A bit about me. I'm a fairly private person, so this will really probably just be a little bit. My real name is Erin but growing up I always wanted to go by my middle name, Lyn. It has a lot of meaning to me because I was named after my grandmothers (MaryiLYN and CaroLYN). I have one brother who I love, and he has a wonderful wife. I could not ask for a better sister-in-law!! My husband's name is Marshall and we met while working together at a movie theater when we were 17. Our first son was born 4 years later - and he's a Jr. Our second son was born almost 3 years after that, and now number 3 is due in April!
My husband is an Air Traffic Controller in the army; active duty. He's been deployed to Afghanistan and has completed a tour in Korea. He's coming up on his 4th anniversary in January, so as you can tell he's been away from us quite a bit in the past 4 years. We're really really happy to have him home right now, and really excited to be stationed at a non-deployable unit for the time being. That is all likely to change in November when he reenlists though!
I never thought I'd be a crunchy mom until my first son was born. Things changed immediately though, and we haven't looked back. We're a homeschooling family which is just a dream come true for me. I love being home with my boys, even though it means sacrificing a lot. I wouldn't trade it for the world!!
Wooltopia came about last March. I love to knit and wanted to have more reason to knit. I started doing testers for shorties for my friends and just really enjoyed it. Wooltopia was started so that I could knit for more people. But I wanted to do more than just knit. Frankly, I'm a slow knitter and wanted something more to sell. And that's when I came across dryer balls. I had made some for me and for some friends and thought it was something I could do for more people. They are 'green' and useful and really WORK. I spent hours and days and weeks finding what I needed, testing methods, and coming out with a product I was happy to represent. Since then I've spent 7 months perfecting that process and it's gone through a lot work. The dryer balls we're sending out today are probably very different than the ones we sent out in April!! The dryer balls really took off and I've lost sight of the fact that Wooltopia was started for knitting. But I've regained my sight, and I'm getting back on track. I love making dryer balls and knowing that I'm putting out something positive to the world, but I have a passion for knitting that I don't want to loose.
I want to end this with a comment on WAHMs. This may seem off topic, but it's been weighing on my heart lately. Last February I couldn't help but think about how awesome it would be to have my own business at home. Be my own boss, sell my own product!! And I won't lie, it can be fun. But there is a lot more to it. I spend a lot more time than I ever thought I would on this business. If I were to calculate my hourly rate I'm sure it would fall between $2 and $2.25 an hour lol. I feel confident in saying that most WAH mom's with their own businesses on etsy or hyena cart or something of that sort are not in it for the money.
So please PLEASE be respectful of the WAHMs behind these businesses. No one is perfect and mistakes are made...Lord knows I've made my own mistakes. But these are products that we put our heart and soul into. Reading reviews or comments on other sites that just degrade your product are disheartening at best. If you have a problem with a company or product, contact that company FIRST. There is no need to go around spreading negativity and hate. There is enough of that in this world.
I'll even start off the positivity. Here's what I think of my "competition" (in quotes because as I've said before, I don't like competition and don't understand why we cannot all coexist without the hate).
Melinda at Buddha Bunz makes amazing customs. I wish I had the needle felting talent that she does. Seriously I can hardly draw, and she's putting these designs on dryer balls. I've recently been blessed with the fact that I can call Melinda a friend. She's supported me these past few weeks more than I ever thought someone in direct competition with me could.
Fluffalumps may be a newer company, but she's offering some pretty amazing colors. Bright, vibrant and a great variety. Can't say I've talked with Victoria a lot, but we have exchanged an e-mail or two and she seems very friendly..
Bouncing Woolies is also fairly new but she's had some interesting ideas for car fresheners and what she calls FUNKtastic woolies.
Baby Bear Dryer balls are also pretty new, but I've had the opportunity to talk with this WAHM and she's really sweet. She actually runs her own cloth diaper store (which sells my dryer balls; in colors only!) and has now started her own dryer ball company. I could definitely be wrong, but this is the only store that I've noticed that uses ORGANIC wool on their dryer balls.
So there it is. I'm trying to take the first step to spreading love instead of hate (how cliche! Oy!). I see so much hate everyday, especially in the cloth diaper industry. It's appalling to see so many women (and men!) with similar goals who have this cutthroat mentality.
Okay, off my soap box. How about I challenge you to do something nice today. Even more specific, go tell a WAHM how wonderful they and/or their product is WITHOUT (and this part is important) without insulting one of their competitors. And yes, that includes saying "I got a a similar product from another company, and yours is just so much better!"
I'll even make the challenge a bit better, how about I give it 24 hours. Post to my facebook page the complement you gave and a tag to the company. I'll use random.org tomorrow to pick a winner. The prize will be...a $10 GC to your choice of my retailers (or if you'd prefer, 2 dryer balls!).
You can complement whatever company you choose - even one of my competitors. But if you say anything negative about another company in the post, you will be disqualified.