What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

NATALIE FABIAN AND ALEXANDRA WELLS: FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT MOMS AND FOUNDERS OF ELLIE MIM’S SOCIAL STATIONERY

     Home  >  Articles  > Mom Biz
by Karen Demeter

Related: moms, mom business, parent-run business, Fairfield County, CT, Westport, Natalie Fabian, Alexandra Wells, Ellie Mim's Social Stationery, cards, entrepreneurs,


Westport, CT, residents Natalie Fabian and Alexandra Wells balance family, friendship, and running their own business.

Natalie Fabian, co-founder of Ellie Mim's Social Stationery in Westport, CTAlexandra Wells, co-founder of Ellie Mim's Social Stationery in Westport, CT

Quick Stats:

Natalie Fabian lives in Westport with her husband Matt and sons Will and Tommy, 10 and 9, respectively.

Alexandra Wells lives in Westport with husband Spencer and children: Emily, 9, Henry, 8, and Tucker, 5.

 

Ellie Mim's Social Stationery

   Natalie Fabian and Alexandra Wells grew up a block apart, currently live a mile from each other, and now work side by side. In 2003, working out of their homes, they rolled out Ellie Mim's Social Stationery. Named for their grandmothers, the business started out small, with local retailers and friends as their main customer base. The homespun business quickly outgrew their kitchen tables after Papyrus and Finestationery.com began to sell their custom cards. Fabian and Wells now rent a small space in downtown Westport, but may need to seek bigger digs soon as they are negotiating a licensing deal for their designs with a major national retailer. Fabian describes their cards as vintage and colorful with a handmade look. But behind Ellie Mim's folksy image is a professional operation that soon could put their product into even more mailboxes around the country.

  

Q&A with Natalie and Alexandra

You both grew up in Naugatuck, Connecticut.

AW: We became best friends in first grade and were pretty much inseparable.

 

Where did you attend college and what were your careers?

NF: I went to Penn State and then did freelance illustration in New York.

AW: I went to Smith and worked on Wall Street for 10 years.

 

You both have very defined skills. Where does that come from?

NF: My family is creative. My grandmother, Ellie, is very artistic. My dad is a painter. Everybody was always making something.

AW: My dad has his own business. He's pretty entrepreneurial.

  

How did Ellie Mim's Social Stationery get started?

AW: My sister was having her first baby and I was planning her shower. Her husband races cars so I had this idea of a vintage race car driven by a stork. I asked Natalie to paint the design. It came out great and people loved it. At that time I was looking for something to do intellectually without returning to the corporate world. Natalie was looking for a creative outlet.

 

How has the business evolved since then?

AW: In the beginning we were really focused on the children's market so we did birth announcements and party invitations. Over time we expanded into holiday photo cards and that quickly became our bread and butter. From the start we regarded it as a bigger business than it was and have tried to spin it into that.

  

Have you been able to involve your children?

NF: Yes. They help us with design ideas and themes. We look at what they are interested in and figure that lots of our customers' kids are probably into the same things.

AW: My kids want to know how many cards I've sold. I think because it's tangible. It sends a nice message to them that we do something outside of the home and we strive to do it well.

 

What suggestions do you have for someone starting her own business?

AW: I think it's really important to have a partner. It helps to bounce ideas off that person and share the workload because it's always so much more work when it's your own business. Having a partner can backfire however, so choose well. We're really lucky because our skill sets are so different and they complement each other so we are not competing.

NF: Don't be afraid to take it slowly because it takes time to build a successful business, especially when you have young children. Now our kids are in school all day, which gives us more time to focus on marketing and on our licensing deals.

 

Has having a family affected how you run your business?

NF: There are a lot of moms starting their own businesses, so when you're talking to companies, I think they have a bias thinking "here's another one."

AW: I don't make apologies for being a mom. I'm the mom first. We make it work because we're professionals and we're dedicated.

 

For more information about Ellie Mim's Social Stationery, visit www.elliemims.com.


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More Mom Biz Articles

Mompreneur Barbara Kavovit Nails a New Market

Pregnant in Heels: Mompreneur Rosie Pope
Mompreneur Cindy Hartog's Culinary Venture
Mompreneur Cynthia Gibb: Actress Turned Teacher
Mompreneur Rashmi Budhram's Diaper Bags Du Jour

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Mom Biz Sponsors

Commerce Park Children's Dentistry and Orthodontics
4702 Main St.
Bridgeport, CT
203-371-8282
With two convenient locations in Bridgeport and Hu...

Barnum Museum (The)
820 Main St
Bridgeport, CT
203-331-1104
Opened in 1893, the Barnum Museum is dedicated to ...

Downtown Cabaret Children's Company
253 Golden Hill St
Bridgeport , CT
203-576-1636 x107
...

Clover Hill School (The)
2 Emerson St.
Norwalk, CT
203-661-6484
...

Marcia the Musical Moose
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
212-567-0682
Guitar, Magic & Puppet Show! Specializing in ages ...
See Our Mom Biz Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE