Thursday, June 4, 2009


by Colleen Baker of Tactile Baby

hammering In the beginning…I could count on 2-4 hours of productive work time a day (the length of two naps). On good days I'd even sneak a couple of hours in after putting my son to bed in the evenings, before falling exhausted into bed.

Around 18 months of age my son went down to one nap, resulting in a dramatic decrease in productivity for my little one woman shop. This also happen to coincide with the holiday rush. I was panicked and stressed.

Nowadays, (my son just turned two), I'm lucky if I can get him to nap once a day and as a result my productivity has virtually ground to a halt.

climbing I fretted over what this would mean for Tactile Baby - there is only so much work I can get done while keeping an eye on him at the playground (I'll sketch, read design and business books, even knit - I'm going to have a lot of hats available in the store come October).

Clearly I needed to come up with some way to put more hours into my business. And so I decided to unlock my shop and satisfy his curiosity....

Because he is really into his tools and always eager to sneak into the workshop I figured I would experiment with having him "work" beside me.

mommas-helper There are many things I can do with him in the shop, hand sanding, tracing, gluing, painting... so why not let him see what exactly it is I do in there.

With all the power tools and sharp/pointy/messy things out of the way we pull up the step ladder to the workbench and I hand him his cordless (bitless) dremmel and he gets busy "sanding".

It's a win-win situation and so far it seems to be working for us. He has a ball helping mommy, and I got an extra hour in the shop. As he gets older I envision him having his own corner to putter in.

As great as feeling more productive in my business feels - more importantly I hope I am passing along my love of wood-working to him.

It seems to be working - today after dinner he proclaimed loudly that he needed to go "workshopping".


  1. This is so awesome Colleen! And great advice for my work future :)

  2. Wonderful you. He'll remember this and grow into someone wonderful, too.

    My girl wanted to help, but my beads and my thread were always MUCH more compelling than what I gave her. Baby-swapping with a friend got me through.

    He looks so happy in the pictures!

  3. awww, so sweet! definitely a win-win situation!


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