Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fly Belly Maternity Clothing | Interview & Giveaway

When I was 8 weeks pregnant, I begrudgingly took out my Rubbermaid of maternity clothes; I only made it to 10 weeks the first time, so I'm not sure why I was so surprised, but I was.

As a working mom, I can't get away with wearing sweatpants and oversized t-shirts; I work in an office and I need to look presentable and professional.  That being said, I also can't justify spending a lot of money on new clothes, when I have a rubbermaid full of slightly stretched, slightly faded, slightly stained but still perfectly good maternity clothes.  I scoured the internet looking for good deals that I could justify, I mean every pregnant momma deserves at least a couple new clothing items right?

After much searching, I came across Fly Belly, a fantastic online maternity store with a unique selection and affordable prices.  I bought myself 3 shirts and with shipping (to Canada) they came out to about $26 each and arrived at my home quite quickly.  Fly Belly is a Momma-run business and Liz the Momma behind Fly Belly is super sweet and has offered to giveaway one shirt of the winners choice to a Momma Stuff Blog Reader.  But don't take my word for it, read on for my interview with Liz, the woman behind Fly Belly!

Can you tell us a little bit about your vision or mandate for Fly Belly?
My goal for Fly Belly is to provide cute, trendy and AFFORDABLE maternity clothing.  Truth be told, I want to be a household name among women - that's my vision.  I've browsed the internet for cute, trendy maternity clothes and am ASTONISHED to find that most websites that carry adorable things charge over $50.00 for a SHIRT!  I don't understand how regular women can afford things like that, so it is my goal to make shopping fun.  

Women should be allowed to feel beautiful during this special time in their life WITHOUT having to take out a second mortgage to pay for clothing.  My number one goal is customer satisfaction.  I LOVE what I do and love to work with my customers to do anything I can to make them happy.  I have had some BAD customer service experiences and I never want someone to feel like I don't care.  I want people to know that I am a real person and I do care about their shopping experience.  As I grow and hire employees (some day) they will be trained in customer SERVICE. 

How did you decide to embark on the entrepreneurial journey that is Fly Belly?
My journey began in July of 2005 when I was pregnant with my second little bundle of joy.  I was looking for a way to make a little 'me' money.  I was a full time stay at home mom and my husband was supporting our family.  I felt so silly taking money that he had earned to buy him a birthday present.  I wanted to find a way that I could earn money to pay for things like birthday and Christmas presents as well as a way to eat out or buy something to pamper myself every once in a while.  My sister had given me some name brand jeans and they didn't fit me.  I had purchased a few things on ebay before and decided to try my hand at selling.  I was SO surprised to find that the jeans sold for 26.00!!  I couldn't believe someone would pay 26.00 for a pair of USED jeans!  After that, I would shop at my local thrift store every Monday where certain colored tags were 99 cents.  I would buy ALL the name brand jeans I could find and list them on ebay.  I probably didn't make a profit of more than 20.00 a month, but that 20.00 was something that I could contribute to our family.  After I had my baby, I got all of the clothes I had that I didn't wear and sold them--they did AWESOME!  I didn't realize there was such a high demand for maternity clothes, so I added used maternity clothes to my ebay selling.  After doing some research, I realized that people were paying a lot of money for NEW maternity clothes...so I looked around and did a little research and realized that I could buy new clothing and re-sell it on ebay.  I started VERY small--only purchasing enough inventory for ONE lot.  Then I would take the money I earned from that and go buy more.  I am happy to say that I have not gone into debt at all to open my business.  I started small and grew as I could afford to.  

I had been kicking around the idea of launching my own website for about a year or so because I was sick of ebay raising their fees.  I had a good friend who was a graphic designer but was out of work, so I decided...what the heck, let's give it a shot!  I worked with him to design my website!  What you see on flybelly.com is completely designed by me and Dennis West Designs.  I wanted paisley background--he designed it.  I wanted a certain font...he made it happen.  I even got my own models (my sister...who was pregnant with her SIXTH baby) and my friend (expecting number 4).  I wanted REAL women--not itty bitty stick girls with a tiny little bump.  

Fly Belly officially launched August of 2010 and all the products for sale are BRAND NEW usually with tags.  Sales were pretty slow to start with, but have gradually picked up as I have done advertising and people have spread the word.  I LOVE my customers and am always so excited when I have repeat buyers (which quite a few people are!)

 
How do you find and choose all the lovely maternity products that you carry?
I can't share my secrets about where exactly I find my clothing, but please know that I HAND PICK each and every item that is on my website.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE to shop and whenever I find something cute, I can't WAIT to share it with others!

I read on your website that Fly Belly is a one-woman show, what's your biggest challenge since starting Fly Belly?
The biggest challenge since starting Fly Belly is finding time to do everything!  Since I hand pick everything, I have to take time to do that, I have to find time to take pictures (which right now is in my bedroom!), edit the pictures, list them on the website.  Then, when they sell, I have to gather up the order, package, weigh and print labels at home.  Add to that being a full time mom of 4 children aged 7, 5, 3 and almost 2.    So, my biggest challenge is just TIME.  I would love to hire an assistant...some day....

On the flip side, what is it about Fly Belly that truly makes your heart sing?
When customers email me and tell me how happy they are with their purchases and how the clothes make them feel and how GRATEFUL they are to have found affordable clothing!  The internet is such an amazing thing and I have made some great friends through my business.

Can you share a little, or a lot, about yourself as a mother?


I'm a 28 year old mother of 4!  That basically says it all, haha :)  I'm a basket case!  I married my sweetheart Adam when I was 19 and we have been happily married for nearly 9 years.  We had 2 little girls 23 months apart.  When I was pregnant with baby number 3, my husband fell in love with a little foster baby that one of his friends was caring for.  He felt very strongly that this baby was supposed to be a part of our family, so when I was about 14 or 15 weeks pregnant, he called me one day and said "How would you feel about adopting a little baby?"  WHAT??!!  I thought he had gone insane, but we agreed to make it a matter of prayer, and the answer we got was that this little girl, named Faith, was to be a part of our family.  We became foster parents and got custody of the 11 month old just 4 months before I gave birth to my baby.

I always wanted to be a 'mom'.  In fact, in college, my major was 'Family Science' so basically I took a lot of child development and parenting classes.  Being a mother has been the HARDEST thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding.  Children are amazing and teach me so much.  I am grateful to be able to stay at home with them and am also grateful for their patience with me.  I am so imperfect and have so much to learn about being a mom.  I think it's a lifelong process!

Does the constant exposure to great maternity items, set your baby fever in overdrive?
Not really.  I try to focus on the women who are ALREADY pregnant and who will get to wear these great maternity clothes.  I do, however, have quite the collection of maternity clothes for when baby number 5 decides to join our family!  

Is there anything else you'd like to share with Momma Stuff Blog readers?
Being a mother is one of the most amazing, scariest, frustrating and humbling things you will ever do in your life!  We have been entrusted with these little beings that rely on us for everything.  It is overwhelming at times, but when we remember we are raising the next generation-the leaders of the future--it makes it all worth it.

A little about my 'office'.  When you asked about including a photo of my office, I had to laugh.  Mainly because my home IS my office.  My baby's room doubles as my inventory room.  It has his crib, a dresser and lots and lots of maternity clothes!  Items that are for sale on ebay are in his closet and items that I need to take pictures of and list are in totes on the other side of the room.  Mine and my husband's room houses my maternity mannequin as well as items that are ready to be photographed.  Out in the living room is the desk with my computer on it where I do all my work!  Next to the desk is items that have been photographed and need to be listed.  My basement has lots of totes of off season items as well as all of the listed inventory for Flybelly.com.  Fly Belly has taken over my house!!  One day I will be able to rent a small office, but for now I am content to stay at home with my kiddos around me wreaking havoc on the house while I work!


Enter to Win
One Shirt of the Winners Choice
First Entry:
Visit the Fly Belly Website and leave a comment sharing which shirt you'd like to win
Please make sure you include your email address if its not in your profile otherwise I won't be able to contact you if you win!
Additional Entries:
Please leave a comment for EACH additional entry

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  Tweet this giveaway (once per day - leave a link) 
I entered to #win a super cute maternity shirt from @Flybelly | http://bit.ly/gEkHxo | @mommastuffblog
 
Giveaway closes Sunday January 2nd, 2011 at 8pm (PST).  Winner will be determined by a random number generator. Winner will be notified via email and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new name will be drawn and contacted.

Contest is now closed.
Congratulations to our winner, comment #22 Sweetone624!

52 comments:

  1. What great stuff! I like the striped cardigan: http://www.flybelly.com/productDetail.asp?prodID=186

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  2. I would choose the casual plum top or red waffle top.
    tanya@wimzieprints.com

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  3. I liked the Hooded Darling shirt the best.
    http://www.flybelly.com/productDetail.asp?prodID=63

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  4. Subscribe to your blog by email.

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  5. Follow you on twitter. @randi094

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  6. Tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/randi094/status/16917365421776896

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  7. I love the Chocolate Stripes shirt!

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  8. I would love to win the Brown Studded Top in Brown, size medium.

    www.joannaroeschlein@hotmail.com

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  9. I like Fly Belly on Facebook.

    www.joannaroeschlein@hotmail.com

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  10. I like the Momma Stuff Blog on Facebook.

    www.joannaroeschlein@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I shared this link as my Facebook profile.

    www.joannaroeschlein@hotmail.com

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  12. I subscribed to the Momma Stuff Blog e-mails.

    joannaroeschlein@hotmail.com

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  13. THe jennifer shirt is adorable!

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  14. I love the Purple Foiled Top

    sweetone62406 at hotmail.com

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  15. I Follow Flybelly on Twitter - @LLLSummer

    sweetone62406 at hotmail.com

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  16. I Follow the Momma Stuff Blog on Twitter - @LLLSummer

    sweetone62406 at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I tweeted http://twitter.com/LLLSummer/status/19213672593235968

    sweetone62406 at hotmail.com

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  18. I like the "Cherry Red Top"
    tannis_z at excite dot com

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  19. follow your blog via gfc
    tannis_z at excite dot com

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  20. follow momma stuff blog on fb
    tannis_z at excite dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. like fly belly on fb
    tannis_z at excite dot com

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  22. subscribe by email
    tannis_z at excite dot com

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  23. tweeted http://twitter.com/LLLSummer/status/19213672593235968

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  24. I tweeted http://twitter.com/LLLSummer/status/19995833135009792

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  25. tweet http://twitter.com/LLLSummer/status/20563254522683392

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  26. The Shaley top is very cute!

    http://www.flybelly.com/productDetail.asp?prodID=138

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  27. I Follow the Momma Stuff Blog via Google Friend Connect

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  28. I'd love the black tie back cardigan! Thanks for sharing this great site.

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  29. I follow the Momma Stuff blog vis Google Friend Connect

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  30. I like the Momma Stuff blog on fb

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  31. I subscribe to the Momma Stuff blog via email

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  32. I follow the Mommastuffblog on twitter

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  33. Tweet http://twitter.com/#!/LLLSummer/status/21419332525359104

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  34. last tweet :) http://twitter.com/#!/LLLSummer/status/21624037356609539

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  35. Wow! That’s a fabulous collection! What a pattern you have created. I am impressed with your collection. Tops are usually fit and comfortable Please visit mine and be a follower. Overall, looking stylish while pregnant, and feeling great is the goal, and with the gorgeous dress options available today it is easy to attain! Thanks for sharing.

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  36. When I was pregnant it was nearly impossible to find stylish yet affordable maternity clothes. But really good to see such a nice collection. Time is changing! I had spent forever searching for items that I could mix and match to ensure I had a comfortable but stylish wardrobe for those important months during pregnancy.


    maternity wear online

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  37. Great blog! We’ve got a fab maternity site, check it out and contact me if you want to collab?

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  38. Thanks for great article it is so nice and init super knowledge. I wanted to thank you for always posting such inspirational, useful, fun photos and info. Your post epitomizes everything that is wrong with the feminist movement. Your wedding date has been decided, you want to look like a princess, but you do not want to spend a fortune. Every little girl dreams of her wedding day. Unfortunately not all brides or their families have thousands of pounds to spend. But you do not need an expensive dress to be the most beautiful bride any one has ever seen. You will be the envy of all guests as you walk down the isle in one of the wedding dresses you have chosen for this special day. Thanks again.

    breastfeeding tops

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  39. I found you in a web search for Big & Tall shirts. I have never been satisfied with the fit of off-the-shelf products (too tight, sleeves too short, etc.). Your site seemed very thorough in capturing the fit information necessary to make these shirts truly fit - and therefore become “favorites” rather than hang in my closet with so many other shirts I own that don’t fit....
    I refer all my family and friends to
    www.bestcustomshirt.com

    Frederick, MD

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  40. must be la surprised reason that not that usual

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  41. When you are pregnant your body and bra size fluctuates and changes as your baby grows. After birth, your body prepares for a successful nursing journey and your bra size fluctuates again. The majority of women experience an increase of two cup sizes up from their pre-pregnancy bra size. If you do not experience a change in your bra size don’t panic, this will not impact your nursing success. The size of your breasts is not related to the amount of milk you can produce.

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  42. After giving birth the most common problem that encountered by mommy's are their clothes because sometimes it's not fit for them. By reading fashion mag or surfing the net we can get a lot of ideas when we find a dress suitable for a post pregnant women.

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