MEET AMY MIRAFLOR :: Women In Business {Series}

INTERVIEW WITH AMY MIRAFLOR OF EVYSTREE BOUTIQUE

Hi Amy! Thank you for sharing how you operate your own successful adult & children’s boutique! Please explain what you specialize in!
Thank you Heidi for this opportunity to be on your blog, I am honored! Evy’s Tree sells embellished clothing for men, women and children, specifically hoodies and tees.

How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for one year this week!  I started selling my first set of hoodies on my family blog on January 8, 2010.

How did you start off in this craft?
I started off completely by accident; definitely what I would consider a God thing. I am a 4th grade public school teacher who decided to stay home with her kids right after my first child, Jacob, was born. Money was VERY tight. In October of 2009, I was inspired by many wonderful and creative stay at home moms who could whip up these beautiful items for their family with practically no money. I felt like I couldn’t even take my kids hems up if I needed too, and that made me feel very inadequate as a mom, for some strange reason!  It seemed like everyone I knew could sew. So I borrowed my mom’s sewing machine and attempted to learn. In fact, I did a big post about my feelings about being crafty right after I brought the machine home. The post is a bit of a joke now as I complained how I wasn’t creative, and yet here I am- creating for a living! You can read about that here: http://miraflorfamily.blogspot.com/2009/10/confession.html

Anyway, I started sewing a little for myself and then I took on the task, with some help from some do it yourself blogs, of embellishing some hoodies from my closet for a trip to Disneyworld that my family was taking in December. I made three hoodies, The Love, The Hoot {which are both semi- retired hoodies that appear only occasionally} and The Rainbow. I got gobs and gobs of compliments while in Florida, and my nieces begged me to make them some for Christmas. When I returned home I made them all The Hoot. My sister in law, whose nickname is Brilla, asked me to embellish her favorite hoodie for her and give it to her for Christmas. I made her the original Brilla, which is now my staple style. I took pictures of all the hoodies and put them on my blog after Christmas. Almost immediately I started receiving emails from people asking if they could purchase one. A couple of weeks later I put up a paypal link on my blog and sold 15 in 30 minutes. And my business was born…

THAT IS A-MAZING!! I love your unique style. How do you find inspiration for your looks?
Honestly, I find it just in my day-to-day comings and goings with my kiddos. Most of my items are things I love to wear on a daily basis. Things I feel comfortable in as a mom and am able to get dirty, but things that don’t make me look too sloppy or unattractive. I try to pursue fashion magazines and keep up with the pantone color debuts, but as a busy mom that is really hard to do as often as I would like. I also really love JCrew and Anthropologie. Anytime I step foot in those places I feel inspired.

How do you keep balance in your life/business with out feeling too overwhelmed by your work?
This is really a hard one; one that I am still trying to figure out. Balance usually does not go hand in hand with owning your business, especially one you are building from the ground up. Almost my entire family, my parents, my siblings, are all self employed, as was my husband for quite some time, so I have a very good support group of people who are willing to tell me to slow down when I need to. I rely heavily on my faith to give me strength and try to remember to take a minute to breathe, spend time with my family and enjoy life as it comes. Sometimes that means letting things go if necessary.  I’m also learning to be a very good delegator. If someone else can do the job, I have them do it so I can focus on the things that really matter. Balance is not an easy lesson to learn, that’s for sure.

…Good advice for sure!…How do you get your name out there in the world? How do most of your clients find you?
In the beginning most of my customers were friends from facebook and the blogging world. Shortly thereafter, I opened a facebook business page, which has probably been the best form of contact with new customers. I also teamed up with a couple very popular blogs, Fabulous Fun Finds being one of them, and they have really promoted my work. Other than that, its really been word of mouth. A customer buys one, then comes back as well as tells her friends. Honestly, the hoodies are very addicting, they speak for themselves.

What is the BEST thing you’ve done to make your business more successful?
As I said above, I could not have done this without blogging or facebook. But outside of that, I would have to say staying organized, which for me means lots of help. I have a team of about 9 people who help me, 5 of them are seamstresses and the rest work very hard to keep me on track of quickbooks, orders, email response, packaging, receiving shipments of hoodies, maintaining inventory, etc. And I have to give a big props to my Dad who got my garage all set up to house lots and lots of inventory and my husband who holds my hand daily and lets me do what I do, all while he works full time, maintains the laundry without complaining and eats take out more than he would like to admit. And my kids, they are EXTREMELY patient…Basically, my team, which includes my family, is the thing that makes Evy’s Tree successful.

What are some things you would change about your business/if any in hindsight? Any lessons learned that others would benefit from?
I believe very strongly that everything that happens to us happens for a reason, so there isn’t anything I would change, really. I would say I have learned many lessons, but all of them were great lessons and welcomed. I’m sure there will be MANY more lessons to come in the future as well!  Lastly, thanks to Etsy, I have met many wonderful friends in this business and I have learned from them that you should ALWAYS ask for help if you need it. Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m lost”, or “I can’t do this”. You would be surprised how many people are out there willing to help you.  Too many people are ashamed to say they can’t do everything, which I have learned saying is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

Etsy is an amazing site & there are a lot of people using it, how do you make your Etsy site get noticed? What makes you stand out?
I can’t say enough about good pictures. I am not a photographer, so I team up with great people like Sam Hassas and Scott Andrew Photography, and they make me look good.  Also, the amount of money you will spend in excellent photography and a good graphic designer will in the end be nothing when it boosts your year-end numbers. My graphic designer, Brooke of RightLeft studios, is AMAZING. She makes my shop, my tags, my cards, my blog, look like a million dollars!

Finally what 3 things would you encourage people to do who are just starting out in business, or who are looking to better their business lives?
•    Stay focused. I do this by praying and putting my business in God’s hands. I feel strongly that Evy’s Tree is not mine, but His, and that takes a huge weight off my shoulders. It also helps me remember that I am doing this for my family and that drives me to succeed more than anything else could.
•    Create a good team. If you are not strong in a certain area, find people who are, who will support your ideas and walk along the road with you {here’s where I give big props to my book keeper, Jen, oh wow, I couldn’t do this without her!! }. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. So many people are out there that would love to have something to promote, you’d be surprised!
•    Invest in your company. Whether that means finding someone to fund you, hiring a photographer, a graphic designer, or just devoting more time to it, believe in what you do and do it. Even if it seems silly…because believe me, selling hoodies for a living is the last thing I would ever imagine myself doing!


I LOVE it! Thanks again for sharing with us  Amy! Readers be sure to check out Amy’s hip designs in her Etsy shop!

images on this post belong to evystree

Did you enjoy this “WOMEN IN BUSINESS” special? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave your comments for Amy & thank her if you enjoyed her words! I know she’d like to hear from you as much as I do! If there is anything else that you’d

like to see discussed in this series, please leave your comments & questions below and I will be sure to incorporate them in future interviews!

Look for another WOMEN IN BUSINESS post soon!

Thanks for stopping in ~Heidi

PS: DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR VOTES IN FOR THE “SAYING GOODBYE TO 2010 CONTEST” IT ENDS THIS THURSDAY!!! GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!


  • Amy - Heidi, thank you!! Wow, this turned out beautifullly! I really loved doing this. I look forward to hearing more from your women in business series! xoxo

  • SoShawna - Thanks for doing this interview; it’s fascinating to read about such a strong woman of faith & family doing something creative and being successful in it. This is what makes America great 🙂 What an inspiration! And the hoodies are darling.

  • Bonny Smelser - I enjoyed this very much. Amy is a fantastic person and creates beautiful items that are top of the line! Excellent info and advice for others!
    Thank you for featuring Evy’s Tree and my friend Amy!!!! Bonny

  • Jenny - I found you through Amy….LOVE the interview. (I have to say, I wear my fabulous hoodie from Evys Tree ALL THE TIME!) Wonderful to read about the women behind these amazing businesses!

  • Marie W - THank you Velvet Owl for continuing this amazing series! I have really been enjoying it! Looking forward to more!!

  • brooke foreman - Great interview- Amy is amazing to work with- so focused and passionate about what she does! And her work is beautiful as well:) Thanks for sharing!

  • jeni - LOVETH! So nice to “talk with Amy” through this… thanks for Props to us Photographers that really do help make you “look good” since so many amazing things are piling up on etsy. Cannot wait to own my own EvesTree! xo

  • Brooke Best - Amy, love what you have to say & see your beautiful designs! Learned about your website from your friend Shannon. Word of mouth truly does work. I’ll share your website with others…

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