Babe Watch - Whitney Cornelli - Owner of Acorn Handmade Co.
If you know me, you know I appreciate a maker. I love someone who crafts something from their hands and puts all their love into what they do. When I was first introduced to the work of this Babe of the Week, I knew that she was someone who put a lot of love and care into what she did.
Meet Whitney, she is the Owner of Acorn Handmade Co! She is a business owner, a maker, a wife, a momma, a blogger, and an amazing woman. In her business, Whitney crochets the comfiest of blankets. In addition, she handletters signs that are both functional and adorable.
Whitney is extremely talented. Not only does she crochet all of her own pieces but she also creates he signs completely from scratch. She cuts the wood, assembles the frames, and handletters each and every piece. Her signs are really great. She has functional pieces like calendars and menu boards. She makes a plethora of fun signs for many occassions and holidays, baby age photos, and just cute decor.
Whitney also just started doing hand-lettered services for hire. She recently lived out a long time dream and did custom hand-lettering for a Michigan coffee shop. She hopes to do more custom lettered work in the future.
Read on to learn more about Whitney and her journey from teacher to mom to business owner. Please also consider supporting an amazing maker and following her on social media or purchasing from her Etsy shop!
What is Your Website? Insta Handle? (Or However Else We Can Find You!) www.etsy.com/shop/acornhandmadeco
Why Did You Decide To Start Your Business? I became a stay-at-home mom after my oldest was born, but I still wanted to contribute to the family financially. I knew the basics of knitting and decided to open an Etsy shop selling knit baby headbands. My oldest was born prematurely and had a NICU stay, and while in the NICU she received the tiniest hat that someone made by hand just for a NICU baby. Having something handmade that fit her perfectly really meant a lot to us (she was so tiny, nothing really fit!). The feeling of love that came with that hat was overwhelming! So I knew I wanted to pass the love and heartfelt feeling of being gifted something handmade and unique to as many people as I could. I thought knitting baby headbands would be a great way to do that. So I made a few headbands, opened up my Etsy shop, and the rest is history! I eventually switched from knitting to crocheting and added in hand-lettered home decor too. I now also offer hand-lettering services!
Do You Have a Blog, Podcast, or Youtube Channel? Tell Us About It! I don't have my own personal blog anymore, but I am a contributing writer for Detroit Mom (www.detroitmom.com) and have been writing for them since 2019. I write monthly on a variety of motherhood-related topics, both blog posts, and microblogs. I absolutely love being able to reach so many local moms through my writing, and remind others that we are not alone on our motherhood journeys!
What Is The Best Advice You Can Give to A Woman Starting Her Business Venture? Set boundaries, and stick to them, right from the very beginning! While your work is important, your mental health is, too. And it will quickly become overwhelming and stressful if you are not sticking firmly to the boundaries you have in place regarding workload, orders, time frames for messaging with customers, etc! So set them, and stick to them. Trust that they are in place for a reason.
What Is Something Most People Don't Know About You? Most people don't know that I am terrified of the movie ET. I watched it once when I was younger, and I haven't seen it since. Totally terrified of it, even as an adult.
What Does Your Typical Day Look Like? Since I'm a stay-at-home-mom, I usually don't start working on my Etsy shop until the early afternoon, when my kids are taking naps/having quiet rest time. We are up around 7:30 or so, eat breakfast, and then we usually spend our mornings at the zoo, playing outside, or playing in the playroom. My business doesn't get a ton of attention in the mornings, and that's okay! My kids keep me plenty busy! I have about two hours in the afternoon to get work done while the girls are napping/having quiet rest time. This is when I do a lot of the drafting of signs, organizing of orders, taking product photos, packaging orders, running to the post office/store for supplies, and working on social media content. I try to stay super-focused so that I can use this time really wisely. I take advantage of the natural light at this time for product photos! Once that time is up, it's back to SAHM life with snacks and activities with the kids! We eat dinner, then once the girls are in bed, I can get back to work. At night, I'll make signs in the workshop or work on any blanket orders I have through Etsy. I also use this time to work on social media content, like designing graphics in Canva or scheduling posts in Planoly. I also use this time to update any listings on Etsy that need to be updated. I try to limit my evening work time to two hours and end for the night before 10 pm, so again, I try to stay super-focused during this time!
Who Are Some Women That Inspire You? (Globally and Locally) Locally, I am inspired by Amanda Adamcheck, owner of Kiloh and Co.! She is the main reason I found so much confidence in myself and my business in 2019. I was part of her Jumpstart Tribe Online Shop Mentorship Program and I learned SO MUCH. I have loved seeing how much Kiloh and Co. has grown over the years! I am also inspired locally by Kelsey, the owner of Small Batch Social Co. I was lucky enough to work with her at the beginning of this year on all things social media and I learned so much from her. She is so positive, constantly sharing new tips and strategies for business owners, and so, so supportive of her local community. Anytime I see one of her social media posts, I immediately feel inspired to work on my own business! Globally, I am inspired by Hoda Kotb. My mom gifted me two of her books ("I Really Needed This Today" and "This Just Speaks To Me") and they are two of my favorite to read. Super uplifting!
What Was One Huge Business Flop or Problem That You Had to Endure and How Did You Handle That? One huge business problem I had was during COVID last year when I couldn't get supplies for signs for multiple weeks (chalkboard and wood). I ended up just making as many signs as I could out of the little material I had on hand, but it really wasn't much. I sold a few of them but was pretty stressed about not having access to the supplies I needed. Now, I buy my supplies more in bulk so that I am never stressed finding supplies for an order. Instead, I have a good amount on hand ahead of time to choose from when the order is placed, and I've also started making more signs ahead of time to cut down on my processing times.
What Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of? I recently hand-lettered the menu sign inside of Island Grind on Harsens Island (a coffee shop!). It's been my dream ever since I first learned hand lettering to work on a giant sign for an event or business. It took a few years to get to this point, but I am immensely proud that my hand lettering is on display, in a business, for so many people to see each day!
What Do You Do For Self Care? I love doing the crossword puzzle in People magazine! I also really like just watching TV or sitting on the deck in our backyard with my husband. With two small kids at home, it's pretty wild all day! So in the evening, it's nice to be able to sit and relax. It calms my mind a lot to just sit and enjoy one another's company.
What Jobs Did You Work Before You Created Your Business? Tell Us Your Journey. Before I created my business, I was an elementary school teacher for five years. I loved teaching, but once I gave birth to our oldest, my husband and I made the decision for me to become a stay-at-home mom once the school year ended. A few months after that, I got the bug to contribute financially to our family, and I started knitting again and went with it. Four years later, I'm proud of the progress my business has made!
Give Us Five Fun Facts About You! 1. I have never broken a bone.
2. I love snowboarding.
3. Iced coffee is my favorite! I rarely, if ever, will drink it hot.
4. I am a born and raised Michigander!
5. Fall is my favorite season.
What Sign Are You? Are You Into Astrology? I'm a Scorpio, but I know absolutely nothing about it!
What One Word Represents You Most. Loyal!
What is Your Favorite The Posh Shop Co Product? Candles!