As you might have guessed by the name of her business, Mendy Legleiter started making hair bows during her older daughter's naptime.
It was about five years ago. Her daughter, then 2, finally had enough hair for two little pigtails. And Legleiter, a stay-at-home mom, realized that perhaps she was spending a little bit too much on bows. She loved getting different colors and patterns to match them to the adorable little outfits she was picking out for her daughter.
So she watched a YouTube video on bow making and nearly gave up. Making hair bows is harder than it looks, she tells me. But she kept working on it and, pretty quickly, perfected it. Friends started telling her she should sell them. So Legleiter decided to give it a shot.
"I grew up in 4H and doing crafts all the time," she said. "Who knew my craftiness would turn into this," she remembers telling her mom.
This ... her business Naptime Creations ... has turned into a major hair bow operation. Legleiter is known for her interchangeable bows and creative hair accessories - from 3D Christmas trees to headbands and newsboy hats to classic bows that you can switch up with decorative clips. Another popular offering: matching headbands for a girl and her American Girl doll.
Legleiter, along with occasional helpers, have made thousands of hair bows, which are sold at shops around the Triangle, including Uptown Kids in north Raleigh; several consignment sales in the southeast; and big craft shows, including this week's Cary Academy Holiday Shoppe. Made by Mom Gift Guide: Naptime Creations
For the craft shows, including the Cary Academy event and this weekend's Bizarre Bazaar in Richmond, Legleiter has teamed up with another local crafty mom business - Oh Sew Cute Designs. Friends will help out at the Cary Academy market so the two can travel to the Richmond sale, where more than 20,000 shoppers are expected.
Her family's recent move to a new home in north Raleigh was made, in part, so she could have a room dedicated to the work. The room includes a wall of shelves filled with carefully organized, colorful ribbons.
"As the word has gotten out, it's grown," she tells me.
And Legleiter added to her workload this fall when she purchased Raleigh's Divine Consign Show, the high-end, twice yearly children's consignment sale, which features gently used and new boutique clothing for kids. Legleiter had been selling hair bows at the Raleigh sale for several years. The purchase means she also will be the exclusive hair bow seller at the sale's Alabama and Georgia locations. The next Raleigh sale is Feb. 24.
These days, work hours for Naptime Creations isn't exclusively at naptime. She squeezes in bow-making time during school hours and the evening too. Her older daughter is 7. The younger is 3. What's next for Naptime Creations? Legleiter isn't exactly sure, though she's pretty sure it will grow.
"I just have to stay positive and have fun with it," she said. "The bows sell themselves."
We're featuring the moms and dad of Go Ask Mom's Made by Mom Gift Guide on weekdays through early December. Check back tomorrow for the final feature.