For my first blog post I thought I would start off by introducing myself to those who don’t know me.
My name is Tamara Schmidt and I am the owner/maker for Penny and Kate. I grew up in Whitecourt, a small town in northern Alberta, and I currently live in Edmonton with my extremely supportive loving husband Clint, our beautiful two and a half year old daughter and our Aussie Shep Melody.
I love being active, spending time with my family and playing the piano. I am an entrepreneur at heart as I also run a successful piano teaching business in Edmonton. I graduated with distinction from the Physical and Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Grant MacEwan University. I worked almost 3 years in pediatrics at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital until deciding to try for a family and choosing to build my piano teaching business so I could also stay home and take care of our daughter.
Have I always been into sewing?? NOPE! I started this business sort of by chance. I am the type of person some (my husband) would call cheap, I prefer the term frugal. I don’t like to spend money on things I think I can make myself. If I think I can do it myself I will try that first and if I can’t then I’ll happily spend the money on it.
It all started with headbands…every baby girl needs headbands for two reasons:
- So people don’t assume she is a boy
- Because they are so darn cute!!
After getting a few for gifts and purchasing some myself, I would look at the head bands and think I should just make these myself. So that is what I did. I pulled out my grandmother’s old sewing machine from 1998 and started making headbands for Katie. When I first began Penny & Kate it was just an accessory shop on Etsy.
The accessories later progressed to leggings (my first few pairs of leggings were NOT good!! Lol), and once I got the hang of those I decided to purchase a new sewing machine and a serger and start making dresses and grow with me clothes. Eventually my vision for Penny & Kate shifted and I decided that I was going to make it children’s clothing line that was both practical and trendy with a strong focus on ‘Grow With Me’ items made from quality sustainable fabrics that people could feel good about purchasing. Not only because of the fabric I was using but also because people could actually get their money out of the clothes they were buying since the clothes are designed to last through multiple growth spurts. As a mother I know firsthand how frustrating it is to spend money on something that your giving away not even a month or two later (sometimes with the tags still on) because it no longer fits and I want to give moms just like me more options for things that will LAST!!
I’ve been having a ton of fun so far with the direction Penny & Kate has taken and I am extremely excited to see what will come of it in the future!!