In November 2003 I had my new baby girl, there I was, a new mother, one little piece of me who meant the world to me. I wanted to protect her, love her and give her all of my best. I wanted to be home with her, despite my plans to run to college and work at the same time. So I stayed home and thought of ways to help sustain our little family, we lived in Miami with a big mortgage, car payments and one income. Through that daddy worked very hard putting in two jobs and sometimes three to support us. At that time I decided to make cloth diapers and maybe sell them on eBay. I had sewn before so maybe this was a good fit, I try making our diapers and that wasn’t pretty, but I did make our slings and a mei tai that cough the attention of my friends and the shop keeper at my favorite fabric shop. She was the one to point out to me that I should make that thing to sell, she was in awe. And so I did, I made some for my neighbors who would walk with us (My baby and I) at the park while we were all trying to lose the baby weight. I had my baby strapped on me all the time.
At our dining room I started to sew, I bought about $20 of twill fabric and made my first mei tai, it sold on ebay for $40 and I still had fabric for more. Every single mei tai I listed sold and within a couple of months I was making tens of mei tais a week from our dining room table. I usually had my girl strapped to my back while we made them, daddy would often help ironing the straps when he came home from work. We were very blessed indeed.
At the end of 2004 when our daughter was one, we decided to move out of crazy busy Miami, we sold our house in Miami and move to Lakeland, we picked Lakeland because it’s close to Orlando and Tampa and my husband thought it would be good when looking for work. We have been living here for the past 6 years. At this house I had a room with my sewing machines and cutting table, it was my little studio, but after my baby boy was born I quickly found myself with too much work and not so much of the quality time I wanted to give my children, at times I had to close down my web store to make sure I wouldn’t be too busy. I stayed up late at night (mornings) so that I could finish orders in time. Then I decided it was time to hire someone to do this work for us, so I tried and tried many places locally and couldn’t find a place with the quality I was giving my customers.
At the beginning of 2007 we decided to try to set up a shop in the Dominican Republic, that summer I traveled alone with my two children, Angie was 3, Gabriel was 1. I stayed at my mom’s place and it was such a blessing to have her support. This summer I realize how little I know about the crisis in my country, I was counting on finding a few seamstresses and I did, but once again, but none knew how to operate an industrial sewing machine or keep a straight line. Not the quality we were accustomed to. So while I searched for someone I set up a shop, only to find out how there were more hours in the day without electricity than with electricity. I could do nothing! I remember how terribly hot this summer was, I had to walk from moms house to the shop every day two or three time a day, with the children, one on my back and the other one by my side. We were walking miles each day!
This went on for a good portion of this summer when finally the person who sold me the sewing machines informed me that he could do the job for me, it was a big weight lifted off my shoulders, I had orders waiting to be shipped for nearly two months. When he first saw me make one, he got it right away and made just perfect, better than me. I was glad to hand over my job. He set up a small shop specifically to work with our AngelPacks at home.
I made it back home, FINALLY! This was a beautiful chapter and for the next three years we were able to get AngelPacks made right there from my home town, my mom worked with us inspecting and doing shipping, my uncle drove the packages from our tiny town to the big city to a UPS office.
In 2010 we decided to set up our own shop when we were informed that our seamstress was moving to N.Y. and so we did, this summer we set up our own shop, with a large sewing room, a large cutting table and a beautiful (to me) stock room. This time my husband was with us which was such a blessing, now I had 3 children and a big pregnant belly, so his help was greatly needed, we stayed there over three months (again) but when we left we left everything in place. The main person working for us now is the same seamstress that used to work at the old shop, now we have more help too and UPS picks up packages at our own door! Yep they take the drive to little town for us.
It hasn’t been easy, some times more tiring than others, but it has been a blessing to have this opportunity to go around the world with our product and to help parents around bond with their little ones, to make their days easier because they can put a baby on their backs (or front) and keep going with their day without missing out on that time of closeness with baby.
We feel very blessed with our family, now a not so little one, and with our job, this year my husband has joint front with me and is staying home with us, we home school our children and with four little ones is a great thing to have the help. Our family thrives on AngelPack and the blessing of the Lord who has guided us until this day. We believe our children are a blessing and are so glad to be able to spend our days learning with them and guiding them.
What will our next chapter be?