These wee wooden dolls bring back old fashioned play & imagination.
They are hand-painted and heirloom quality that are designed to last (and of course to be played with).
Pocket Folk is a one woman operation. Each doll is painted free-hand, takes 5-6 layers of paint and at least an hour to complete. This momtrepreneur loves the tiny precision each doll requires to bring them to life. She loves the challenge of painting those tiny details. She makes custom orders too! You can find them on tops of wedding cakes, in children's toy chests, not to mention in the classrooms of Westside Montessori. And hopefully our classrooms in the near future too!
"I started making them for Christmas presents just last year. I made them for all my daughter's friends and their families, and my friends and their families. I really liked making them and people kept asking me to make more so I just kept doing it because I liked it and that's when I opened up the Etsy shop." Tara also paints inspirational people from history mainly because there are no toys of them. They are mostly women, from female astronauts, to female doctors, Jane Goodall, Emily Carr, Frida Kahlo, to Albert Einstein, Dali, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earheart, etc.
I asked what I'm sure would be the most common question on how she juggled her business while being a mom. "Actually, it works out perfectly. I try not to be on the phone or computer around my daughter. We have a big long craft table at our house so I set up her station beside mine and we kind of talk and do our work. She's happy and I get my work done. It works out good."
"The most difficult thing about being a mom and running a business would be networking and marketing, I'm just not a business person. I do it because I like doing it and it's fun for me. It's a project and another source of income to help me pay for my school. I could probably sell more if I reached out to stores and did all sorts of networking and marketing which I find challenging. I'm just happy with the way it is, just taking orders as they come in. I know I could get busier if I tried harder."
When asked what type of advice she has for other mothers out there who are thinking of starting a business she replies, "Find something that's fun that you like to do that's not a drag whenever you get an order. For me, whenever I get an order I get super excited and it's really fun. I know I'll stop doing it if it's not fun for me anymore. I'm also painting silly characters too. Whatever anyone wants I'm up for it. As long as it's fun. I'm lucky that it makes quality time for the two us too."
Her plans for the future of Pocket Folk would be to get into a few stores so that she can sell more in volume. She would like to keep her custom listings for weddings and gifts for families. "I think it's fun for kids to play with families that looks like their own. I do a lot of families where they wouldn't be represented anywhere in the toy industry, so I can create that for them. I'd like to keep doing that and the wedding cake toppers. I'd like to get the inspirational characters into stores as well as the magnets and the decor."
Tara does not plan to hire artists to help her out as the workload increases. She would like to keep it exclusive. You can find her dolls at her Etsy shop, Pocket Folk.
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