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Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor

How This Stay-at-Home Mom Turned Her Baby Hack Into a Household Brand

Chances are, you’ve been itching to buy baby one of these.

The Bump presents #MomBoss, a series dedicated to showing off all-star moms. We catch up with mompreneurs behind products we love, influencers who get real about motherhood and SAHMs who can multitask in their sleep.

When Susan Petersen’s son was a baby, he had adorably chubby feet. But as a result, the mom had a hard time finding shoes that fit him. Like any mom met with a challenge, Petersen crafted up a solution of her own. Gathering up the materials she needed, she parked herself at the kitchen table and began hand-making moccasins for her baby. It wasn’t long before other parents wanted to snag her custom-made baby shoes for their little ones, and the rest, as the say, is history.

Before she knew it, her side hustle transformed into what is now Freshly Picked, the company behind those irresistible baby shoes and accessories. Learn more about Petersen and her brand in our chat below.

Can you tell us your story in a few sentences?

I started Freshly Picked in 2009 when I was a stay-at-home-mom of two. Not only did my baby boy's chubby feet not fit into any shoes out there, but I also didn't like any of the styles on the market. So I took the matter into my own hands, earned some money and bought some scrap leather at a garage sale. Then I sewed right at my kitchen table. I don’t have a college or business background, so this was such new territory for me!

Photo: Freshly Picked

How did it transform into Freshly Picked?

People started asking where my son got his shoes, so I started making them and then selling them on Etsy and at craft shows. I couldn't keep up with the demand, and eventually Freshly Picked was born. Our best sellers are anything in weathered brown or platinum.

We love the Mommy and Me collection! Can you tell us more about that?

We wanted to produce something fun for our customers that both moms and their kids can wear together. After launching kids' sneakers, we thought it would be fun for mom to have matching shoes as well.

What’s your secret to juggling work, kids and “me” time?

There is a lot of flexibility and freedom since I'm the boss, so I try to make sure I schedule a time for it all. It’s also important to know when to get help from my husband, parents and hired workers when I need to.

Photo: Susan Petersen

Name a product you wouldn’t have made it through the first years of parenting without?

Freshly Picked mocasins!

What advice would you give your pre-baby self?

Trust yourself. It's such an easy and simple concept, but very hard to do at times.

Do you have a guilty mom pleasure?

An ice cold diet coke and Amazon prime.

Is there anything new in the works for Freshly Picked?

We always have new things in the works to help families build a beautiful life together. We have lots of BIG things coming this year—stay tuned!

Published February 2019

Plus, more from The Bump:

15 Best Baby Moccasins

25 Cool Subscription Boxes for Moms and Babies

Meet the Moms Behind Maisonette, the Trendy Online Children’s Boutique

PHOTO: Susan Petersen