My Story and `Holiday Mode`

Note: If you don`t want to read the whole post,
please scroll down to the bottom 2 paragraphs which explain
how my shop will function until the new year! Thanks :)

I want to write a little bit about how The Cotton Cupcake Shoppe came to be and about how I manage it all with a young family! I get asked that a lot "How do you manage?!" or "When do you find time do your work??"

First of all, here's a little bit about myself. My name is Amber and I'm 28 years old. I've been married to my highschool sweetheart for almost 10 years (yep, do the math, we got married young! And have never regretted it, hee hee!) and we have 3 daughters...

Hailey was born in March of 2005...

Jayda was born in May of 2007...

...and soon after Jayda,
Madelyn was born in November of 2008.

I love being a Mommy to these 3 girls!

Something else that I'd like you to know about me is that I love Jesus Christ with all of my heart and my most favorite bible verse is this one: Psalm 16:8 "I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

My husband & I own an embroidery business together (ya, he never dreamed he would be selling clothing, nevermind doing EMBROIDERY...we still laugh about that one sometimes) and we have had the business in our basement for over 6 years. It's mostly corporate embroidery: stitching company logos onto hats, jackets, shirt etc. and then also supplying mugs, pens and any other hard good you can think of, imprinted with a company logo. We also have a grain farm, so on the 'off season' my husband & I work in our business together and when he's farming, I'm flying solo. I thoroghly enjoy our business and yet at times I struggle (ok, who am I kidding, I struggle DAILY!) with finding a balance between work and being a Mom and all of the other responsibilities I have. Some how God always works it out and these years have taught me what it means to daily rely on Him for strength. I cannot do 'life' on my own. That never works...and I have had to learn that lesson many many times!

So, soon after having our 3rd daughter I looked at one of her onesies and thought "Hmm! It would be neat to put her name on that!" So I ran downstairs and got right to work. That shirt (pictured on the left!) was the starting point. I had always dreamed of starting a 'kids line' in our business. So, in March 2009, after many weeks of brainstorming (mostly during late-night nursing sessions!), I opened up a shop on Etsy and named it “THE COTTON CUPCAKE SHOPPE”. At the time our three little girls were 4 years old, 1 year old and 4 months old.

My Cupcake Shoppe started out being my ‘me’ time. My time to do something fun and my time to do something that I had a passion for. Not before long I was spending every evening after my kids were in bed working on new designs, promoting my shop ON FACEBOOK & spending lots of time in Etsy chat learning everything I possibly could about Etsy. It was exciting and everyone who I talked to about my 'stuff' was so supportive and encouraging!!

Fast forward to today. I am very blessed by having people love my creations and my shop is doing extremely well. I send competed orders all over the US and Canada, and even other countries like Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia and Maldives (definitely had to google that one!) In October I had 314 orders and here we sit at November 15th and I have had 202 orders this month already! It's fun, it's exciting and yet there is a problem. I simply cannot keep up. It's a GOOD problem, but a problem, none the less :) I have the privilege of having one of my wonderful auntie's working for me now (bless her heart!), but I am still spending way more time than I can give on creating orders, answering e-mails, etc. I spend 4-5 hours nearly every night stitching and managing my shop. (I am a night owl at heart, so this really isn't too hard for me, but after months and months my body is telling me that sleep is actually really important!) Then I am often out of bed a couple of hours before my girls so that I can get some work done in the mornings too. Then through out the day I spend time replying to e-mails and Etsy messages, running to the post office to mail huge stacks of packages, ordering supplies, keeping my trusty spreadsheet organized (all of the order details get put into one big spreadsheet), etc on top of everything else going on in my life. It is SO much fun, and yet I simply can't keep up.

After many, many discussions with my husband (he's SO supportive and wonderful!) on how we can make this work, we never really come up with a solution. What started out as something fun for me to do in my 'spare' time has now taken over! You can see where this is going...this Momma needs a little break to get some of that 'spare' time back again!! :)

Which brings me to today. As of today, Nov.15th, my Etsy shop is going to be on "holiday mode". There are going to be some "ready-to-ship" items there for purchase, but many of my personalized creations aren't going to be available until the new year. This has been SUCH a hard decision to make, but I really need to step back and take a much needed break.

I want to thank all of my wonderful (wonderful!) fans & supporters for making The Cotton Cupcake Shoppe a huge success! It has been so much fun working with each & every one of you...thank-you for allowing me to do something that I love! Blessings to you all this Christmas season and looking forward to connecting with you again in the New Year!!!

Blessings from our family to yours!


  1. I got our package yesterday, Amber! Thank you so much, everything is adorable:)! I hope you enjoy your time off and really get to relax and spend lots of time with your beautiful family!
    -Lauren Wagenaar

  2. Hey, thanks Lauren! Hope you have a great holiday season too!! PS - I`m so glad you liked your order :)

  3. Happy holidays from my family to yours too!

    we will certainly be back with more orders in the next year to come!

    thanks for being the awsome shop you are!


  4. Thanks so much Sylvie!! I'm so glad we've gotten to know eachother :)

  5. I applaud you for making this decision. Your girls are young only once, you won't regret taking care of you & your family now! There's always tomorrow or next year for work, even enjoyable work!
    Blessings to you for a great relaxing CHRISTmas!

  6. Your stuff is beautiful, Amber! I love it. And it was really interesting to read how it all came to be. I'd seen stuff come up on Facebook about your shop, but never came to check out your blog - I'm glad I finally did! I'm hoping that you were able to have a relaxing Christmas, and that you'll be able to find a good balance for everything in the New Year!