Congratulations to Renee Stawicki, this month’s Mommy Master, who does it all. She started her own small business with her family and homeschools her two children, teaching them valuable lessons she is proud of. Renee is definitely an inspiration to us all! Read below and learn more:
Hello! My name is Renee Stawicki, and I run a small business with my family called Songbird Sewing Company. Our company grew out of my love to create things by hand. I was determined to sew clothes and other handmade items for my children. It took some time, a few lessons, and Youtube videos, but eventually I taught myself to sew and got to work! My daughter Ava was born in 2009, my son Ezra came the following year, and I’ve been designing and creating handmade items ever since.
In 2010, we moved to Long Island for my husband’s job. It was a sudden move, I had a 5 week old, and an almost 2 year old and I didn’t know a soul. To combat homesickness and keep occupied, I filled a lot of time with sewing. I made clothes (you wouldn’t believe some of the things my poor daughter had to wear!) and curtains, and sent home small handmade gifts to my family. Eventually, I started receiving orders, and that is how the Songbird Sewing Company was born.
This business really took off as we began the process of moving back home to upstate NY. Before I became a mom I worked as a medical technologist in a Pathology lab, I later decided to change careers and became a high school biology teacher. It’s hard to believe such a science nerd would be interested in artistic creation isn’t it?! It’s the colors, I LOVE nature; I grew up outside fishing, hunting, camping, dirt biking, snowmobiling, you get the picture, and so biology was easy for me. It is also very visual and colorful, and I suppose that is what caught my interest. I also love fashion, fabric, and vintage clothing, and thrifting has always been one of my favorite past times. I love that in sewing, I’ve been able to incorporate my love for nature, beautiful colors and textures, and appreciation for vintage materials.
My “studio” is the kitchen and dining room of our tiny home located in upstate New York. Our house is not just the place we come back to at night; I can honestly say that we do life here together. It’s our home, our school, my studio and it’s where we love to be most. We live in a beautiful place, and we are thrilled to be back home! Did I mention we homeschool? We love homeschooling and the freedom that it gives us as a family. In order to finish our lessons each day on time we try to stick to a schedule, and the kids are expected to do their share of work around the house.
The house is small so the kids are in and out of my studio. I am often ironing fabric as they do their homework. The kids see me doing my work, and they are a huge part of our business. They purchase supplies with me, and help me scout out thrift stores and flea markets looking for materials, take trips to the post office, and they even sew!
As I write this article we are making a 6 hour trip to NYC and plan to visit the garment district to make a few purchases for Songbird. We also travel to craft festivals together and the kids enjoy helping out in the booth and interacting with customers. They make little commercials and advertisements and tell everyone they know about Mommy’s business. They are gaining wonderful communication and business skills!
I could never say that running a business and homeschooling is an easy feat! We are still figuring it out, and, as any busy mom would say, I could use a few more hours in a day! I often arise by 4:30 to work on a few pieces, get organized and prepare my lessons for the day. Because of our limited space the business has taken over part of the house, and creativity is messy! There is a lot going on in our house, and it can be a bit chaotic, but I love it!
As a society, we have become isolated. We don’t know where our food comes from, or who made the clothes we are wearing, and we’ve become disconnected and distracted by technology and the comfort of anonymity that it provides. Many people feel that this isolation causes a lot of problems.
The handmade movement is working to rebuild our pride of Made in America, and to build community based on supporting local makers, farmers and businesses. Our hope for this business is that we will continue to grow and have success as we homeschool, that we will instill in our children the importance of self reliance, creating and connecting to community, and that we will continue to love the adventure as much as we have so far!
Learn more and connect with Renee:
[su_box title=”Are You a Mommy Master?” box_color=”#252180″] Submissions are now open for the December Mommy Master, and entering is super easy. It’s a great way to promote your business, gain more followers for your blog and social media outlets, or just brag about all the hard work you do as a mom…at no cost to you!
Let’s support and encourage one another!
Thank you to all the great moms who entered thus far…you are all Mommy Masters! [/su_box]