Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bohemian Biz Spotlight

When I think about how I find the time to do the many things that I do, I stop myself because Allison Brenner of Personalized Blocks is a SAHM, has 3 boys, and a husband, and she manages to crank out some of the most beautiful block art that I've seen. Can you imagine what her sporting events/practice schedule must be like with 3 boys....Yikes! Anyhow, I love personalized messages in my home because they have such a comforting feeling and when I met Allison some months ago at our local farmer's market, that's exactly the feeling I got from her....Very sweet and comforting. While reading her bio, I found that she has loved creating since she was a tot, and decided to follow through with her love of art and study more about her passion for all things artistic in college. I'm so glad she did because she's creating personalized messages that we all adore and love! Enjoy her spotlight :)

1. I won't ask your age, but what was your favorite t.v. show to watch growing up?

My Husband and I were telling my three sons a few days ago about how when we were kids cartoons were only on Saturday mornings. We woke up at the crack of dawn, grabbed our pillow and blanket and would go watch shows like Muppet Babies, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Punky Brewster and Alf. I think my very favorite was Saved by the Bell. I think every girl in the mid 80’s had a love for a certain guy named Zach Morris. Zach’s Teen Bop poster was somewhere on my bedroom wall between the New Kids on the Block, Kirk Cameron and Ricky Schroeder.

2. What gave you the AUDACITY to start a business?

All of my life I knew that I wanted to be able to stay home with my children. I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I wanted to be the perfect 1950’s TV Mom that has dinner on the table when her husband walks in. The kind of Mom that has well mannered children that are clean always make their beds. While my house is nothing like that of a 1950’s TV mom and resembles more like that of a crazy Mom of three boys, the idea in my head of being a stay at home Mom and wife is what gave me the audacity to step out, start a business, and have faith that it would work.

3. Out of all the creative businesses you could have chosen to start, why did you choose Personalized Blocks?

In 2009 after 13 years of college classes I obtained my bachelors degree in Art. While in school I started a company sewing purses and other fun little things. My little company didn’t take off like I had hoped but gave me the knowledge and willingness to try again. I started making little name blocks sets for a few family members as Christmas gifts. I posted some pictures of them on my facebook page only to hear people tell me that they would like a set for their child. I took a few pictures of the blocks I had made for my own kids as well as a few others and opened an Etsy store. I opened my Etsy store to see what would happen and within 24 hours I got my first order from a stranger. In the first month I sold close to 50 sets. What started as a fun craft literally fell in my lap as a career and way to stay home with my boys. I had no idea the blocks would take off like they have. I thank God each and every day for what he has provided me.

4. Lots of people want to be their own boss, however they don't understand that it really Is harder then it seems. What's your typical work day like?

I was recently told that being self employed means you get to choose your own hours. You can work whichever 23 hours you choose. I was one of those people that thought owning your own business was easy. I had no idea how hard it could really be or how much effort it would take for not only myself but my family as well. I don’t know about other business owners but I never have a “typical” workday. My workday starts when I wake up and ends when I go to bed. I don’t get days off and I even work on vacation.

5. How do you find the strength to persevere when the challenges seem to outweigh the rewards?

I am lucky enough to work with pregnant woman, new mommies, and beautiful babies. I have days when I am burned out and don’t want to take the time to email one more person. It seems like on my worst days I always seem to get a kind email or review from one of my clients that turns my day around. Nothing makes my job worth doing more than when I get an email from a pregnant woman telling me she cried when she saw her baby’s blocks and how perfect they were in the nursery. I love what I do and when I stop and remind myself that I get to work in my pajamas I find the strength to continue.

6. What inspires you?
My family. No doubt about it. I love my family and they are the driving force in all that I do.

7. What's your go to wine when it's time to unwind? :)

I would love to be a wine drinker. I think drinking wine looks so sophisticated. Unfortunately I think it tastes terrible so my go to is a great beer or margarita. I also live with an intervenes drip of coffee.

8. When it comes to the following words, what advice would you give?

Work: Do something you love and be the hardest worker you can be. Nothing is more unattractive than a lazy worker.

Self: Don’t let anyone tell you who you are. Figure out what makes you happy and do it. Don’t be scared to live outside the box.

Life: My husband sometimes laughs at me because I am super nice to people. It doesn’t matter if I know you or not. I love people. I get people that work in retail all the time that remember me because I was nice to them. I guess in short what I am trying to say is that we should care for one another even if you don’t feel like it. You may be the one kind person that someone comes across all day.

Love: Regardless of what has happened in your past, your childhood, or other relationships, love with everything you have. What is the point if you don’t give it all?

Friends: It’s all about quality not quantity. So cliché, but so true.

9. I define a Bohemian Spirit as someone who is free, unique, and unafraid to make her own stamp on the world. Why are you a Bohemian Spirit?  

I sometimes think God created me without a filter. I say things without thinking and rarely regret things after the fact. I like to think about things and process them on my own without being told what to think. I feel like I see the world a little differently from others and I sometimes feel like I care too much. I think I am a Bohemian Spirit because I am not scared to be me!

Allison Brenner        
Personalized Blocks
 We create custom nursery décor for your little one. We specialize in letter blocks that when put together spell your last name, child’s name, or any other saying you can think of. Each block is themed to match children’s rooms, bedding, favorite book or your home style and décor.

*Wanna be in the spotlight? Email: bohemianspiritjewelry{at}gmail{dot}com

be free,


  1. Ali is insanely talented and creative.

  2. She is an amazing woman! I am floored by all she does. Wonderful blocks, so creative.

  3. You guys are making me cry! Not hard to do but still. Thanks so much.

  4. I like that your advice about friendship was about me!!!!! Love you, Little Ali. ~ Big HaHa


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