Super excited about our third feature in our Orlando Moms Make series where we highlight Orlando “Mompreneurs” who are succeeding at balancing motherhood and their business, specifically in the handmade arts. In this feature, we are taking a look at Carissa’s handmade shop, Little Brave One and learn about what inspired her fabulous creations. Plus, there’s a really fabulous giveaway to boot!
– Introducing Carissa Macedo from Little Brave One! Tell us about the woman behind the shop!
I have always had a serious passion for fashion. When thinking of outfits, every detail from shoes and accessories always come in my vision! I used to create outfits the night before school, sometimes with construction paper and tape if I couldn’t figure out how to sew it! Once I was comfortable with sewing and designing, I would make anything I could think of. I was also very good at delegating, so my mom sewed most of what I designed! Haha! I decided to make my hobby a livelihood, so I went to Colorado State University where I studied Fashion Design and Merchandising. I moved to New York for an internship at Nanette Lepore in my last year of college and basically never left. I loved New York and I loved the company I interned for! After my internship was over, they didn’t hire me immediately. I knew I wanted to work there and I knew I would be a good fit for the company, so I was very persistent. I called and emailed daily. When no one responded (ha) to my communications I wrapped up a vintage shoe that my mom had given me for Christmas. I wrote a note “Just trying to get my foot in the door,” and sent it to Nanette Lepore. I waited about a week and still didn’t hear anything, so I wrapped up the other shoe and added a note “We’d make a great PAIR!” Finally Nanette called, probably so I would stop sending shoes! I ended up getting the job and worked there for 8 years. I worked in production for awhile, then moved into the design department, ran through the city as a factory girl, became sample room manager, and ended my time there as the Head Designer. I loved working there and I am so grateful for the people I met and all the knowledge I gained. I learned more there than I ever did in a classroom!
– What an exciting adventure that I’m sure gave you much inspiration for the items in your shop. What inspired the name, Little Brave One, and what will OMB readers find in there?
My daughter inspired my shop. Her name means Brave One. I love dressing her and I realized that I was spending a fortune on her every month, so I started making her clothes and bows, when I realized that there was a huge market for shoes and started making those too! I am honestly excited to make ANYTHING though! I am constantly creating and trying to come up with new and exciting ideas. I am open to fun custom requests! I am hoping to expand a bit and include some of the things my mom makes as well, such as bloomers and jumpers. I have a list of about 100 more ideas that I want to include in my shop so hopefully I can start getting those made and put up in my shop!! I also enjoy having the opportunity to give back, so each moth I give a portion of my proceeds to charity that support children’s health. This month in honor of Children’s Cancer Awareness
, I will be donating to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
– What is your favorite thing about living in Orlando?
Living in Orlando has taken me some time to adjust to. It is obviously a 180 from NY, but I am really starting to love it here! It helped that I had an instant mom friend who moved here at the same time we did with a baby the same age as mine!! We lucked out big time!! Over the last year I decided to stop saying “NO,” (well, except when its things like the baby eating dog food or coloring on the wall)
but basically allowing more experiences in my life that I would maybe not have welcomed as easily before. It has helped expand my horizon and meet some awesome people! We joined Baby Bootcamp
and that has been LIFECHANGING! We met some wonderful people and its great socialization for both of us!
– Tell me your 3 most delicious places to eat in town.
Most delicious places… hmmmm… Dunkin Donuts? Just kidding!! We love First Watch for breakfast – we go every Sunday. Shake Shack because it reminds me of New York, however, Burger Fi is a verrry close second! Last, Fogo de Chao for a stuffed to the brim feel, and since my husband is Brazilian, he literally HAS to go here at least once a month! Haha!!
– What encouraging words would you give to other moms pursuing their own handmade business?
I read a quote once that said “whatever you decide to do, just make sure it makes you happy,” which is exactly what I try to do on a daily basis. I do all my sewing and “work” while my daughter is asleep so that I get to have the best of both worlds because that is my dream. I have always wanted to create beautiful and fun things, but I wanted to be a mom more.
As we continue with this series, I hope that it will help you make a personal connection with a small business that will encourage you to support your fellow Orlando moms by shopping local! Carissa wants to jump start your love for local, mom-owned shops by giving one lucky winner a sample of her work! Complete the entry form and enter win the following style of Little Brave One moccasin for your little one! Giveaway runs until September 27th, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Winner will be announced on September 28th, 2015. Good luck!