Make us your home page
Instagram

Mother of five turns entrepreneur with kiddie clothes

Addison Hotle sports a ladybug themed outfit and necklace her parents purchased from Pinkies Up Couture for a photo shoot and her first-birthday party.

Courtesy of Leigh Click-Hotle

Addison Hotle sports a ladybug themed outfit and necklace her parents purchased from Pinkies Up Couture for a photo shoot and her first-birthday party.

Like many stay-at-home moms, Jenn Skelton was looking for a way to earn an income.

She loved her job as a nurse but felt it was too emotionally draining to help all her cardiac patients on a daily basis, so she gave up that career 17 months ago to focus on child rearing in Riverview.

After having three consecutive boys, Tyler, 7, Travis, 5 and Lucas, 2, Skelton gave birth to Presley, now 5 months old. She had an opportunity to get creative, dressing up a little girl for the first time in 13 years since her eldest child, Ashlei, was born.

She starting making outfits for Presley and thought she could sell them online, save the cost of day care and become an entrepreneur. From there, her online company, Pinkies Up Couture, was born in February.

"It has been a lot of fun," Skelton said. "I was there for the worst days of someone's life (as a nurse), now I'm there for the happiest times."

Skelton, 30, said most of her customers buy her accessories — tutus, pettiskirts, bloomers, diaper covers, headbands and outfits — for newborn child photos, family portraits and birthday parties.

She recalls one customer was the wife of a military veteran who left for Afghanistan when she was pregnant. When he returned to meet his daughter for the first time, the baby was wearing an outfit from Pinkies Up Couture.

That inspired Skelton to start her charity called "Operation Daddy's Girl" providing one military family (per month, for now) a complete outfit and accessory set. Check out her Facebook page to apply. You also will find Pinkies on Etsy and Instagram — thanks to Ashlei, who helps with cutouts, crafting and thank-you cards for the business and introduced her mom to the popular site. A company website is under construction.

As if motherhood and day-to-day business wasn't enough to keep her busy, Skelton also is in the midst of filing papers to set up a limited liability corporation, finalizing a divorce that began two years ago. She still finds time to make dinner for her family, including her fiance, Mike, when he's not traveling 75 percent of the time for work.

Skelton said when she started Pinkies, she worked 18 to 20 hours a day designing everything, taking photos, listing the inventory online and writing descriptions. Now her workload is down to "only" 12 hours a day. For example a custom-ordered headband takes 15 minutes to create. Her most popular items include baby rompers; she mails approximately 10 a week, headbands (15), necklaces (seven). She strives for a one- to two-week turnaround time frame on orders.

Go to etsy.com and search for Pinkies Up Couture, where you will also will find items for boys, teens and women. On Instagram and Facebook, search Pinkies Up Couture.

Frozen custard arises among froyo craze

"Frocust" doesn't roll off the tongue as sweetly at "froyo" does, but one of the area's newest frozen treat eateries is going old-school anyway. Though frozen yogurt establishments seemingly are trending all over town, Purdy's Frozen Custard opened in February at 1217 Kingsway Road in Brandon serving frozen custard.

Owners James and Sally-Ann Purdy offer various flavors of the day and implement it in to creations such as butterscotch sundaes, raspberry delights and brownie sundaes —which consist of a pair of Ghirardelli brownies, vanilla custard, whipped cream, nuts and syrup topped with a cherry. Stay tuned for bacon custard as well.

The Purdys trace their roots to Australia. Find out more about them and their new store at wombatsinthebelfry.blogspot.com.

And if you didn't already know, it's a touch of egg yolk — first added to ice cream in Coney Island, N.Y., in 1919, that makes frozen custard.

If you know of something that should be in Everybody's Business, email Eric Vician at ericvician@yahoo.com.

Mother of five turns entrepreneur with kiddie clothes 05/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 4:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  2. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Guilty plea for WellCare Health Plans former counsel Thaddeus Bereday

    Business

    Former WellCare Health Plans general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District …

    WellCare Health Plans former general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida stated Wednesday. [LinkedIn handout]
  5. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes

    Transportation

    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community over the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at the DOT’s Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Avenue.