It isn’t easy to hold a steady job when your family has to pack up and move every few years, but more and more Navy spouses are finding a way to “beat the system” by creating businesses that can move with them.
Kings Bay mom Courtney Jeffries is one of those entrepreneurs, and her Etsy.com business — which features her handmade pillow covers — is quickly becoming a hit.
Jeffries’ shop, coverLove, features pillowcases that are absolutely one-of-a-kind. They’re beautiful, sophisticated, and personalized for every customer. The majority of her pieces have a shabby, distressed-style message on a cream material with a basketweave texture.
“One of my best sellers is ‘The Bailey,’ which features a child’s first and middle names, the parents’ names and the year the baby was born as the copyright date,” Courtney told me in a recent interview. “It is darling in nurseries and practical for propping under your arm when the baby finally falls asleep again at 2:59 a.m. as you rock her. Been there?”
Jeffries said her personal favorite is “The Elaina,” which uses the pronunciation of the baby’s name and the name meaning to create a dictionary-like text for the pillow cover.
My favorite is her newest offering — pillow covers to which she transfers the image of a child’s drawing. I could see a certain little artist in our house going crazy for one of his masterpieces printed on a pillow.
Jeffries, whose son is now 5, jumped into the Etsy.com world this past summer with another military wife, who also sells handmade pillow covers through her shop, FeatherHen. Since then, Jeffries has designed hundreds of pillows for various occasions. They’ve become a go-to baby shower gift for some customers. One man even used a pillow to propose to his girlfriend. The cover read: “If I could have one wish, I would wish to be together forever.”
I couldn’t help wondering how on earth Jeffries chose to make pillow covers, and how she learned to do it. Here’s what she told me:
“With lots of Google searches on pillow cover templates, and trial and error, and error, and error – to find the right method and sizing, I have settled on a template that works! Out of all the things to sell, pillow covers are inexpensive, easy to ship and an easy way to freshen up a room. You’ll find a lot of pillow cover shops on Etsy, but I wanted coverLove to be different. The best way to do that was creating my own personalized designs to offer buyers lots of unique choices!”
Each pillow cover is cut and sewn by Courtney with the help of her trusty baby lock BL9 sewing machine. The images are designed in Adobe Photoshop. How does she get the messages and designs on her pillows? That, she says, is top secret.
Jeffries, a Kansas native who married her college sweetheart, has moved a half dozen times with her husband. This is their second time at Kings Bay. They’ve also lived in South Carolina twice and Washington State.
I love that this online business avenue has opened up for moms like Courtney, who want to be home for their family and still satisfy that urge to have a foot in the business world. Courtney summed it up beautifully below:
“This little hobby has turned into a bit of a passion for me. While the little one is in kindergarten, I get to spread my creative wings and bring in a few extra dollars to contribute to my family. It gives me a way to leave home mentally, but be here physically when the school bus screeeeeeches up at 2:25 pm to welcome him home. With a spouse that leaves on a submarine, and with his job that takes us from coast to coast, I am so thankful to have my little project called coverLove that I can take with me and my boys wherever we may go.”
Keep an eye out for a giveaway of a coverLove pillow on Mamamelia.com in the near future!
If you’d like to know more about coverLove: