I'm Alison Butler, a part-time maker/creative from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada (basically I live on a island jutting out into the middle of the North Atlantic) - it's rugged and beautiful and I would never choose to live anywhere else. I'm a mom to my three and a half year old daughter (the best job in the world!) and I work full time for a local non-profit for the past nine and a half years. I'm really passionate about my day job, BUT I also LOVE being creative, and can't imagine a life without it, so I started my blog, and my shop!
I started The Petit Cadeau blog about 3 years ago while I was on maternity leave with my daughter. I wanted to write about pretty packages tied up with string and other creative projects for thoughtful gifting. From there, my shop seemed like a natural next step, making products that fit with my ideas about thoughtful celebrations and thoughtful gifts. In 2014 I launched Petit Mail because I LOVE snail mail, and I wanted to share that love of something fun in the mailbox with children like my daughter. This Fall, I'm starting to sell at local markets and am really looking forward to the experience of interacting with customers face to face!
My business name has a fairly simple story. Petit Cadeau is French for small gift, and it seemed to fit the idea of small, thoughtful gestures that I wanted to convey. While I'm not fluent in French, in Canada we study French as a second language throughout school & so the name came to me very naturally.
Selling products hasn't been easy - when you are really passionate about your product, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea that "everyone is going to buy this!". It takes time and ongoing energy to put yourself out there. I've had other bloggers tell me "no" to featuring my products (rejection stings a little no matter where you are in your business journey) but I keep going based on the positive feedback from my customers and keep growing the business one day at a time!
My biggest achievement to date has been really investing in my business (branding, photography) for a professional look. It was a scary risk to make up front, but I really believe that it set me up on the right path for my business, and I was able to identify and work with some other amazing creatives to bring my professional look together. I've been featured by several other bloggers this year as well, including Let's Lasso The Moon, Linkouture and Oh My Handmade and I am beyond grateful for the exposure that these interviews bring to my business!
Currently I'm planning to take my business to the next level with some wholesale orders (Oh My Handmade Maker Mail, and at least 1 local bricks & mortar shop). I would love to see Petit Mail really take off - I believe so strongly in this product, I know I can take it far as long as I keep putting myself out there and believe that the right opportunities will come along at the right time!
Words of advice to fellow makers just starting out: Be patient. Make connections with other creatives. Find a community of support that makes you feel good about the work that you are doing. Ask questions & don't be afraid to BE YOURSELF!