“If it is your passion, do not let anyone deter you from it,” advised Steffani Garner. “It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be frustrating. The money is not going to just roll in. Owning a small shop is not the way to make a quick buck. But, if you work your business, make meaningful connections, and find your customer base, you can and will be successful.” These are strong words of wisdom from the momtrepreneur behind small shops Made for Monsterz and the recently-opened Golden Rose Co.
Garner has been navigating the small shop community since December 2016 when the Army relocated her family from Germany to North Carolina. “I was contemplating going back to work, but my son Dwain, age 2 at the time, needed speech and OT therapy and was being tested for autism. He was officially diagnosed in February 2017. While all of this was going on, a friend kept encouraging me to open a shop and sell instead of just sewing for friends,” Garner recalled. “I looked into it a bit and started the planning. When my son received his diagnosis, it was the confirmation I needed that I wouldn’t be able to return to work because he needed therapy five days a week and I needed to start my shop to try bringing in some income. Made for Monsterz officially opened for business on March 1, 2017.”
The shop, much like its name, concentrates primarily on boys – which is music to the ears of this mama of two boys. “I am a boy mom through and through. I have three nephews and a godson that are all older than my son. When I used to get them all together, they sounded like a pack of ‘Monsterz,’ with all the roaring and growling and grunting that comes from a group of boys. They were my little Monsterz,” she laughed. “Because I started sewing mainly for my son and tested out some pieces on my nephews, the name ‘Made for Monsterz’ was the perfect fit.” Garner’s mini Monsterz also provide inspiration for the shop’s designs. “Boys are my focus and my inspiration. When my son has a need, I think, ‘I’m sure there are other moms that have the same needs, so let me try to design something for everyone that fills this void,’” said Garner. “I encourage all kids to wear my clothes, but typical ‘boy’ items are my focus. The small shop world is oversaturated with girl shops that do tons of sparkle and princesses and flowers and bows. Sometimes, the boys are just forgotten. I cater to things like cars and trucks and dinosaurs and mess.” Sounds like my house.
Garner designs tanks, t-shirts, joggers and harem shorts in a wide variety of colors, as well as hooded pullovers, hoodies and zip up jackets. I love her new monochrome burst collection, which features black and white splattered prints and pops of neon colors. “My most popular is a close tie between harem pants and my hooded pullovers,” she shared. “I have made the pullovers in linen for spring and summer wear and in flannel for winter wear and both are popular.” The linen pullovers made a comeback this spring, along with a new line of denim. “I also have new colors for our basic harems and joggers. And, the Golden Rose Co, my new shop for girls is really taking off! I am hoping to offer some coordinating pieces for the two shops for those parents that have boys and girls and like to match them.”