I’m so excited to debut my first inspiring woman story! I will do this kind of post once a month interviewing and highlighting a woman I admire.
Motherhood is a strenuous journey! One that takes adjustment for most. It is physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging to know that someone else’s well being is (almost) entirely dependent on you and every mom feels (at times) overwhelmed by the task.
It’s common after the birth to retreat inside ourselves and stop doing those things that brought us joy before our children were born. From my observations the moms who are healthiest (mentally and physically) and happiest are those that have found balance in continuing to develop interests and talents along with tackling the challenges and joys of motherhood.
Today, I am sharing an interview with Natalie Marsden of Little Lady Bow Co. She owns an Etsy business and hand-makes adorable and comfy bows for little girls (and bow ties for little gents too). When I think of Natalie, I feel accepted and I smile. She is such an example to me of resilience and positivity! I met Natalie in high school and have always been impressed with her vitality for life! I am sharing her journey from being a new mom to a small business owner and all of the tears and discovery that led up to it.
Back to the Beginning
Growing up, Natalie’s mother impacted her life more than just about anyone! She was involved and supportive of Natalie’s dreams. She said, “My mom is so great, she is so selfless and focused on her kids. I wanted to be a mom become my mom is such a great mom… I still call her like, two or three times a day.”
Life Has a Way of Challenging You
Natalie’s passion growing up was dance! “I tossed all of my creativity into dancing” she said. Although she tried differents crafts here and there at activities, dancing was really the only hobby she cared about. But right before leaving to serve an LDS mission, she had an injury that prevented her from dancing. She hoped it would heal during her 18 month mission but it didn’t.
A short while after she returned she began dating a handsome young man (who would become her husband, Parker). They had written back and forth through her whole mission and developed a deep friendship. Soon after she got back, that friendship developed into a romance and they tied the knot. After being married for about 15 months, they joyously welcomed a daughter, Lucy Evelyn, into their family. This was what Natalie had always wanted and she loved being a mommy!
But soon something began to feel off. The happiness of motherhood became more burdensome. “I cried like every day. Nap time was so stressful because I felt like I needed to accomplish everything I needed to do in that little chunk of time!” said Natalie. She felt like she needed to be holding or playing with Lucy constantly in order to be a good mommy. She loved Lucy with all her heart so why wasn’t she happy doing what she had always wanted?
What Does It Mean to be a “Good Mom”
Natalie received some wise counsel after talking with her mom. “It doesn’t matter if you’re giving her your undivided attention if it’s not good attention”, were her mother’s experienced words. Her husband added, “You need to calm down and do that what you need to do to be feel good.” That was very impactful! So Natalie began searching for an outlet so she could give her best to Lucy and be a happier herself.
She tried just about every craft she could find but gave up, saying, “It was super stressful because I couldn’t do it how Pinterest did it.” (haha, we’ve been there before).
One day, her mom came over with a sewing machine and just left it with Natalie. “The first bow I made, I didn’t measure and I made it while Lucy was asleep … it was way too big for her head!” But when she got done, she said it was the first time in a long while that she felt happy doing a hobby. And that’s where it began, a newly discovered passion for bow making!
A Business is Born
She made her first bow in January. After that point, she continually received positive feedback about her bows and in May she decided to launch her Etsy business, Little Lady Bow Co. After receiving such positive feedback she felt confident that things were off to a good start. Unfortunately, that first week, she didn’t sell a single bow! “I cried like everyday for two weeks, I don’t like putting myself out there at all! The fear of being rejected scared me so bad!” Her fear had been realized but she says now that she is so grateful she didn’t sell any bows the first week. “Failing made me do a lot of research! Pictures mean so much and I needed to be better at social media. It’s been really cool to be able to learn those things! I think if I would have had even just one or two sales I would have thought, “I’m doing great!” Failure is a beautiful thing because it pushes you to be better”.
No Where to Go but Up
Since then, she has been studying and trying different things to grow her business. It takes a lot of humility and courage to realize you’re doing something wrong and then to try new things. This journey has been one with her whole family and she wants to keep it that way! When I asked her what she hopes the future looks like for Little Lady Bow Co. she said, “I want it to keep growing, but I never want it to take away from my favorite role as a wife and a mom.”
A Message For Other Women
Finishing up, I wanted to ask Natalie about what she wants other women to know. Her answer was simple – “Be easy on yourself. We are so hard on ourselves as women.You need to find things that you’re succeeding in. Just try everyday to be the best you can. As I’m rocking Lucy to sleep…I just name five great moments from the day. I try to find moments…where I was good and happy.”
I wanted to interview Natalie because I think her story is one many of us can relate to. Finding outlets outside of motherhood that bring you personal happiness can be a release from the pressures of being a “perfect” parent. Natalie found renewed energy and balance in her life that enabled her to fulfill her passion for being a mother in a refreshing way. It was such a privilege to learn this from Natalie.