I am a HUGE fan of our next Momtrepreneur of the month, meet Kathy Preston of Gnorasaurus.? All of us in the Surprise house pimp Gnorasaurus wear.? In fact, I had matching shirts made for hubby and the boys last year for hubby’s birthday.? So cute!? This year, Kathy and I teamed up for my annual “Fresh Face” contest to find models for her newest line of Gnorasaurus shirts.? I want to thank all our little models for coming out and being so good in the heat.? Kathy was very generous and hooked our models out with some new gear.
I am so not a journalist, so I am going to let Kathy tell you about Gnorasaurus in her own words:
How did you come up with that name? My daughter, Nora, went through a phase where she was really into gnomes & dinosaurs.? I did a little collage illustration of her that eventually turned into my logo
How long have you been in business? I started working on shirt ideas in the fall of 2007; it took about a year to get set up the way I wanted to.
Please explain a little bit about your product/business and how you developed the concept behind it:I’ve never been happier than when I can work for myself, by myself, doing something with my hands. After a too-long hiatus of having “real jobs,” I was able to take the opportunity to create again.? I’m completely obsessed with vintage magazines from the late 50s and early 60s, in fact, the whole iconography of that era is just fascinating to me.? There were so many times I’d see a particular image and say to myself, “Wow, that would make a great shirt,” that I needed to just shut up & do it. I found a great source for high-quality American-made garments and let my imagination loose.
What makes your product/business so unique and why can’t I live without it? Each design is a unique creation. Using either vintage images or my own illustrations, I manipulate them in Photoshop then print and press each item one at at a time, by hand. I also love to work with clients to create custom designs, taking that personal touch to a new level.? I am so incredibly satisfied when I can offer this alternative to mass-produced, inferior quality goods.
Do you have a store front/website/etsy?My New Paltz studio is open by appointment; you can call 845.430.7253 to do so, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.? My Etsy store is gnorasaurus.etsy.com, and my website is gnorasaurus.com.
Store front location or where can we buy your products:You can buy in person at my studio or at Little Ones on North Chestnut Street in New Paltz. (LOVE Little Ones)
What are some of your short and long term goals with your business? Right now I’m focusing on building wholesale accounts with small businesses (for promotional and custom items) and boutiques (for the Gnorasaurus line.) I’m working with a rep to sell to children’s boutiques in NYC. My five-year goal is for Gnorasaurus to be self-supporting.
Is there anything exciting in the works that we can look forward to? Revamped bags with vintage embellishments, tooth fairy pillows, vintage fabric number tees, robots, mermaids, rocketships…
What is the hardest part or has been some of your struggles starting your own business? Getting past the creation of the product to the promotion of the product.? I can sit in my studio all day long and make stuff, but if I don’t get it out of the studio, that’s not gonna last long. I also renovated the entire bottom floor of my house to create a studio space, and that’s been a worthwhile but completely stressful experience.
Tell me about your family, kids, hubby, pets. My daughter Nora is 4, my fiance Bob lives in Brooklyn, so we have two lovely cats about every other weekend. All 3 of them will be moving up here next year, and Bob & I will be getting married in the fall of 2010.
What is your ideal thing to do on a lazy weekend with the family? When we’re all together, Bob takes Nora out on Saturday mornings, and I either sleep or go to the gym, whichever I need more. The best summer afternoons rotate from garden to sandbox to hammock to swing to slide to porch to raspberry patch again and again.
How do you balance your business and your family? I’m very lucky in that right now I don’t have to maintain a a day-to-day, face-to-face relationship. It will be interesting to see how that shifts around. On the flip side, I’m a single parent, so when it’s Mommy & Nora time, that’s where my focus needs to be.? Nora’s in preschool 3-4 days a week, which gives me good work time, and she’s also getting to the age where she’s happy to draw alongside me if I need to work.? I do a lot after she’s asleep– depending on my level of creativity I might work on designs or I might just slog through some paperwork. The hardest part of the home studio has been getting Nora to realize that I am actually *working*, not just going back home to have fun without her.
Quick Silly Quesitons:
Favorite Reality Show: I don’t have cable, so I’m missing out on this. If I did watch, I would love to see Project Runway. I’ve watched a bit online, and it looks great! (BTW Kathy, that is my FAV!)
Favorite online shopping site: Etsy! Not only can you find incredible handmade gods, there are a ton of vintage shops, too.? I’ve gotten amazing buttons, fabric, and vintage Little People from Etsy.
Can’t live without item: Eyeglasses
What is on your Ipod or cd player: Lots of early 80s New Wave, electronic, trance, and a very random mix of just about every kind of music except top 40 or country.
If I were to look in your diaper bag/purse, what would I find: Wallet, cell phone, sunglasses, to-do lists, rocks, dandelion heads and at least half a dozen of Nora’s ponytail holders.
Ok Blog Stalkers, I love hooking you up and so does Kathy! For the month of May, mention you saw me on the SP blog and get 50% off one item when you purchase 3 items of equal or greater value. (Online customers: 50% discount will be refunded after purchase.) Book a studio visit and receive the same discount and a free gift! Gnorasaurus makes for great and unique gifts for baby showers, birthdays, or yourself!
Interested in more information on being featured as Momtrepreneur of the Month?? Please email me at email@example.com or check out some info HERE.