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Posted by Ali on

Better late then never, right?! So, we may be a little late dipping our toes into this blogging thing... but I'm a big believer in doing things when the moment is right. No sooner; no later. And the moment is now.

I figured what better way to kick off a blog than with the back story, so here goes... The idea for butterflymama formed years before it actually started. While it formally began in 2004, the vision & was swimming around in my head many years earlier. I'll take you back there. 

In the mid-90s, I met my now-husband, at NCSU. He was majoring in Industrial Engineering & me, Sociology. Clearly we didn't meet in class, but thankfully I did have him to help me make it through Statistics. Our college had a fairly small 'hippie' group, so pretty much everyone within this layed-back, concert-going crowd, knew one another. My husband & I started dating our Sophmore year. We spent our free-time (if we only realized HOW much free-time we had back then!) playing disc golf, going to Widespread Panic & Phish shows, camping, traveling. I also spent a lot of time sewing, making jewelry & DIYing (before DIYing WAS a thing!) lol. It was during these years, that I realized, not only where there no affordable places to find cute, unique, hippie / boho style clothing, accessories, bags, etc; but most items I could find in stores were unethically made. I didn't want to support sweat shop labor, child labor or products that were damaging to the environment. I was (and still am) vegetarian & non-leather wearing. I couldn't find cute bags, belts or shoes that matched my ethics. Aside from that, I couldn't find pretty, feminine, bohemian or hippie style. Sure, I could find t-shirts... but I couldn't find skirts, dresses, fun, unique pieces. I've never been a blend-into-the-crowd dresser & I never intend to be.This is when the plans began...

For years, I sewed my own clothes, upcycled thrift clothes, made flowy, patchwork dresses, skirts; handmade jewelry & bags. I sold my creations but more importantly, I was able to create a style that I loved to wear; a style that stood out & expressed the free-spirit vibe I loved. Finally, I made the decision to take things to the next level.

I worked tirelessly, finding other women-run, small business owners that were selling their creative wares; I sought reliable, trustworthy vendors; I made long-lasting relationships with fair trade co-ops around the globe; I also made small batches of handmade items myself, often upcycling vintage materials. I researched the most environmentally friendly way I could run my business, while minimizing our carbon footprint. I reached out to non-profit charities that we wanted to connect with & donate a portion of sales to.  In 2004, 2 years after I had become a mama, butterflymama was oficially born. I found out quickly that there were many other gals that shared the same sentiment as I. They cared about the source of products they purchased but they also were looking for a unique, bohemian, feminine style. They were choosing to live socially & environmentally responsible life... but still a beautiful, free-spirited vibe. I was beyond grateful to be a part of this movement.

Today, aside from being a small-business owner, I'm a mom, a wife, a crafter, a creator. I'm an animal lover, a nature lover, an earth lover. I have a slight (ok, maybe not-so slight) obsession with plants, mid-century style, antique chandeliers, depression glass; vintage fabric... just for starters. I love boho fashion & vintage design. I put a lot of effort in surrounding myself with what I love... that includes fashion, home decor & outdoor space. 

I intend to use this blog to share. To share projects, DIYs, inspiration, products, plans, my home, my gardens,  thoughts, goals & real life. I'd be honored to have you join my wandering, bohemian journey. 

much love~
Ali