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Success of baby-clothing business surprises stay-at-home mom

By Lindy Phippen Smith

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 13 2014 9:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 13 2014 4:10 p.m. MDT

Becoming a new mother means experiencing a range of emotions, like love, excitement, stress and fear.

For Salt Lake City mom Jeehye Tomyn, becoming a new stay-at-home mom left her with another conflicting emotion she wasn't necessarily expecting — the desire to work.

Tomyn, who founded the baby clothing business Our Little Lullaby in 2013, said after having her son and deciding to stay home full-time, she began to feel an emptiness in her day-to-day life. As she looks back now, she realizes it was postpartum depression.

"I thought about many things, like starting a new hobby, but deep down inside I knew I wanted to work," she said.

Tomyn's desire to work but unwillingness to leave her son left her torn. It was through this internal conflict the blog Our Little Lullaby was born. She got her start by crafting leggings for her son Anthony as a do-it-yourself post and then used the remaining fabric to make a few more pairs of leggings. Tomyn posted them for sale on Etsy, and it didn't take long before they were completely sold-out.

It was then she realized this could be the work she longed for.

“I started posting pictures of Anthony in the leggings I made through Instagram and tried to attract customers through hashtags," Tomyn said. "I didn't think it would work, but slowly my followers started to build.”

Today, Tomyn has nearly 10,000 followers on Instagram and receives frequent orders for her products. At times the business has been so successful that she actually had to shut it down for a few days to keep up.

“There have been times where I had to close the online shop for a whole month due to the high demand just so I could catch up on orders,” Tomyn said. “ ... These are some of the sacrifices I have to make to balance family and work.”

And balancing a thriving business with motherhood isn't easy.

"It was tough in the beginning," Tomyn said. "There were times where I would stay up until 5 a.m. catching up on orders or working on new products. However, it was important to me to have my own business to prove to myself that I can be a mom as well as a business owner.”

Though the excitement of a flourishing business takes time and effort to manage, Tomyn is determined to never let her success interfere with being a mother and wife.

“I try my best to be the best mom to Anthony, and I hope to be a mom that he’s proud of," she said. " ... When I know my son is proud of me, that will be my proudest moment.”

Tomyn also receives support from her husband, Ron, who has helped her throughout the entire process.

“My wife’s success has been incredible, but I am honestly not surprised," Ron Tomyn said. "Her work ethic, skill set, intelligence and drive are at a level where anything she does will be a success. (She) is a real-life superwoman.”

Within the last month, Tomyn has hired a seamstress as she anticipates being a lot busier with the expected arrival of their second child this November — a baby girl. To learn more about Jeehye and Our Little Lullaby, visit her website here.

Lindy Phippen Smith blogs at lindy411.blogspot.com and writes for geargenius.com. She has a degree in journalism and communications from Utah State University. You can contact her at lindypsmith@gmail.com

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