Hats off to Amanda Sawyer! The mother of three took the devastating diagnosis of infertility as her cue to start taking better care of herself. She began by putting aside her plans for a fast-paced legal career (after getting a dual JD/MBA and passing the bar) and opting for a happier, healthier and, as she now knows, more rewarding life as a small business owner.
Here, Amanda talks to us about her cool cap company, how lucky she feels to do what she loves and why her head-turning baby hats are tops.
THE FAMILY GROOVE: What inspired you to start your business?
Amanda Sawyer: In the fall of 2006, I was told that I might never be able to have children. I learned that if I was ever going to be able to have babies, I would need to go through several surgeries and fertility treatments. I had just completed a dual JD/MBA program and passed the Bar! I couldn’t believe it! But it was time to put my corporate dreams on hold and focus on my health.
During the many doctor visits that followed my diagnosis, I needed something to help pass the time. So I started knitting baby hats for my friends. And they loved them! So I put all that education to good use and started my own small business —and LibraKnits
was born. All that positive energy seems to have paid off. In 2008, we finally started our family and added twins in 2010.
And just as my family has grown, so has LibraKnits
. My first product, the Re sa Cap, has been spotted on the heads of celebrity babies like Jessica Alba's daughter, and Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's twin girls. It has also been featured in numerous television spots, magazines and mommy blogs. My infertility crisis truly changed my life in every way and now I have the best of both worlds."
TFG: You have the Re sa Collection, the Spro Cap and the Swingset Cap. Tell us about each line.
AS: Our hand-made Re sa baby hats and mittens are a cozy and snuggly gift that will last for years to come. We use plush angora and lambswool blended yarn that makes them feel soft and comfy on your baby's skin. It's the perfect mix of fashion and warmth while you're out and about with baby!! The phrase Re sa, loosely translated, is the Buddhist concept of hope. We named our product the Re sa Cap because LibraKnits wishes each baby who wears our hat all the best hope for a vibrant future full
of joy and happiness.
Our hand-made Spro baby hats
are a soft and comfy gift for baby's first days and months of life. Specifically created as an alternative to the standard newborn hospital hat, our unique bamboo, silk and lambswool yarn feels wonderful on your baby's skin and will help keep your newborn comfortable indoors or out. Most pediatricians recommend that newborns keep their heads covered for at least the first two weeks of their life, and our Spro Cap ensures your baby is fashionable from their first day!! The phrase Spro, loosely translated, is the Buddhist concept of inspiration. We named our hat the Spro Cap because LibraKnits hopes that each baby who wears it will one day be inspired to make the world a better place.
Our adorable Swingset Caps
are the perfect mix of sun protection and fashion for babies on the go. Handmade from 100% organic cotton yarn, the Swingset Cap was specifically designed to keep your baby warm while you're at the park, the beach or just strolling. It includes a wide brim to protect your baby's delicate skin from the sun's harmful rays while you're out and about. The Swingset Cap is available in nine different colors to meet the needs of every stylish baby.
TFG: What informs your fabulous design aesthetic?
AS: The universe! Every once in a while, inspiration hits me and I just HAVE to create a new hat. Sometimes it’s the feel or the color of a plush new yarn. Sometimes it’s a baby cruising down the street with a smile. Lots of times, it’s my kids and their needs that drive me to create something that will work for them.
TFG: You work with a charity called Stitches from the Heart. Why did you choose this organization to partner with?
AS: They’re a wonderful organization with a great network that ensures that our baby hats are going to children in need.
TFG: How do navigate owning your own business (every one of your hats is handmade!) and being a mother?
AS: Ha! I don’t know. Sometimes, I am so overwhelmed I can barely function. But it’s worth it for me to maintain this balance in my life. I’m a better mom when I’ve got something else to complete me.
TFG: What is your proudest moment as a business owner?
AS: When Entrepreneur Magazine named LibraKnits one of 2010’s Top 100 most brilliant companies. I found out the day I came home from the hospital with my brand new twins. It was like it all just came together in that one moment.
TFG: What exciting things are on the horizon?
AS: I don’t know! Right now I’m taking all the time I need to focus on my family. I have a bunch of hat designs swirling around in my head and I’m just looking for the right yarn. Then the next LibraKnits Luxurious Handmade Baby Hat will be born.
For more from LibraKnits, go to www.LibraKnits.com.