I met Cassy on my very first day of classes at NSCC. I was returning to school in my forties and more than a little anxious…she was welcoming, kind…she stood out in a room full of twenty-somethings and over the next two years, we became friends.
Cassy Collins grew up in Bedford, has an honours degree from Dalhousie University in Urban Planning and a Diploma in Graphic Design from NSCC…she’s married to her lovely husband, Alex, and in 2016, they welcomed their beautiful brown-haired, brown-eyed baby girl, Lennnon, into the world.
Two years ago, Cassy began Classy Cards…starting as a hobby with an online presence through Etsy. Cassy had always loved to create, filling her days with various hobbies including making jewelry and painting while constantly thinking of ways to turn projects into profit. When Cassy began creating cards…an outlet for her illustrations and sarcasm…the idea began to take off. Within days of Lennon’s birth, Cassy had a table at the Halifax Seaport Market…often bringing the baby along with her…which helped to draw in the crowds! During the Christmas Market season, as she was working to get her name “out there” at various locations, Cassy and her husband would “divide and concur” to fit everything in…relying on Grandparents to help with the baby when the days got long!
Within a short time, Classy Cards took off and what started as a hobby, turned into a full-time career. Cassy’s design’s have been featured numerous times on Huffington Post and Buzzfeed…and well they should…she’s an incredibly gifted designer.
“Classy Cards are shipped all around the world (to over 30+ countries), spreading joy through warm wishes and a tiny bit of inappropriate and sarcastic humour. Classy Cards simply say what everyone else is thinking.”
The shop has expanded to not only include cards, but also wine calendars, notepads, and wine labels. More recently, Cassy has opened a second Etsy shop (Styled in Print) where things have gotten a little “girly” and whole lot fun.
Motherhood is definitely looking good on this relaxed, easy-going, mompreneur.
So, how does she do it? Basically, Cassy works around Lennon’s moods! When Lennon is content playing quietly or sleeping, Cassy is sketching or packing up cards to be shipped. The days are busy with a growing baby so the bulk of the work gets done when Lennon rests her head at the end of the day and Cassy gets to work at making websites, illustrations, new card designs and business planning. As luck would have it, Lennon is a very happy baby so working around her schedule is fairly doable and Lennon is more than happy to run errands in the car with her mom. Lennon sleeps through the night, rarely cries, loves the bath, loves to eat…essentially, she’s an absolute dream making life as a working mom a little easier than one would have expected. (But then again, she hasn’t quite conquered being mobile just yet!)
Along with Lennon being a great baby and Cassy loving the work she does…Cassy relies on her husband to make Classy Cards run seamlessly. Not only is Alex a great Dad, but he’s Cassy’s #1 salesman when it comes to selling her cards. She’s the designer…but he definitely helps bring things to the next level.
Cassy admits that t’s not all sunshine and roses. It’s tough to find the right work/life balance while this young mom is trying to take the time to hang out with Lennon to watch her grow…and also grow a business. As for housework…Cassy says she’s awful at it. Period! She works from home but the days fly by so quickly, if someone were to pop by unexpectedly, she’d quickly be trying to change out of her pj’s and into “real clothing” to at least pretend she’s got it all together!
Cassy has a wonderful family. Her husband and her baby girl are everything. Throw in terrific parents and a wonderful extended family. Add a job that Cassy loves…life is pretty fantastic.
“I knew I always wanted to be self-employed, mainly because my Dad is, and I saw how being self-employed allows for so much opportunity to be successful if you are determined and dedicated enough. However I didn’t think I was going to be self-employed this soon in life, but I am definitely happy with the way things turned out. As much as I would love to be on mat-leave and not have to worry about getting work done all the time, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I’m kinda a workaholic, which isn’t necessarily the best quality to have but I can’t really help it, but I’m slowly learning how to take time for myself and family.”
I spent an afternoon recently catching up with Cassy, holding Lennon on my lap, chatting about business, life, being a mom and careers…Cassy’s got it all! She’s doing it right.
I could tell…from the smile on Cassy’s face, and the sparkle in Lennon’s eyes.
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