I love supporting handmade artisans and moms who have started their own small businesses. It takes a lot of work, dedication and patience to design your unique product, find your niche market, get your name out there, and hope that your work will be well-received!
Susan Petersen is one such mom who decided to make and sell her own baby moccasins when she couldn’t find any well-designed, soft-soled shoes for her son. After using some scrap leather from a yard sale to design a prototype that she was happy with, she decided to start her own company called "Freshly Picked" in 2009.
However, Susan was on a very limited budget, so she got creative when figuring out how to earn the money to start her business. Her brother let her keep the old windows from his window installation business, and she spent the whole summer banging the glass out of these windows in order to recycle the aluminum frames. With the $200 made from recycling the frames, she started “Freshly Picked”!
Fast forward five years and six design changes later, Susan has nurtured “Freshly Picked” into a thriving company that is an inspiration to so many. She has appeared on “Shark Tank”, has been embraced by celebrities (and their children), and has amassed a huge following as her moccasins are seen as the crème de la crème of handmade baby moccasins (her Instagram account has over 230,000 followers). After experiencing such success, Susan loves giving back and encouraging others through her “Entreneur Empowerment Movement" on Instagram and also providing scholarships for business start-ups.
Susan’s team over at “Freshly Picked" sent over some moccasins for Myla so that I could review them, and as you can see in the pics above, they come in this modern dust bag!
"Freshly Picked" moccasins come in a wide array of exquisite colours (see here), and some of my favourites include blush, platinum and gold. We decided to get the “Weathered Brown" for Myla since it is such a versatile, classic, gender-neutral colour that will match with anything!
These moccasins are made of extremely soft and supple leather, and the elastic opening ensures that they will not fall off as baby shoes often do. The fringe along the front, sides and back is a really cute touch, and the bottoms are stamped with the “FP” logo! There is no discernible left and right moccasin from the start (the same sewing pattern is used for both feet), but each moccasin quickly molds to the child’s feet and it is then easy to tell which one is right and left based on how it curves.
With the rise in popularity of “Freshly Picked”, these moccasins are now priced at $60. I admit that it is a hefty price for baby/toddler shoes but clearly there is a market for it and Susan wrote a very good article entitled “Why You Should Raise Your Prices" (see HERE) directed to handmade artists. In this article, Susan discusses how you must value what you are making and very carefully decide how much your time and talent is worth, particularly if you are trying to make a living from your art. I respect Susan’s business model and her pricing and how far she has taken her company. Susan now focuses on other tasks, and when I asked, I was told that all the seamstresses, suppliers and vendors are in the United States.
Myla absolutely ADORES her moccasins as they are hands down her favourite pair of shoes. She has worn them almost exclusively for the past five months and I love how they never fall off or get lost! Here we are at a local Farmer’s Market at the beginning of the summer…
These moccs are very comfortable for Myla as they are flexible, soft, and have plenty of grip. They come in sizes 1-10 (for pre-walkers and walkers) and you can check out the sizing chart HERE!
On our recent trip to California, Myla pretty much wore them everyday! They are so versatile as they look cute with both leggings and dresses. I love the look of the fringe from behind :)
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve received compliments from strangers when they gaze down and see the cute moccasins that Myla is wearing!
Here are some photos of our little sweetheart’s first trip to Disneyland! I love matching with my little girl ❤
This is one of my favourite photos from the whole trip: Myla dancing in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland with that childhood freedom and innocence without a care in the world!
You can see that Myla has really worn her moccasins down in our pregnancy announcement below from a month ago (I can’t believe I’m already 25 weeks pregnant now!). The “FP” logo stamped on the bottom is actually completely gone, but the moccasins have held up well with no rips or holes. They continue to look good even though they have worn down as our “Weathered Brown” choice now has a real weathered and vintage look! I wouldn’t hesitate to get a pair of these moccasins for our next baby after seeing the quality first hand and how much wear Myla has gotten out of her favourite shoes!
And now the exciting part…Susan and her team at “Freshly Picked” have generously offered a GIVEAWAY! The lucky winner will get to choose one pair of “Freshly Picked” moccasins in any colour and size! You can enter this giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below, and there are 10 different ways to enter- none of them are mandatory, but of course the more entries you have, the higher chances you have of winning! This contest is only open to residents of the US and Canada due to shipping costs (sorry to readers from other countries!). Also, you are not eligible to enter if you’ve won a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins in the last 60 days. Take a look at all the different moccasins available HERE and have fun entering below- good luck :)