Starting an Online Business, the Struggles with Expanding a Family

Today we get to spotlight a modern mom’s story of life. Creating a business, creating a family. Both can be both hard and thrilling – with emotional, physical, mental ebbs and flows. Hear from the co-creator of Birdie & Grace Co. on starting an thriving online business and the struggles of expanding her family.

Guest Post by: Lindsey, a Washington native, lives in a small town outside of Seattle with her husband and two toddler girls. A hot cup of coffee (not reheated 10 times) and a cold beer on a hot summer day are the little things that bring her joy. In any given day you can find her squeezing in a quick at home workout, reading self-help books or devotionals, attempting to incorporate new parenting strategies and usually falling asleep to a trashy TV show, after a little ice cream of course 🙂 

Lisa and I started Birdie + Grace Co. (@shopbirdieandgrace) in the fall of 2018.  I had two toddlers at home and worked part-time, and Lisa a SAHM mom to her toddler and pregnant with her second.  I can speak for both of us when I say, we were feeling a bit “stuck”, not feeling like our day to day was bringing us the joy and fulfillment we needed.  We decided to start a clothing shop on Etsy, focused on what we knew –  mom-life, baby and toddler clothes and tossed in a few fun glassware items for fun.  We really had no clue what we were doing.  Lots of Google searching and learning the hard way, trying to figure out how to get all the items in place before we launched the shop.  We had to get designs completed,  inventory in place, shipping materials, business cards, heat press (we actually used an iron when we first started!), figure out how to actually “list” an item on Etsy, tax and business account info, set up a joint bank account, the list goes on. On October 19th, 2018 Birdie + Grace Co was born on Etsy and we were thrilled! 

As the weeks and months went on we were surprised to see that the items that continued to sell were our onesies and shirts we created for infertility (IVF, IUI) and miscarriage.  Lisa decided to design some of these because she had been through years of infertility, failed IUI’s, IVF, FET’s and even a miscarriage. All very much apart of her story, so how cool for her to see that things came full circle for her when these became our top sellers.  We connected with so many amazing people via social media and our customers, quickly becoming invested in their stories and doing our part to connect with this huge community.  I supported this fully and loved that these items were selling so well, but in all honesty, it wasn’t “my story,” – I hadn’t walked in those shoes.  I always felt bad about that.  That I couldn’t fully connect with our customers, and that made it hard for me sometimes. 

In 2019 our business flourished, it was amazing to see our hard-work payoff and better yet, it was fulfilling.  We weren’t just making fun bachelorette tanks (nothing wrong with that since we sold those too!), but we were apart of people’s stories. We got to help announce people’s long-awaited pregnancies and that felt so amazing!  

While it was a great year for our business, it was also a long road for me personally. My husband and I spent the year trying for our third baby.  After the first two pregnancies happened rather quickly, I naively thought the third would come just as fast.

Months passed but we finally became pregnant in early September, we were thrilled but of course cautious as we all know how common miscarriages really are.  We went in for our 9-week ultrasound appointment on October 15th (Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day) and were sadly told that our baby had no heartbeat and we were not pregnant.  Devastated and heartbroken we talked about how we would process the miscarriage and I decided to take the medication at home. These past few months have been very hard, but also amazing in that I have connected with so many people who have been down a similar road.  It is now early January and we are once again trying for our third.  My faith has definitely played a huge role in getting me through this very real low in my life and I know that God has us wrapped in His arms and our Rainbow Baby will come.  I am fortunate to have Lisa as not only a business partner, sister-in-law but also a best friend, she has been there for me through it all.  

We have big dreams for our shop in 2020 and want to expand into partnering with fertility clinics and other infertility organizations   I also have big dreams for my family personally and praying that 2020 brings us our Rainbow Baby! Feel free to reach out to us, we love connecting with others and hearing your stories. It is definitely one of the biggest blessings to this little community we are building!”