Interview with Luggabug

After featuring one of her gorgeous ring slings in a Treasury Tuesday Jessica of Luggabug and I got to talking and found that we have lots in common! Among other things, we’re both work at home mamas who made special things for our babies and decided to share them with the world!

Tell a bit about yourself.

I’m a work-at-home mother of one (so far.) I grew up in Southeastern Idaho in a small town called Pocatello. I met the love of my life at a hot dog cart in Boise, ID, which led to Southern California. I enjoy the sunlight, tea, giggles and cuddles with my family, and of course – creating. Sewing, painting, crochet, haircutting, music making.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

I’m a little bit of a geek. I’m really into space themed sci-fi stuff, mostly thanks to my husband.. like the Ender’s Game series, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Stargate Atlantis.

What inspires you to create?

Three things, I’d say.

My generation is starting to get into quilting and embroidery, and I love all the modern quirky fabrics coming out as a result! I still have a soft spot for vintage stuff too, so I try to fuse them together in my work.

I love sharing my art. I used to give away all of my paintings. I feel like once I’ve poured my love and effort into it, it’s not mine anymore and it has to be shared.

I started working at 14, and always liked the structure and consistency of having a job.  Although being a mom is a really tough job, it’s a different kind of job. It makes me feel good to create things that contribute to the family income, and to set and make my own personal tangible goals.

What did you like to do when you aren’t crafting?

I have a fantastic moms group in my area that does park day meetups and field trips. I also really enjoy reading, singing with my son, and hanging out with the husband.  

What is your dream in life, other than having a successful Etsy shop?

I want to live on a chunk of land with plenty of children, love, and fruit trees to go around. And a perfectly organized workspace. (Ha!)

How did you get started making ring slings?

I was pregnant with my son, searching and searching for a sling that was both affordable and adorable. If it was cute, it was usually a wrap conversion (and out of my price range.) If it was affordable, it didn’t make my heart sing with consumer joy. So I made my own! After that, I wanted to share the love. I thought… there have to be other moms out there who are looking for the same things I like. I should do this!

What is your creative process like?

When I see a fabric that gives me butterflies, I start to brainstorm the best way to display it. I try to find a coordinating fabric that will either contrast or compliment nicely, depending on the feel of the print. From there, it’s just adjusting the lines on the pattern to match what’s in my head. The rest is an assembly line, basically. I’m currently practicing embroidery, and experimenting with new patterns and styles of applique. So stay tuned for that!

I love the shapes of your coordinating fabric, like this one I haven’t seen ring slings like that. What was the inspiration?

Thank you! I loved how tulas and mei tais were decked out with cool fabrics, and noticed that the ring sling community was missing out. I saw fabric I loved, but quilter’s cotton isn’t strong enough to use alone. It was important to me to make safe, CPSIA compliant carriers. So I found a reliable linen source to use as the structural fabric. Then, I played around with different shapes and sizes of applique until I found a few that I loved.

Where can you be found online? (besides on Etsy)

I have an instagram account @luggabug where I post updates, sneak peeks, discounts, and behind-the-scenes photos.

How did you come up with your store name?

Early on, a friend on facebook asked what I was going to make. I said “Something to lug around babies in.” It came to me pretty quick after that, because I had already been playing around with rhyming names.

Any tips for others wanting to start a handmade business?

Sure! There’s a couple things I figured out that I didn’t think about in the very beginning, but they’re important. First – find and follow laws and regulations applicable to your product. Especially children’s products. Then – don’t let the bureaucracy discourage you. It’s kind of a frustrating mess, but it will make your life easier and it’s important.

Also – take the time to figure out your demographic. Think about if there’s a real demand for what you have to offer. Is anyone else offering it already? What sets you apart?

Finally – at some point you have to just take a deep breath and put something out there! You don’t have to start perfect, you just have to start somewhere.

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