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Rising Stars: Meet Amanda Mertel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Mertel.

Hi Amanda, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a former high school English teacher. I taught for seven years, and this past year was my first year not teaching to be able to spend more time with my boys. I found myself creating activities for my boys while we were at home, especially during the COVID pandemic, which is what brought me to creating these crayons and chalk letters. I found that I enjoyed creating these in my free time. I also saw that my boys, especially my three-year-old, enjoyed not only coloring with them but utilizing them to work on his alphabet and numbers. Therefore, I saw that these had many benefits in helping my children learn, and I wanted to share these crayons and chalk letters with others.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As with starting any business, it definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. My biggest struggle has been balance. I still struggle with this aspect to this day since I started back in June 2020. My business basically takes place in my kitchen at home. Therefore, not having a separate area to do my work has been difficult. I typically work late nights and early mornings so that I can spend time with my family during the day.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I create crayons and chalk letters that kids can color with. I specialize in and am known for crayon and chalk names (spelling out kids’ names). I also have crayon and chalk shapes (unicorns, trucks, rockets, hearts, and so much more!). I also make party favor bags (a mix of shapes customers choose) for kid’s birthday parties. These have become a very popular option.

I am most proud of building my business solely on social media within the past year. I have worked tirelessly on building my brand, and I feel I have created a product that not only kids can use but learn from, too (letter recognition, color recognition, spelling, speech, etc.). There are so many uses with my product besides coloring!

What sets me apart from others is my creativity and my dedication to continuously build my brand. I am constantly trying to come up with new designs, ideas, and products. My mind is always thinking about what I can do better and what I can create for my brand.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
Honestly, this whole business started from friends and family encouraging me that I should sell my product. I truly laughed at first and never imagined I would be where I am today.

My husband is my biggest cheerleader who helps me during busy seasons when it comes to shipping and boxing products. However, during my busiest time during my first holiday season, I had an endless amount of support from friends and family coming over in the evenings to help me box products and get it all shipped on time. I am so thankful for all the support and am so grateful! However, I am the only one who creates and puts together products.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
For my headshot, this was captured by Lindsay Devins-Towell with Penelope Sloane Photography (@penelopesloanephoto)

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