From Journalism and Communications graduate and stay-at-home mom to owner of To The Moon & Back signs.
How Erin became a women-owned small business owner.
Entrepreneurship is so much better with friends by your side! If you’ve ever been curious about how the small businesses in your community have gotten to where they are today, you are in the right place. In this series, you’ll get to meet your fellow YEG Entrepreneurs and hear their stories of launching a business, overcoming obstacles, and building a career they love.
Today, I’m sitting down with Erin Daly of To The Moon & Back Signs. Pour a cup of coffee and join us as we learn more about her business journey.
Hi everyone! I’m Erin Daly, owner, and creator of To The Moon & Back Signs, a small business specializing in handmade wood signs.
I create quality handmade signs, while inspiring people to bring meaning and beauty into their home.
My passion is interior design and creating pieces for your home that fit a modern farmhouse style.
I especially love trying new ideas, working with canvas, chalk paints, stamping textured signs and finding new fonts to design with.
I have had the opportunity to work with many women owned small businesses. From clothing stores, to children’s boutiques and floral shops located in Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Leduc, Lacombe & Kelowna.
As a small business owner, I sell most of my products online, including over 1000 sales on Etsy and my recently launched website. Custom orders are still a very important aspect of my business, as well as any opportunity to provide in person classes.
Working within the community and collaborating with other businesses has given me the amazing opportunity to donate portions of my sales to on profit organizations.
Q. Tell us more about you! We’d love to know about your business today and the story of how you got there.
My name is Erin, I am a mom of two great kids, Rylan & Molly, 10 & 8 and a wife of 12 years to my wonderful husband Matt. We have two sweet pets, Moose and Milo.
Moose is our 110lb+ Great Pyrenese and Milo is our 1 year old kitten. Moose is next to me at all times. He is at my feet whether I’m painting or in my office all day long even when he was a little puppy he would rest his head on my paint jars while I worked.
I listen to and love true crime podcasts. I am definitely an armchair detective. When I’m not working, I am taking the kids to football, taekwondo, dance, and school. I enjoy shopping locally and love decorating my home. I’m a big DIY enthusiast. I also love boating in the summer and camping in the mountains.
To The Moon & Back came from an idea I had when I was at home with our first baby. I was DIY’ing his nursery and decided to make a little sign for his room. I bought a small piece of wood and a little stencil that said “I Love You To The Moon & Back” and when it turned out to be a cute decor piece I said, “I bet people would like these”…and that’s how it all began.
I found enjoyment out of creating and it wasn’t until I signed up for my first market and actually sold pieces that I really fell in love with the whole process.
Q. Let’s dive more into the specifics of your business. What products/services do you offer? What do you do for your clients that sets you apart?
I offer handmade wood signs created with speciality chalk paints and all made by myself. I also have started creating textured canvas art, and I create digital prints as well.
I love being able to communicate with clients and create exactly what they have envisioned. I think as a small business, I offer a more collaborative experience with the custom process as well as having quality products that are not overly expensive and feel unattainable.
Q. What inspired or influenced you to create your business?
I graduated with a Journalism and Communications Degree, so to say I love words is definitely an understatement. I love the layouts of magazine covers, their fonts and words they use and the whole design of them. I love different fonts, and I am obsessed with interior design. I love creating and DIY and I think these all influenced me to create a business where I could do a bit of everything.
Q. What are you most proud of in your work?
I am very proud when my work stands out to someone and they recognize it is from To The Moon & Back. That’s a proud moment and also really exciting.
I am also extremely proud that people ask me to create very special and meaningful signs for them. Whether it’s for their wedding, a new baby on the way, a loss in the family, a family pet who has passed, or a new favorite teacher, I get to create these meaningful pieces for you and those you love and that means so much to me.
Q. What is one challenge you’ve overcome as a business owner, and what did you learn from it that you can share with others?
There are always so many challenges that come as a business owner, but I think one of the biggest for myself is time management. If it was up to me, I would work 24/7 and not stop. I have too many ideas and never enough time. But as a stay at home mom, I had to create (and stick to) a schedule that worked for everyone. My husband works away and has ever since we met, so I am the kids chauffeur, cook, homework teacher, football mom, dance mom, pet mom, etc. so when the kids leave in the morning for school I start work right away and I pack it all up when they get home. I am very lucky I get to be there when they leave for school and when they get home from school.
I really had to learn to pack it up and not worry about everything I still had to do or could be doing, for me that was and is a big challenge. You can’t just “put down” your work and start again in the morning when you are an entrepreneur. You constantly think of ways to improve, ways to stand out, get more clients, promote your business etc. You have mom guilt when you are busy working, and work guilt when you are busy being a mom.
Q. What is your favorite part of what you do?
My favorite part of what I do is creating. I get excited when I find new, beautiful fonts and can’t wait to try them and create new designs. I could design ideas all day long!
I also love branching out and trying something new, and when they turn out and I love them..that’s even better! And I love how much people enjoy my work and continue to place orders. The loyalty of clients always amazes me!
Q. What is one thing you do to set yourself up for success every week?
Lists! Lists! Lists!
There is not a calendar or notebook I haven’t written in. Lists are how I organize the chaos. That is how I have successful days, weeks and months. I write down everything I have to do, and then I categorize them by priority. Lists within lists (wink). I think it’s also my type A personality. I will write something down that I have already done, just to check it off!
Q. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
My Dad passed away when I was 12 years old, but he gave me the best and most simple advice. Always try your best.
Did you fail at something? Yes. But did you try your best? And if the answer is yes then that is all that matters. So I go into everything I do by trying my best. And if I ask myself if it is my best and I feel it’s not…then I keep going until it is. So it is pretty simple and easy. Always try your best.
After watching my mom raise myself and my younger sister by herself, the best advice I could give my daughter would be “the strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her. The strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.” Joy Bell C.
Q. Where can people find you to learn more? (Leave your email, website, social media handles, etc.!)
If people want to find me they can email Erin at email@example.com
Visit the website www.moonandbacksigns.com
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