While the month of August has flown by, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate mom-preneurs, small shops (of course), and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness month.
If you didn’t already know, August is SMA Awareness month and I have been privileged to meet Christine, owner of Wee Delights, and mom to Caleb who battles with Type 2 SMA.
Christine and I partnered up to get some cool pics of my kiddos in some Wee Delights gear and the rest (as they say) is history. I was immediately drawn to her kindness, her adorable kids, and her amazing brand. Even with a 3rd baby on the way, she was gracious enough to take the time to sit and let me interview her for my blog and here it is:
- Can you give us a brief history of Wee Delights? (How long have you been in business? Where are you located? & any other cool info you’d like to give us!)
We’ve been open for about a year and a half. My shop was inspired by my son, Caleb, who was diagnosed with SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type 2 at 17 months old. I wanted to create awareness and raise funds to find a cure of this rare disease without having bake sales. I’m a hazard in the kitchen.
- What is the ultimate vision for Wee Delights? Where do you see your business in 5 years?
My ultimate goal for Wee Delights is to have the brand of apparel that is known for great designs and great messages while spreading SMA awareness and raising funds to find a cure. We currently have apparel for babies and toddlers and would like to expand to proving youth and adult sizes.
What does the infrastructure of Wee Delights look like? Who helps you or are you a one-woman show?
Wee Delights is currently a one woman show. Our shirt designs are created and thought of by me and digitized by friends who are digital designers by trade. I used to work with a seamstress for all the handmade pieces but our t-shirt designs seem to be really taking off. I see the shop making a turn in that direction. I currently pack and ship all orders myself as well as answer all emails and handle customer service issues.
What advice would you give to a mom thinking about going into business for herself?
As far as advice to give any mom thinking about going into business on her own, I’d say to do it. It’s such a blessing that I am able to work from home and tend to my children’s needs, especially my son. It’s a huge sacrifice but totally worth it. It’s not an easy job but us women were built to multi task.
Balancing work + motherhood is tough. Let’s face it, being a mom is hard enough! What does a typical day for you look like?
As much I’d like to say we have a daily routine, we don’t. My kids are currently not in school as we’re attempting and exploring homeschool. Due to his diagnosis, my son’s immune system is very sensitive and he cannot get sick. When gets sick, he has to be admitted to a hospital to recuperate. He cannot be nursed at home. So mornings are usually filled with a little bit of learning while I answer emails after breakfast. After lunch is nap time and that’s when I pack and ship orders. When the kids are up from their nap, we’ll take a trip to the post office then come back home to do a little more learning until it’s time to make dinner. I’ll continue to pack and ship after they’re in bed until the crazy hours of the morning. However, all of this will change in the next few weeks when baby #3 arrives.
August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness month- Tell us a little about the illness and how it has affected your beautiful family.
August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month and it’s the second year we’ve really advocated for spreading awareness. Though all year, we raise funds and donate to charities, we really make a push for it in August as other families and shops ban together to spread awareness and make it known that there is no cure and help is needed. Basically, SMA is a recessive genetic disease that causes the muscles to deteriorate due to a lost connection between the brain and muscles by a lack of important genes, neurons, and proteins. A person can be a carrier and not know it, 1 in 10 people are carriers to be exact. When 2 carriers have a child, there is a 1 in 4 chance their child will have SMA. This disease is rare and there is no cure but there are treatments on the horizon. There is HOPE. Our family was completely shocked and devastated by my son’s diagnosis as we’ve never heard of it but we’ve always had HOPE. We live a happy normal life but are extra cautious about germs and sicknesses. We sterilize everything and make sure everyone knows not to visit if they are sick or to let us know if they are not feeling well.
Caleb is such a cutie! How does his journey with SMA motivate you to keep doing what you’re doing?
Caleb has really shown our family how to fight and never give up. He really has taught us to be grateful for everything, every moment, every experience. He’s taught us to love more and he’s really opened our eyes in seeing life differently. Our hearts are more compassionate towards people and our spirits are more alive than ever. He’s such a happy kid and doesn’t let anything stop him. He can do anything a “typical” kid can do, just differently and in a wheelchair.
How is Wee Delights celebrating SMA Awareness month? Where can someone go to find out more about SMA?
As much we’d like to do more this month for SMA awareness, I’m having to take it easy with our third child due any day now. There are so many events going on this month to help raise funds and spread awareness from Major League Baseball games, galas, walks, etc. You can find out more information about SMA and SMA related events at www.CureSMA.org.
Congrats on your brand & your new baby, Christine! From my family to yours.