I don’t have kids of my own, but when I go shopping for my nieces and nephews its never a good sign for my wallet. I am also aware that when you have kids, the amount of items you receive for your children exceeds your storage space in your home. This is why I try and buy items for my nieces and nephews that are necessities, activities or quality handmade items they’ll never get from a big box store.
This next Girl Boss founded a mama-owned and designed shop, offering cute things for little humans. Her handmade items are designed to celebrate all the special moments in your little humans’ lives and they make the best gifts! So let’s meet Katie Jacoby, founder of Chelsea and Marbles, and learn more about the sustainable children’s items she designs and hand makes out of her home.
Tell me more about YOU, the dedicated and hardworking Girl Boss behind the business.
I grew up in Annapolis, MD and moved to NYC when I was 18 to study Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
I stayed there to work in the fashion industry for a decade, where I built a career designing childrenswear for major retailers, such as Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Aeropostale, and Walmart. In 2017, I became pregnant with my first child and my family relocated to Upstate New York. I made the tough decision to leave my career behind and take the entrepreneurial leap into working on my Etsy business full-time!
Tell us more about your business and how you became a Girl Boss.
My Etsy shop, Chelsea and Marbles, started as a small side-gig to showcase my hobby of crocheted food creations, also known as amigurumi, that I sold as children’s play food toys and souvenirs. But when I became pregnant, it slowly morphed into a shop for other handmade children’s goods – such as teethers, rattles, and swaddles – which combined all my passions…designing, creating, motherhood, and little humans!
What does it mean to you to be a #GIRLBOSS?
To me, being a #girlboss is having the confidence and drive to go after your dream, whatever it takes, and owning it as a strong, empowered woman!
What do you love most about running your own business and being a Girl Boss?
I love running my own business because it gives me the flexibility, autonomy, and independence I need to play all the roles that are required of women in today’s modern world. Some days I need to be a mother full-time, some days I need to hustle, some days I need to focus on myself…most days I do a little bit of everything…I needed a business that would allow me to have all of these things.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in being a business owner?
Being a small business owner has many challenges – Aside from navigating meeting business needs in a global pandemic, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is having to take extended periods of time off at the start of trying to get my business up and running due to personal reasons.
My son was diagnosed with a cranio-facial disorder when he was just 6 months old, right as I was trying to make my Etsy shop my full-time source of income, which required multiple head surgeries and lengthy recoveries after each one.
As if having a newborn and starting a business wasn’t hard enough, having to “stop-and-go” constantly for two years following my son’s birth was definitely a challenge I wasn’t expecting…But the silver lining is that it showed me how much I’m really capable of overcoming!
Is there a moment during your career that stands out to you and validates your decision to become a Girl Boss?
Since starting my own business, I’ve been awarded a Small Business Grant from Spoonflower and been asked to be a panelist for deciding future grant recipients, as well as a mentor for the Social Justice Sewing Academy. I am so honored to have been a recipient, and to be invited to sit on the other side of the “judges table”. It feels completely validating to have a big company like Spoonflower recognize your work and expertise as a business owner. And to be a mentor to another woman of color is simply one of the highest compliments! I’ve been inspired by so many incredible women in my life, I just hope I can pay it forward.
What advice would you give to aspiring Girl Bosses?
To all aspiring Girl Bosses, you may be forging your own path, but you don’t need to do it alone! Find and take support where you can, because it’s a hard journey, but the reward will be worth it. Persevere and don’t forget to take care of yourself along the way.