It was a whirlwind summer starting with Brittany giving birth to her third child and first daughter, Ella, in early May. Shortly after Ella's arrival into the world, my family PCS'd from Fort Campbell, KY to Fort Leavenworth, KS in what could go down in history as one of the worst military moves ever (more on that some other time). Then I gave birth to our third child and second daughter, Elliott, in mid July. All while prepping for launching our 2022 Calendar Year Planner, which is on sale in our shop now! With all of that going on, we took a break from blogging over the summer for what we are very loosely referring to as our "maternity leave".
But now we are back and excited to be starting off with a fabulous milso owned small business and amazing Army spouse, Kelly, from Nashville Bow Co. And as a bonus, now that we have 3 little ladies in the Spouse SERVE fam, we will be shopping at Kelly's shop even more! I think you'll see why when you see these gorgeous bows!
Kelly's journey to becoming a military spouse started on her very first day of college at Western Kentucky University where her now husband, Josh, talked her into going to dinner with him at a local Italian restaurant by agreeing to make it a double date with their respective wingmen. The two new lovebirds shared their first kiss on the famous "kissing bridge" at WKU and shortly after Josh asked Kelly to be his girlfriend officially in the same spot. HOW CUTE IS THAT?
Well, little did Kelly know but WKU tradition says that couples who have their first kiss on the kissing bridge will be joined together for life. Over the years Kelly and Josh shared many special moments on that bridge. Early in his Army career, Josh was stationed in Korea. While he was overseas, he was granted a short bit of leave and came back stateside to propose to Kelly on that very same bridge!
The years have continued to pass and Kelly and Josh have continued to share magical moments on the Kissing Bridge - taking their maternity photos with their first child there and bringing their first two daughters to the bridge to share their love story with them. Kelly and Josh married in 2014 and in that time the Army has moved them coast to coast - to 5 different homes - and they have welcomed 3 beautiful baby girls into their world who are now 5 years, 4 years, and 3 months old!
Before their first daughter was born, Kelly began fiddling around with her sewing machine and was able to make a few fabric bows, but her favorite bows to make were grosgrain ribbon bows. In the early years of her oldest daughter's life a grosgrain ribbon bow was her signature look and she rarely went anywhere without a bow on her head. Over time, people started commenting on the bows Kelly was making for her daughter and asked her where she had purchased them. Eventually people asked if they could buy them from Kelly, but she always just made and sent a few bows to whoever asked for one.
After a few years, and with a lot of encouragement from admirers of her bows, Kelly took the leap of faith and started her own bow business and opened an online shop. Being that Kelly was born & raised in Nashville, TN she named her new business "Nashville Bow Co." Kelly went back to her sewing machine and was able to come up with 5 different style and size hair bows for little girls, and bow ties for little boys. Fun fact: the grosgrain ribbon bows have never even been offered or sold in her shop!
As with any new project, there was a trial and error period where Kelly worked to pin down and perfect her bows. The beginning brought on long nights of learning the ins and outs of her sewing machine and building up an inventory of bows to sell.
Kelly says "It's funny to look back now and see how quick I have become with all of it. I have a notebook full of ideas. When I feel confident enough in one of my ideas, and the timing is right, I can create & bring it to life. It's fun watching some of these plans come to fruition."
The online shop is growing, as Kelly says "little by little, and very slowly" but her shop now includes various sized and styled hair bows (for little girls and now for mama's!), bow ties, basked bows, wreath sashes, and swaddle sashes! The wreath sashes are a fun new item that can be draped over the bottom of a wreath with a single knot, or tied into a bow and fastened onto a wreath or your front door/sign/etc.
Kelly's current favorite would have to be the basket bows & swaddle sashes. The basket bows were incredibly popular this spring for Easter with orders being shipped out as far as to the UK! While most basket bows have been for Easter basket, Kelly says they make the best addition to any gift basket - and based on her style and class, I believe it! They come in the most beautiful pastel colors in addition to white. The swaddle bows, which I am only just now learning about unfortunately, make the best keepsakes! Snap a photo of your little one wrapped in their swaddle and tied like the gift they are. Then as time passes, wrap the swaddle bow around your little one as they grow: using it for milestone photos, a first birthday prop, a sash for a dress as she grows older, and even a special keepsake for their wedding day!
As many military spouses know, a lot gets sacrificed in this unique life we live. Nashville Bow Co. has been a wonderful opportunity for Kelly to create a space for her to do her own thing, letting her creative juices flow, and doing something she loves!
Kelly says "the key to getting through much of the military life is being flexible, and that is one thing that I love about having this business. It goes with us and I can work at my own pace to still be able to balance the life happening around us. Deployment, PCS, new baby, whatever the big occasion may be, if I need to close up shop for a bit, I am able to do just that and focus on my family. That I am thankful for."
You can check out the designs and products on Kelly's website and follow along with her shop on both Facebook and Instagram! I just got my first order of bows this month and my girls and I are in love with them! I can't wait to add to our collection as Kelly releases new designs!