Sep 19, 2016
 The focus of the Starting Small series is to introduce you to some amazing individuals who have built their own businesses from scratch. They are full of passion, life, and love. Once a month, we feature a new business owner, and pick their brain regarding how they started their business, advice for those who have/wish to have a business themselves, how they making time for themselves, and most importantly, which they love most about being a small business owner. I hope these individuals will inspire you, motivate you, and fill your heart with as much love as they've filled mine.

We cannot get enough of seeing littles in your hoodies!! When did you first decide you wanted to start creating these? Tell us the story!

I started off as a photographer. My dad was a major amateur photographer back in communist Romania, where I was born, and passed down to me a Minolta camera when my first baby was born. Out of necessity for my newborn sessions, I taught myself how to knit little baby hats, pants and hoodies. Kitting turned into sewing and the rest is history.

You're a mama and a business owner, which means you're quite the busy lady! How do you incorporate your family + business + personal time into your day?

I don’t! Ha! It’s hard for sure. I worked hard for the past 5 years to grow my business and it came with a lot of guilt and tears. My husband worked nights and weekends, and later was transferred to work in another state, which he commuted by plane back and forth. I was left with building my business and raising the kids alone. I had no family around and it was hard. But by God’s great mercy, our business grew so big, that my husband was able to leave his job and join me this year. I still have to pinch myself. It’s a dream come true for sure.

What are three pieces of advice you would give to a mama who is interested in starting her own business?

Learn - Everything in life is figureoutable. Do your homework. Research. Read.

Be fearless - With God all things are possible.

Get help. I didn’t do that and it lead to a lot of overwhelm.

Where do you look to for inspiration for new designs?

Everywhere where the competition isn’t present. An amazing church I visited in Sienna, Italy. A notebook at Target. A candy shop in New York City. Starting off as a photographer trained my eye to frame every moment as a picture. Now I see every moment as a hoodie.

What was the process like for deciding on this name for your business?

I started selling my knitted goods around Easter. The word Purl is the name of the knitting stich on the reverse side. At that time, it was my favorite stitch because I sucked at the main stitch. If that makes any sense! Lamb is for the Lamb of God, which was inspired by the Easter Holiday. When my business turned into sewing, my connection to the name was too great to give up. To this day, we print all of our garments and hangtags with John 3:16

What has been the most difficult part of creating and managing a small business? What has been the most enjoyable part?

Working 20 hours a day, doing it alone and raising 3 small children was extremely hard. But when you know that God has a plan for you, it helps you endure. He lights your fire into the late nights to help you get going. Hard work also has it’s rewards. We are able to donate all of our ‘last season’ goods to orphanages around the world. Another reward came when my husband joined the business. 5 years in the making, but worth the wait.

Favorite quote: John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Tea or Coffee? Early Bird or Night Owl? Heels or flats? Sunshine or Snow?

Coffee in the morning and tea at night. I’m a huge tea freak. I buy leaves by the pound and mix them up myself to create different flavors.

Early bird. I hate going to bed after my husband. All these years alone have scared me. Haha

Flats. Ain’t nobody have time for heels.

Snow. I’ll take a snowy or rainy day over any sunshine. I’m so weird.

Want to learn more about Irina? Check out her links below!
Xx

 

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