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TotTude

Well hello there

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Yay, you're here!  I'm super excited about this new website remodel for TotTude. I love the new design, the functionality, and the fact that we finally have a blog!  Although I must admit, I am pretty intimidated by this big empty blog space.  I've blogged in the past for my photography business, but I found that very easy because all I had to do was upload a few photos from recent sessions. I didn't really have to think too much about what I posted. This business is different though because I don't have that constant feed of new images and content just pouring in. I will actually have to put some thought into it, eeek!  

I think a good place to start would be to tell a little bit about me and the reason I started this business. My name is Tera. This is me:

(This picture is a few years old, but I'm sure I haven't aged much since then. Or at least I hope.)

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 14 years and we have four beautiful daughters. After my first daughter was born, I realized how much fun it was to take pictures of her, so I studied photography and started a photography business. I spent 11 years photographing babies, kids, and families and loved it! The best part was that I got to stay home with my girls and create my own schedule. I had the joy of seeing hundreds of kids come into my studio, and noticed that most of them were wearing the same kind of clothes for their sessions, especially the boys. Seems like they had very few options, and most of the time the little boys did not seem to enjoy or be very excited about their picture clothes!  I heard countless times from moms how they wished there were more clothing options out there. I actually ran into the same thing when shopping for my girls. When it was time to do their photos, I always tried to find something really unique that fit their own personality and style, but I didn't always have much luck. I gave up on shopping locally, and found there was more variety and style in online shops. I especially seemed to like items from small designers and even handmade items. I discovered Etsy. Then there was no turning back! 

Browsing through all the unique shops and items on Etsy, I started to feel a big burning desire to create. I didn't know what I wanted to create exactly, but I knew I must. create. something!  So I started playing around with sewing. I barely knew how to sew a straight line, but through my mom's help I picked it up pretty quickly. I started making pettidresses for my girls. They were twirly, swirly, and girly, and they loved them. This was the very first pettidress I ever made, and actually my first ever completed sewing project also:

I started by making a few in my girls' sizes so they could model them for me and I could get some great photos of them in my studio. (And now that I added a photo of one of my girls, I feel like I need to add the rest!  So here are the other 3:)

I opened an Etsy shop, and within a few days had my first sale! I was so excited to see that other people loved the dresses too. I kept adding new items, and sales kept coming in. I kept hearing one request though- I needed to make something for boys. I experimented with creating a few different products, but I knew I had a winner when I created my first tattoo sleeve shirt:

After I added it to my Etsy shop, along with a couple other tattoo tee designs, they quickly took over my business. It didn't take long before I was selling more tattoo sleeve shirts than pettiskirts. I was happy to see I had created a product that my customers were so excited about. And best of all, I love making them!  I love that this business combines several of my passions into one. I get to be creative, I get to take fun photos of lots of little models, I get to be my own boss, and I get to do all of this while staying home with my kids!  I couldn't ask for anything more. I constantly have a lot of new ideas swirling around in my head, and I'm so excited for the future of my clothing line!

- Tera