At-Home Businesses for Busy Moms–Aloha Finishing Pins + GIVEAWAY

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Today’s At-Home Businesses for Busy Moms features an exclusve Gen X Moms Blog giveaway!

Today’s Mom: Jessica with Aloha Finishing Pins

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family

I’m a stay at home military wife and mom to three children. Tristan is seven, Sofya is five and the baby, Winnie, is sixteen months. My oldest child has some demanding special needs and I was looking for a creative outlet and a way to “get away” from the demands of motherhood. I started trying out different things and now I’m an amateur photographer often busy running my website, which is about me, my photography and my hair and doing hair tutorials on YouTube.

Tell us about your business

I have an Etsy store that I currently run under my username, Tristanc2003 Aloha Finishing Pins. I make and sell decorative flower hair pins. I’ve had orders from as far away as France! I also, as a side item, sell photocards of photographs I have taken, since I have had interest in those as well. I hope to expand on that in the future, but in the meantime, I have been focusing on my hair pins.

How did you get started in this business?

I have really long hair. In fact, in Hawaii, long hair is pretty common and is ingrained into the culture. I’m always looking for pretty and interesting hair accessories. I’m a little limited because I really try to avoid using elastics and plastic. Unfortunately, a lot of hair accessories are rather elaborate or elvish looking. Simple flower blossoms, which are commonly found here, are stuck on plastic clips that stick up off your head and are often cartoonishly large. I just wanted something simple that I could tuck into my hair and would stay. I found Amish hair pins stay really well and started making my own Hawaiian style hair pins and found there was some interest, so I put them up on Etsy. As for the photocards, there were some inquiries about the photos on my website, so I figured, what the heck? If they don’t sell, I can always use them to send to friends.

Did you have any kind of special education or training?

I haven’t had any training other than the care of my own hair (which can be rather meticulous.) I think that helps me to understand other people’s concerns about the things they stick in their hair.

How do you juggle motherhood and the business?

My oldest son is special needs, so I seldom get time to devote to creating or the business aspect  until after he goes to sleep. Actually, I found that the creating and business aspect is really therapeutic because it’s something all my own and doesn’t have anything to do with mothering or care of the house.

What would you say to other moms interested in opening a similar business?

I’d say go for it! The amazing thing about the world today is that people don’t have to settle for what they are able to find. There’s someone out there making exactly what you’re looking for or is willing to do it custom for an affordable price. Maybe that person could be you!

Do you have any special offers for Gen X Mom readers?

Sure! Anything in the Etsy store 10% of for Gen X readers. Be sure to mention Gen X on your order form and get 10% off.

And now, Jessica gives a special demonstration of her hair pins!

Myspace Layouts

Jessica has generously donated this beautiful set of hibiscus hair pins to one of our lucky readers. To enter, post a comment for the following:

  1. Check out Aloha Finishing Pins and tell us which product is your favorite.
  2. Become a fan of Gen X Moms on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, tell us!
  3. Post about Gen X Moms on Facebook
  4. Tweet about Gen X Moms including a link back to this post
  5. Post about Gen X Moms on your own blog and include a link in the comments
  6. Talk about Gen X Moms on a forum and include a link in the comments
  7. Look at your hair in the mirror and picture how beautiful it would be with these hair pins. Leave a comment telling up.

These could be yours!

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Conveniently Green–Reusable Swiffer Duster

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Do you love your Swiffer Duster? I do! I’ve got the duster with the extendable, telescoping handle, which is a fancy way of saying that it’s a long, plastic stick. The Swiffer Duster requires, of course, the Swiffer Refill, which is a disposable fluffy doo-dad that sucks up all of the dust and pet hair (in our house, emphasis on pet hair) and then you toss it in the trash.

And you know how much I love tossing things in the trash, right?

But I like the idea of a disposable duster, because the thought of using a feather duster and then having all that crap sitting around, or taking it outside and beating it on the porch and setting off my allergies and whatnot really grosses me out. Still, disposable? Are you serious? Surely there’s a better way.

I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

I suppose I could easily sew my own reusable duster, but I have no idea where my sewing machine is (somewhere in the garage, I think, or maybe we accidentally left it in the storage unit in San Jose). Thank God for Etsy.com. If you haven’t been there already, Etsy is a wonderful site of different sellers offering thousands of handmade items–everything from art to, well, dusters. Many Etsy sellers are moms, and if there’s one thing I love more than replacing a disposable item, it’s helping out another mom. I fell in love with the adorable fleece dusters at Mom and My Crafts. Sarah and her mom make all kinds of eco-friendly products, and I happen to know from personal experience that fleece is excellent at picking up all kinds of dust and hair. Excellent. Especially when you’re wearing it.

Well believe it or not, I really love dusting with my Swiffer Duster now. And trust me, I’m a person who hates to clean. The reusable duster performs like nobody’s business. In fact, I think it attracts and traps dust and hair even better than the disposables. And the fleece eliminates one of my biggest pet peeves with the disposables–getting snagged on corners or rough surfaces. It’s fun and cute, and I don’t have to wonder what kind of vegetation died to create it. I love it.

Yesterday I went on a dusting spree just to give you photographic evidence of how much I love these dusters. I tackled my problem areas: underneath the living room furniture, on top of the fan blades, along the baseboards, and of course, on the furniture itself. Not in that order. Check it out.

Before:

It's green! And pink! And adorable!

After:

Wow, that's gross!

The best part is that I just drop that bad boy in the laundry and I’m good to go for my next dusting spree.

The Scrivener

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