Meet the Maker – Kristen of Milo and Molly

Chloe Tate

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Kristen Skelton, the powerhouse behind the modern sewn goods line Milo and Molly.


Kristen of Milo and Molly


LBC: What inspired you to take the leap as an entrepreneur?
Kristen: Having been an elementary school teacher for a half-dozen years, we made the decision that I was going to stay home when my son was born.  It was a great choice for me and our family, but once he was around 18 months old, I realized that I needed something to do for me – something outside of caring for him and the house.

I starting making things and set up an Etsy shop for fun, and then somewhere along the line realized that people really liked what I was making –they were buying it! I realized that if I was going to continue, I needed to take a more serious approach to what was becoming a business.


LBC: How would you describe what you create?
Kristen: I make sewn goods with a modern style, both in fabric and design.  I like pieces that are both pretty and useful.  They feature clean lines and bold fabrics and will hopefully be a timeless piece for the people who purchase them.


LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?
Kristen: When I started, I didn’t really have any idea that I was going to be building a business!  I was just going to sell some things and make a little money, but it turned into an endeavor that, thankfully, I really love.  When I realized that I really was developing a real business,  I wanted to make sure that all my products and my brand were well-crafted with a clean, modern feel, that my customer service was top notch, and that I held myself up with integrity in what I was producing.


LBC: Where can we find your products?
Kristen: My products are online on Etsy and also at Hartford Prints! in Hartford, CT, B:Hive Bridgeport Swarm Shop in Bridgeport, CT and Small Potatoes Gifts in Norwich, CT.


Key fobs, baskets and earrings, oh my!


LBC: Walk us through a typical work day.
Kristen: I have two small kids, so they come first and I work around their schedules.  Generally, though, I catch up on social media and read emails in the morning and respond back to what I can.  In the later morning and early afternoon, I work on orders and new products.  After the kids go to bed, I tend to respond to emails and do other computer work that requires a longer period of quiet time so I can better put my thoughts together.  It’s a pretty piecemeal schedule but it works!

LBC: What are the some things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?
Kristen: 1. Do you have time for all that the business entails?

2. Do you have a real passion for the business and all the things that come with it?

3. Is this a long-term project you can keep up with, and can you be flexible as it changes?


LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?
Kristen: I tend to walk away from the thing that’s giving me the most trouble, and try to work on other tasks outside of that.  If it’s a sewing problem, I’ll work on my Etsy shop or answer emails; if it’s a problem with a customer, I might go make muffins with the kids.  The time away helps clear my head and then I can go back and work on what needs to get done more efficiently.


Clutch by Milo and Molly


LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.
Kristen: 1. Keeping all money separate. When I started to make more sales online and began looking into craft shows, I opened a separate business bank account and credit card and never let that money mix in with personal finances.

2. Solidly branding my business. When I started, I was using a different name to reflect the paper goods I was making. But as I shifted into sewn items, which ultimately proved to be more fun, the name didn’t fit anymore. I sat down and worked out a name that would allow me to make any products I wanted, created a solid logo with distinct colors, and made sure all my social media accounts are aligned with that. It makes being a business presence so much easier!


LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. 
Kristen:  The biggest ongoing obstacle I face is balancing my job of being a mom and my business.  Time is never balanced and I am always playing catch-up somewhere, and I always feel like I could use more hours in the day.  I’ve found that I just need to remember that everything will get done, and if the house isn’t totally clean every day or an order has to wait one extra day that it will be okay.


LBC: Is there a cause or organization that you’re particularly passionate about?
Kristen:  I’m a leader of The Nutmeg Collective, which is a small group of Connecticut-based artisans.  We support each others’ businesses through cross-promotion and information sharing, and we keep the theme of shopping local and purchasing within your own community.  We are very close and I have made some really good friends through the group.  I know I can trust their opinions, and it’s amazing to have a community to bounce ideas of off and a place to ask for help and suggestions.


LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox you can’t do without?
Kristen: 1. Photo editing software. Without it my shop and blog wouldn’t look as polished as they do.

2. Social media. By building a community online through social media sites, it brings more attention to my work and connects me to others who do similar things.

3. Pinterest. When I come to a hurdle, I can almost always find an answer there. There is a wealth of information being shared on running a business, and Pinterest is a great place to find it.


Tooth Pillows by Milo and Molly


LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If we blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?
Kristen:  You would see Milo and Molly running more consistently (as both kids would be in school full-time by then), with an expanded product line, a dedicated workday schedule, and with products in brick-and-mortar shops in states outside of Connecticut.


LBC: Your musical play list is full of … 
Kristen: 80s New Wave and 60s rock.


Milo and Molly collage


LBC: Have you ever held an odd job or one you weren’t particularly fond of?
In high school I worked at the local ice cream shop, and I loved it. If they paid more, I’d still be there. 🙂


LBC: If you were given a million dollars, but were not allowed to keep a single penny for yourself, friends, or family, how would you spend it or give it away?
Kristen: I would probably give the money to dog rescue organizations.


Thank you, Kristen, for sharing your talent with us (and your love of dog rescues)!  We absolutely love your line and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for Milo and Molly! We’re cheering you on!


Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!

About the Author

Chloe Tate

Once described as “relentlessly cheerful,” Chloe is a lover of all things colorful and practically every fruit known to man. She lives in Atlanta and divides her time between supporting Lucky Break clients, keeping shop at a local artisan market, and event planning for business conferences. She’s also working on the launch of her skincare line while finishing her degree in Organizational & Leadership Studies. True story: Chloe shares 50% of Lela’s DNA and is poised to inherit her obscenely large shoe collection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *