Mother's Blessings and Flower Crowns: An Interview with Chelsea Wingo

Photo Credit: Magic Memory Works

Photo Credit: Magic Memory Works

Q. What got you into making flower crowns for children and babies?

A. I have always been a maker. I would just make stuff in my free time because it made me happy. And the results were really cool. Some people like to play sports, or an instrument. I just love being crafty. My daughter was born and it changed my life. And it changed the stuff I was making. I am so inspired by my child, and I wanted to make things for her. When other people saw the headbands, they seemed to really like them. A few friends even paid me to make some for their kids. So I just finally decided I was going to take on Etsy. I always wanted to.

Q. How did you decide to start an Etsy shop?

A. I wanted to share my creations with other people! And I really needed a reason to make all these pretty things. It is really cool seeing them being worn and used during special times in people’s lives. Newborns wearing them during their first photo shoot. 1 year olds wearing one of my flower crowns as they sit before their first cake.  Flower girls have worn my flower crowns. They have been in breast feeding photo shoots, on a preemie, and on my own daughter for our first family photos. That is so cool to me. I am proud of where my business has been and where it is going.

Photo Credit: Instagram @hallen.amelie

Photo Credit: Instagram @hallen.amelie

Q. What was the process? Tell me about the name Elliot Everlasting.

A. After posting some photos of Elliot wearing some headbands people commented. Some friends asked if I could make some for their kids, and I just loved seeing them enjoying my pieces. So I just went for it. I got enough supplies to make about 6 crowns, just to see what would happen. I made an email account, an Instagram account and Facebook and started posting pictures and hash tagging. There is so much to social media marketing, I am still learning so much. I have been making stuff for years and friends have always said I should have an Etsy shop. I just finally decided to do it. The arrival of my daughter Elliot has changed my life dramatically. My life is very much influenced by my child, and it was fitting that I make things for other children and mothers since they related to my life the most.

Q. What is the significance of the name Elliot Everlasting?

A. I wanted my daughter’s name to be in the name because she inspires the ideas behind it. I have everlasting love for her as any mother does for her child. The name was catchy, and sounded very whimsical to me. So it just was. I cannot imagine it being called anything else at this point!

Photo Credit: Magic Memory Works

Photo Credit: Magic Memory Works

Q. Do you make anything else?

A. I make a lot of things! I really enjoy handwork. My Etsy shop is filled with felt flower crowns, and felt necklaces. I have played around with a few different items for my shop, but so far the flower crowns have kept me the busiest, especially my unicorn crown. That one seems to be a favorite!  I have also made a few crowns for mamas having Mother’s Blessings. That is a fun add-on I have done because I had a home birth with my daughter, and Mother’s Blessings are really big in that community. So to make something for other moms who are lucky to have one is really cool.

Q. What is a Mother’s Blessing?

A. When you go to a baby shower, you bring a gift for the baby. You play games revolving around the baby. You talk about the baby! Because babies are amazing, and it is so exciting to think about, and celebrate the arrival of the new baby before they are even born.  At a Mother’s blessing, the focus is more on the mom. You celebrate the mom, and instill love and confidence into her. When a mom, leaves her Mother’s Blessing, she feels loved and celebrated. She also feels confident about the birth of her baby. Labor sometimes is never discussed, besides the fact that it can hurt. Mother’s Blessings exist to talk about the empowerment of labor, and becoming a mother.  Whether that is becoming a mother for the first time, second time, or even the fifth time.  Because it matters.  Every time.  

Q. What do you do at a Mother’s Blessing, and what is the significance?

A. Mother’s blessings can be whatever you really want them to be, as long as the mom is the main focus. I have had one myself, hosted a couple, and attended a couple as well. They have all been a little different, which is super cool. A Mother’s Blessing is a ritual stemmed from a Blessingway, which were a Navajo Ritual that celebrated motherhood as a journey.  I have been to a few now. Some have been a little more spiritual, and some are more casual.  But in general, everyone gets together, brings a dish of some sort to share together. Popular customs include bringing a bead that reminds you of the mom, or has special meaning, and stringing them all on a necklace for the mom to wear, or have with her during labor. When she is going through the tough times she can look at it. And by tough times, I don’t mean just labor. Mine is hanging on the wall in my daughters room and it is still a special reminder to me of all the women in life who care about me.  Massages for the mom, by a massage therapist, or foot rubs by a friend are sometimes offered and a flower crown is made for the mom to wear. Birth affirmation flags are very common and wonderful additions to the get together. There are a lot of other ideas for Mother’s Blessings.  It really is just about catering to the mom, and making it special for her, whatever that may mean.

Q. Is a Mother’s Blessing in place of a Baby Shower, or do people typically do both?

A. I think it is a personal decision on whether someone would want one or the other, both or maybe neither. I had both. My mom wanted to throw me a shower, and we needed stuff for the baby so I let her. I was a first time mom, planning a home birth, and I had friends who wanted to throw me a Mother’s Blessing. It seemed really cool and beautiful to me, so I was also open to that. I am glad I was, because I am thankful for my Mother’s Blessing. If anything, I got to spend time with a lot of my friends, all at once before my baby arrived. But it really was so much more than that for me.

Q. If anyone is interested in learning more, where can they go to connect with you?

A. Anyone can find me on Etsy at www.etsy.com/people/ellioteverlasting.  My Instagram is a lovely visual representation of my work and I find I have the biggest following there. You can follow me there at @ellioteverlasting. If Facebook is more your style you can find me at www.facebook.com/ellioteverlastinghandmade. I love custom orders and creating collaborative pieces with my clients.

Photo Credit: Magic Memory Works

Photo Credit: Magic Memory Works

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