Hey everyone! I am so excited to introduce you to Ellen, the creator behind Earthwise Emporium! I love her mission behind her brand, and love how she brings old fabric new life by encorporating it in her hand sewn pouches! I hope you enjoy reading more about her as well!
1. Can you introduce yourself to us, and tell us a little about you?
My full name is Ellen Moorman Helms; I’m a Christian, blessed to have had been raised in a home with unconditional love. My five brothers and I grew up in a blended family. I’m an introvert with extrovert skills, married to another introvert and we have three adult fairly introverted children and two grandchildren. I’ve been a stay-at-home mother at a time when being a woman at home hasn’t been respected (or so it felt). That was a decision Dale and I made before we were married and we never regretted it!! Proverbs 31 has been my guide; I’m very much a homebody!
2. What niche/craft/etc do you do? How long have you been doing it?
I have a few 😉 Knitting, 55ish years; Sewing; 50ish years; Crocheting 40ish years ; Cross stitch 40ish years; Quilting; 30ish years
3. What inspired you to become a small business owner?
It sounds kind of prideful but since I’ve been crafting for my family and myself for years, I thought if someone were willing to pay for what I made, it would be an indication that it wasn’t “just something cute” I could do to save money (which is one reason why I crafted for myself and my family). And I love making things, can’t keep or use it all, so why not have a shop and sell them!
4. If you look back to where you began when you started your business journey, what do you wish someone would have told you? Was there a secret you learned a long the way that you wish you new earlier? Or are you glad you learned the lesson when you did?
Two things: 1) most people don’t want to spend “good money” on something handcrafted and 2) DON’T underprice yourself and have confidence because those who appreciate the work put into what you make will be willing to pay the price! This came “home” to me when I was visiting a quilt shop with a dear friend who was/is a professional quilter. She told the shop owner “Thank you for pricing the quilts as you do! It gives the rest of us credibility!”
5. During your journey, have you had any failures, or wanted to give up? What made you keep trying?
LOL! have I had failures LOL my experience on Etsy a few years ago felt like a complete failure. it felt like the only few sales I made were “pitty sales” from people who knew me but they didn’t lead to more sales. I closed the shop and concentrated on the charity crafting I do.
What encouraged me to try again is an IG conversation I had with Vone Kevits! I was in Target feeling so down because of some family things. Vone told me about Galilee LIfe, that she’d closed her Etsy store, how supportive GL is and that “we pray for each other. We’ll pray for you and [your family].” That had brought me nearly to tears…the idea that strangers would pray for me!!
6. What unique perspective do you bring to your niche?
I didn’t live through the Depression but that spirit of the Depression-era lives in me….use it up, reuse it, make do with what you have, waste not want not…etc. This became very important to me when I began seriously crafting for charities, especially for the Pine Ridge Reservation, an area that has the worst poverty, high unemployment, high suicide, high drug and drinking rates. One group I’ve crafted for for nearly ten years serves the newborn babies; before this group came along, newborns were going home wrapped in newspaper. In a country as rich as ours this didn’t make sense! Fabrics, yarns and other materials began to find their way into my home when other people learned I reuse them. So out of this abundance, I thought why not also create things to sell? I asked a Christian friend of mine if it was wrong to make money from supplies someone gave me, with no caveat, and she said “No, they gave it, it’s yours now!”
7. Do you do this full time? If not what else do you do? Do you have any other hobbies that you pursue outside of your business?
This is parttime. I’m not otherwise gainfully employed, I take care of my home and family, sing in two chorales (one at church, one in a secular community group) before the corona virus and will again as soon as we’re able. I also craft a lot for various charities, primarily the Pine Ridge Reservation and our local hospital.
8. What is your favorite social media platform?
9. What is one thing that you need to succeed in this business?
I remind myself that if this is truly what God wants me to do, I’ll succeed!
10. What is your biggest accomplishment in your business so far?
I’ve just sold one item since being on GL; my biggest accomplishment was a few years ago; I used to sew dresses for breastfeeding mothers which enabled them to breastfeed discreetly. The biggest accomplishment was making a matron of honor dress for a wonderful friend so she could nurse her baby before and after the ceremony. She was thrilled to pieces (and said I definitely UNDER charged her!)
11. If you could tell your future self something, what would it be?
Just do it, God gave you the skills, He’ll guide your journey!
12. What is your most popular item that you sell? What has this taught you about yourself?
I’ve only sold one item in GL to another vendor. I’ve learned I want to sell more 😉
13. What advice can you give to anyone that is thinking about joining the Galilee Life family?
Do it!! It has the most personal and kindest atmosphere!
14. What made you become a vendor on Galilee Life? What stuck out to you? How long have you been a vendor?
Vone Kevitz raved about GL and encouraged me to join. (See #5) What stuck out to me was the personal touch, the caring atmosphere, and the foundation of faith in God! That’s not at Etsy or eBay, or Amazon. I still sell on eBay but that’s mostly for “yard sale” type stuff I want to get rid of. The vendor forum is such a welcoming place to share our frustrations, ask questions. The site isn’t a “dark hole”.
15. Lighting Round! Don’t think just answer:
* Beach or Snow? Snow
* Books: paper or audio? Audio
* Netflix or Cable? Netflix
*Tea or coffee? TEA!!
* YouTube or Podcast? YouTube
* Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla (chocolate can contribute to migraines)
* Sweet or Salty? Sweet
* Favorite meal? Roasted potatoes & vegetables
* Favorite Book? Light in the Window, Jan Karon
*Favorite song? Amazing Grace
* Favorite quote? If you can do something about it, do it. If you can’t, let it go! (my father)
* Favorite Bible Verse? Phil 4:13