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Seams to Streams

February 01, 2014

I’m always thrilled when we start carrying a new brand at Sweetbottoms, but it’s even more exciting when we get to carry products made locally and when I get to meet up with the creative Mama behind it! I chatted with Amy Walker, creator of Seams to Streams and she told me about how she got started (and how she keeps going.) She also shared some of her new creations!

Seams to Streams started in 2012 as a nonprofit. Inspired by her Faith, Amy hoped to sell items that would raise money for water wells in Africa. After trying to make a few different products, she decided to focus on baby and toddler novelty items including nursing necklaces, bibs, and toys. She began slowly creating and learning to sew as she sold items to friends, online, and eventually wholesale to Sweetbottoms! Our customers love her fabric-covered nursing necklaces and we can’t wait to see what else she makes for us next.

“A lot of times I think my ideas are unique enough to be considered strange, and I wonder if anyone will take them seriously. So it is quite thrilling when they are a hit,” she said.

Sewing isn’t the only thing that keeps her busy, she’s a mom of two small children.  Juggling her work with caring for her children at home has been her biggest struggle. But she has been consistently encouraged to keep at it and continue making her charitable creations.

“It has been a struggle for balance. I’m just a mom who struggles to juggle everything and does not have it all together! For a while I was working at night, but health problems and the need for rest put that on hold for a while. Then I was trying to squeeze it into my son’s nap time, but that was not working consistently. Finally I have settled into a routine of getting up very early and getting started. I can usually get an hour or two of work done by 7:30 when my kids are ready for breakfast and that way my stuff is out and I am set up and can work some after they are asleep as well. My new mantra is a quote from William Wilberforce: I see my work must become affected by constant and regular exertions rather than sudden and violent ones.”

bib

When she gets a new idea, Amy experiments with materials and patterns to see what she can produce. Often, one idea leads to another.

“[Sometimes] I have one idea that is like a gateway into many more ideas. For example, the idea of the cart handle cover with the detachable teething ring led to a whole collection of items with a detachable teething ring! The creative aspect is definitely the most enjoyable part to me. I get almost giddy when I have a new idea and it turns out well. ” Amy said.

Amy searches for fun, bold fabric online and many items are made with organic cottons. She enlists help from her husband for help with “the numbers” and her children are her primary product testers.

“The “loveys” and teething bibs and diaper changing mats have been used with my son,” Amy said. “He is two now but has his two year molars coming in and the wooden teething ring is perfect for him right now. He loves his lovey with the teething ring attached as well and grips it as he is going to sleep. I use the bib with him often he gets excited when I put it on.”

Many times, Amy is inspired to create a product because she herself needs it. The shopping cart handle covers were made to keep her son busy and protected from germs while at the grocery store. Amy can’t wear him as much as she would like because of health issues, so she came up with this. There are three snap settings so it fits easily onto the handles at most all stores. It comes with the wooden teething ring, which can be removed and a different toy can be snapped on. So cute!

grocery cart

I told Amy that I think her story is really inspiring to anyone who wants to explore their creativity and take small steps to make a difference in the world. I asked her what she’s learned so far on her path to success.

“My only advice would be always keep your priorities in line. Put your family first, and don’t be in a hurry. When I do that it goes well, but when I have not done that it has just created frustration,” she said.

Amy has made donations to The Water Project, an organization that repairs and builds water wells in Africa. They focus on community involvement and sustainability.

 “I’ve wondered at times why God put this specific need on my heart, but I realize the HUGE impact that access to clean water has. When families have clean water and do not have to spend all of their time gathering the little bit of diseased water that they can find in order to survive, they are able to begin to thrive. Not only does it prevent the obvious like sickness and starvation but it also will prevent children becoming orphans, desperate measures of survival, and vices that are crippling to individuals and their society.”

February’s Featured Freebie is the super-popular Seams to Streams nursing necklace. Click hereto add it to your cart!

(Oh and be quick about it because I have a little feeling that these are going to run out before the  end of the month!)


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