box stores. It was a perfect beginning for my life while I was a stay at home mom. I take pride providing handmade items made from supplies produced from the US and safe for my consumers.
I want to thank all my friends, fellow parents, and families supporting my business. Without each and every one of you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It truly brings me so much happiness to see people enjoy the things I put my precious time, love, and work into.