Maker of That’s So Addie; Founder of Wallowa Wonders
In part of celebrating the upcoming, one year anniversary of Gypsy Spoonful we bring you our “Meet Our Makers” blog thread.
Our 2nd edition is about one of the founding makers of Gypsy Spoonful and That’s So Addie.
Who is Raenita?
I asked Raenita of That’s so Addie, to tell me a little bit about herself, and although she is humble, this is what she had to say. 🙂
I am a born & raised Wallowa, Oregon girl. My grandparents on both sides grew up here and my parents did too. I am a generational local that loves where I live and am so blessed that I get to be here. I love to go out in the woods picking mushrooms and huckleberries or just driving around to see all the wildlife. I love to garden and prep/can food for winter. I love to hike in the mountains (even though I am seriously out of shape and need to work on that a little more)
I have an amazing man in my life, Jack, who supports my business 110% and is my biggest cheerleader. He is the one who finds the positives in everything when I am starting to doubt myself. I have 3 awesome kids too. My son, Logan, is almost 28 and married to his high school sweetheart, Dominique. They have 2 adorable kids, Jake & Emma, who are the cutest grandkids around and my favorite tiny munchkins. Luckily, they live here too so I can see them whenever I want. Yay me! My daughter, Danaleigh, is 26 and lives in a little town about half an hour away. She was recently diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure so she is on dialysis and we are in process to get her on the kidney transplant list (hopefully by this summer) And my youngest daughter, Adalyn (where I got my business name) is 13—EEK! She is brilliant beyond her years and has big dreams of becoming an architect. We were homeschooling her for the last 3 years but she just started back to school this term (for a break from her parents, I think).
Raenita tells the story behind That’s So Addie!
I asked Raenita where her inspiration to create came from?
Adalyn, my youngest daughter, was my inspiration (That’s So Addie). When she was born, I had this opportunity to actually be a stay at home mom. I embraced it and just enjoyed it. I wanted to dress her up as uniquely as possible and ran across some boutique clothing on eBay. At that moment, I knew that was the direction I wanted to go. I bought a cheap sewing machine and went for it. I had sewn a little bit before but mostly I just waded through and self-taught myself until I had mastered it.
Raenita sure is showing us that she was meant to create; just as she does!
The beginning of That’s So Addie…
I started That’s So Addie, officially, in 2005. I got my first sale on eBay later that year. I feel awful for the person who bought my first thing. I’m sure it was not very well made and I am so embarrassed at my quality back then. Thankfully, I ran across some amazing women who were all learning or teaching as they went and I definitely improved my workmanship by leaps & bounds that next year.
We asked, What makes your items different from the rest? Raenita’s response is heart warming.
As much as I like to think I am unique in what I do, I know there are many designers out there who can easily do what I do. I strive to do what I love. If I don’t love it, I won’t do it. I guess that is what makes me unique. I’m not in it for the almighty dollar. I am doing it because I love my job!
Raenita’s skills and knowledge are an asset!
I started out working in our family business when I was 9 years old. My parents built a little burger joint, drive in from the ground up and we all worked there. I was waiting on customers and making milkshakes before I knew how to do long division…lol. I put in my time there all through high school and worked there for many years as an adult too. I also had a few bartending gigs. I ran a daycare for a little while (not a fan of that, I decided). I worked as a caregiver in an assisted living home. I was a CNA in a nursing home. Finally, I was a stay at home mom until I started That’s So Addie
Raenita says her biggest accomplishment is her children. She has worked really hard to raise them to have strong wor ethic and to not let life get them down. She thinks she has done a pretty good job at that! All I know is if they follow by example, they will be very successful and reach the stars!
Raenita as a child
I am always curious where all our maker’s passion and inspiration derives from. So I dig even deeper into their past. I always ask what is their fondest childhood memory? You will want to keep reading to know all about this sweet story!
I have so many. We grew up in such a fun place and time. I would say one of my favorites would be when my uncle caught some baby chipmunks in his logging boot out in the woods and brought them home for us as pets. We got to keep them in our “playhouse” and they only bit us a few times before they hibernated for the winter and didn’t wake up. (oops…we were bad chipmunk parents in the winter….lol)
Lastly, we asked Raenita what advice she would give to future makers. Her response makes TOTAL sense!
Love what you do. It truly shows in your work. Do not let desperation rule you. Stay the course with a positive attitude and back up plans. It is hard to watch brand new sellers expect sales straight out of the gate. I would say if you can stick it out 3-5 years, you will know if you can do it or not.