Ashli Weatherby of Son & Moon Apparel is on an adventure. After teaching herself to screen print and starting her own children's clothing line, she's set her sights on renovating an old camper to create a unique mobile children's boutique. We caught up with Ashli to learn more about her journey so far and her crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign.
Please introduce yourself and your family.
My name is Ashli Weatherby. I am 25 years old, born and raised in Wichita, Kansas.
I keep myself very busy by working full time, raising a toddler, running a business, doing freelance hair and makeup, and volunteering at various local events. I am also newly engaged to my high school sweetheart, Dillon. He has been there to support me in every step of my business journey. We have a two year old son named Beckett who has completely changed our life for the better. We love exploring everything that Wichita has to offer and spend almost all of our free time at local events and discovering new places.
How would you describe SON & MOON's style?
Son and Moon's style showcases the personalities of kids. "Wild and Free" is basically what comes to my mind when I think of children. All of my inspiration comes from my son. I watch him explore, wander, and play and then I put the message within that on a shirt.
You also work a full-time job, when were you first bit with the side-hustle bug?
I first knew I wanted to start a clothing line after my son was born almost three years ago. I kept trying to find cute clothes locally for him but there weren't many options for boys and the items didn't last very long since they are mass produced. I found a ton of small shops through Instagram and started ordering from them. Then I decided to teach myself how to screen print so I could make some of my own designs. That's where I found my passion that I have been trying to find for so long.
What is the best advice you can give to parent's who juggle a full-time job, a passion project, and parenting?
Don't ever think that you're restricted to your normal daily routine. Find the time to pursue your passion and you will unlock a level of happiness that you never knew you had. I was at a low point in life after I had my son. I was stuck in a place where I felt that all I did was work, cook, change diapers, and sleep. After I started my business I saw a happier version of myself. It's a struggle to balance your time but it is completely possible. When I am overloaded with orders and miss spending time with my son I invite him to help me. The kid can take some pretty awesome product photos, plus he's great at handing me supplies when I'm covered in ink.
You're currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to turn your camper into a mobile children's boutique, why choose the Kickstarter platform to make this dream a reality?
After seeing a few local businesses succeed with their Kickstarter campaigns I decided this would be the best way to raise the funds. It's a challenge because you have to raise all of the funds asked for or you don't receive any of it. I think it shows a person's drive and determination because you have to work really hard at getting the word out about the campaign. Plus, there are awesome rewards for the people who pledge, which is a great way to say thank you.
Why is it important to not only feature your own products in the mobile boutique but other maker and designer's as well?
It is extremely hard to get your brand out there when you are a small business. I never even knew that there was an entire community of handmade children's shops until a few years ago. I have made some amazing friends who own small shops and have gotten to know the faces behind the businesses on a personal level. All of us share one thing in common, we are just parents trying to get by. We are trying to pay for school, dance classes, food, living expenses, etc. When you look at a small shop from the outside you don't really see what goes on behind the scenes. We aren't a huge corporation, we don't have a warehouse full of employees. We make every single item by hand, usually with a toddler hanging onto our leg begging for some candy. We spend time making sure every item is perfect and of high quality. We carefully package every item and send them out. Our customers are our biggest fans and there is so much joy in knowing that they believe in us.
To help Son & Moon Apparel reach their mobile children's boutique fundraising goal, please visit their Kickstarter.