Monday, March 7, 2011

MONDAY :: MEET & GREET :: CRYSTAL ALEXANDER

So, if you stopped by on to check out last week's FRIDAY FRIENDS, you already know today's MEET & GREET is with the lovely Crystal Alexander of Preschool Doll Designs.  And if you didn't check it out, well, you should...so, you can see all the fabulous goodies Crystal has to offer!

Here's a little more about the lady herself...sit back and enjoy.
. . .
{What a sweet little family!}

Tell us a little about Preschool Doll Designs and how you got started.

 PreschoolDoll Designs really began to take shape when I began teaching preschool. To save money, I was always making my own classroom supplies, and my co-workers would ask where I bought them at. When I told them I made the items, they were always shocked. That's when I first began to realize I may be on to something.

With the birth of our son Preston (Feb. 2010), my husband and I decided I would stay home with him. Being someone who always likes a project, I soon found myself bored and needing "something else". With my husband's support and encouragement, PreschoolDoll Designs was officially born! The name comes from my preschool background (of course), and because I am such a doll, I thought the two worked perfectly!


I opened up shop at the end of March 2010, with the initial goal to supply preschool teachers and daycare providers with affordable classroom supplies (since they usually spend out of pocket for extras)! I also wanted to target stay at home moms, by offering educational activities to prepare their children for preschool. Over the past year, things have quickly evolved, and I now find myself part of the birthday party scene. I couldn't be more thrilled!

~ Sneak peek behind the scenes ~
{A perfect set-up if you ask me}
.  .  .


 Crayons in the Making

What's a typical "Crystal Day" like?  
 I'm one lucky momma. My son's a sleeper, so we usually get up around 10. He eats breakfast, and then he plays, while I quickly check in with the shop. I'll answer any customer e-mails, set up any reserved listing requests and try to get a Facebook post in. After, I feed him lunch and put him down for a nap. That's when I finally get my shower and take any new product photos I need to. I also try to do a pan of crayons and clean the house (usually one room a day) and work on any decorating project I may have going. When he wakes, we do a Post Office run to mail packages. My husband is usually home soon after. He likes to cook, so I usually don't argue and let him make dinner! Soon after, Preston goes to sleep, and I get to work. This is when I write item descriptions, catch back up on e-mails, list new items, and make crayons! My day typically ends around 3 am! This may sound crazy to some, but I've always been a "night owl". When people ask what I do, I just say I work third shift from home!

 Here's the little guy that keeps Crystal on her toes!

Being a Mom, how do you balance work and family?

This is probably the toughest thing for me! I tend to be a perfectionist, and remodeling our bungalow is a big passion of mine. My husband constantly reminds me that our house doesn't always have to be "magazine ready", so since PreschoolDoll Designs entered our lives, I've really had to learn to let the little things go. I am now more able to let a sink of dishes sit there a little longer, so I can read a book to my son! We also make a point to eat dinner together every night, and we try to make Saturdays "family day" and get out of the house together to do something fun!

photo courtesy of Sarah Lawrence-Photographer
   
What's one thing you couldn't live without?
 Diet Coke is my "coffee". I wouldn't be able to function without it, but Burt's Bees lip balm is my other must-have product!  I fear Preston may already be addicted to it. He won't let me apply it without giving him a little too!
 
FIND MORE OF CRYSTAL HERE ::