RUTH NELSON | ADDYLOU CREATES
I grew up just outside of Valparaiso on my family’s seed corn farm. Every summer was spent either working on the farm detasseling corn (9-year detasseling survivor!!!), working for a local daylily farm durning high school or maintaining the the grounds at an arboretum and growing plants at a greenhouse throughout college. All of these jobs taught me discipline and endurance and reinforced that fun can be had while working hard. After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Landscape Design and Horticulture, I became a landscape designer for a wonderful landscaping company. A job I loved!
As life progressed, I left the workforce and I entered the adventures of parenthood. My most favorite job yet is being mom to our five kiddos. AddyLou was created in 2011 to have a creative outlet. It was meant to fund my impulsive sewing and crafting desires. It has turned into so much more! I have enjoyed see people use my product, meeting other makers during shows and watching my little business evolve into something I never thought it would. When I’m not sewing up a storm creating new product, I am outside gardening with my husband of almost 13 years, tending to chickens, baking or enjoying the chaos of the mom life.
Tell us about addylou creates
AddyLou Creates was born out of the need to create in 2011. I love all things artsy, handmade, and hand-crafted. My shop came about after needing an outlet while being a stay-at-home mom of five rambunctious kiddos. At first, it was something that was done as a way to find an identity outside of being “mom.” Now it comes from a desire to create well-made items that not only serve a practical purpose, but are beautiful accessories for your child and home. AddyLou specializes in creating bibs, blankets, burp cloths, hooded towels and quilts.
How many employees do you have?
Currently, it it just me. I have a very supportive family. My sister, Catherine, has been my biggest promoter and motivator. She helps me when I am in a pinch or struggling to get ready for a show. My husband, Brian is my sounding board and financial guru.
What’s the inspiration behind your name?
Creating a meaningful but memorable business name was difficult. It was important to me that I used my own name but also paid homage to the women that helped shape me. My middle name is my maternal grandmother’s name, “Adelaide” and my paternal grandmother’s name is LuluBelle. Julia Adelaide=Addy LuluBelle=Lou
Favorite thing about being an entrepreneur
My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is having the ability to fabricate items that people love while also fulfilling my own passion for creating. Many of my items are given as gifts and I get genuine satisfaction knowing that my ideas have come to life to spread joy to others. It’s also really fun to track where my products have gone throughout the country and even the world!
MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR
The most difficult thing about being an entrepreneur is the requirement to step out of my social comfort zone. I am naturally very introverted and quiet. It takes a lot for me to get myself mentally prepared for events. When beginning a business, having an amazing product is only half of the battle and it’s been a challenge for me to self promote my product, though I feel like as time passes, I’m improving in this area.
FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT
I love trying new places. If I’m going out with our kids, I love going to Holly’s in Michigan City. The atmosphere reminds me of the iconic Big Wheel restaurant my family frequented when I was a kid. For date night, I love going to Shoreline Brewery. The food is wonderful and we always have a great time.
FAVORITE LOCAL SHOP
Nest Number 4 and Aster + Gray are both local treasures. I love finding unique gifts and special things at both places. The owners of these shops have been very intentional in the products that they carry, and that shows. I respect them and their businesses very much.
FAVORITE ENTREPREUR RESOURCE
Flourish. It is in online group of some amazing people, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed.
MOST VALUABLE THING/LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR
Being an entrepreneur puts you through a rollercoaster of emotions. Some days I struggle to find the time to create and work. Others, I am on a mission and am successful at getting things done. Nothing comes easily when you wear as many hats as a small-business entrepreneurs, but the end outcome makes all of the work and emotions well worth it.
I love to read, especially books with vampires, witches and other mythical beings. Currently I’m on book #72 in The Shade of Vampire series, I have been captivated by them!
FUN FACT ABOUT YOU
I am number 13 in a cousin line up of 52 on one side of my extended family. At one point, there was 13 of us attending Purdue where we would have Mandatory Family Functions (MFFs). Because of this, I can be ready to throw a gathering at a moment’s notice!
I have known my husband since we were little. He was at every family party and event as long as I can remember. We didn’t really get together though until he graduated from Purdue and started coming back to hang out with all the cousins and friends still there.