Interview: Sandy Schmidt of You are Special Patterns and the Olde Country Cupboard

Sandy CMS

Note: It is with profound sadness that we report, Sandy Schmidt passed away on Sept 5, 2013.


Sandy Schmidt of Starke, Florida, cancer survivor and mother of one, shares her experiences owning two businesses simultaneously. 

MG:  What is the name of your business?

SS:  I have two pattern companies You are Special Patterns and the Olde Country Cupboard.

MG:  Where do you sell your products?

SS:  I sell my products on line via facebook and my blog, plu in CountrySampler magazine and craft shows.

MG:  How can our readers find your products?

SS:  I have 2 pattern lines: and

Primitive Doll by Sandy Schmidt

MG:  How has new technology affected your personal life/business? What technology tools do you use?

SS:  I use the internet exclusively. Since I joined facebook , I would say half of my business comes from it. I started a wholesale site on facebook and it has surpassed my wildest expectation.

MG:  Where do you find inspiration for your products?

SS:  I love dolls and Christmas, most of my ideas come late at night , just before bed. I love Raggedy Dolls, most of which I have on my You are Special site. Christmas items are on the Olde Country cupboard site.

MG:  Define your style?

SS:  I would define my style as country/primitive. I don’t do the extreme prim, love it but don’t use it in my patterns. I find that in my area, the more cutesy country sells better.

MG:  How many kids? Age/Gender?

SS:  I have one Daughter Samantha Flanders who recently started her own craft business SouthernBelle Scentz. She has always helped with shows, but has taken over the tart and some of the sewing for me.

MG:  Tell me about your typical day.

SS:   I stay up late usually go to bed around 3:00 am. Get up about 10:00, do pattern orders, start on sewing orders in middle of afternoon, take a break for fixing dinner and catching up on emails and such. then usually start back to sewing after dinner, not unusual for me to sew 10-12 hours a day especially closer to show time, it is more like 14 hours a day.

Raggedy Annie by Sandy Schmidt

MG:  How do you juggle work and family?

family life, It is just me and husband at home, daughter is married and lives down the street. It is easy to craft, hubby works shift work, and is usually working 12 hours shifts in the daytime or night shift, then sleep after night shift, So I have a lot of time to myself. When I want, easy to take time off and be on my own schedule.

MG:  Three tips you would like to give to moms who are thinking about starting their own business?

  1. Start out slow, don’t take on more than you can handle especially with small children. My daughter rarely took naps, so it was extremely hard to sew and craft when she was little, I was a stay at home mom and really didn’t start my pattern business till she was in kindergarten.
  2. Go to shows and see if you product sells, if not, be willing to adapt your product for the market.
  3. Have a good support system in your spouse, make sure he is behind you 100 percent, because of the time involved. Hubby used to entertain my daughter when I got stressed with orders, he would always take over once he got home and told me to get my orders and stock done, he has always been behind all the way.

MG:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

SS:  I was diagnosed with lymphoma stage 4 cancer 2 years ago. been through chemo, now in remission. So hoping to take my business to next step through wholesaling and going to a big wholesale show next year. I advertise in Country Sampler, but want to make my business grow, for my daughter to take over one day.

MG:  What else would you like to add?

SS:  I guess what else I would to say, it is a very competitive business and be prepared for a lot of hard work. Nothing is more satisfying to me, than to hear, someone tell me they love my dolls. I love being at a show and looking up and seeing aline of customers willing to stand in line to buy my products. It fullfills me in a way, that is hard to understand, crafting takes my mind off my illness and keeps me sane. I want to leave a name for myself, that people will be recognize long after I am gone from this world.

You Can Make A Difference

Cancer is expensive. Medical bills, even with insurance, eventually spiral out of control. Prayers are appreciated, but money pays the bills, and my family makes money two ways: Shaka Studios Custom Furniture & SendOutCards. Here are a few ways you can help my family during our battle:
  • Follow ShaKa Studios on social media, and like and share our posts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.
  • Leave a positive review of ShaKa Studios on Houzz.
  • Feature a ShaKa Studios bed or TV stand on your blog.
  • Use SendOutcards for your holiday cards this year. You create the card online, upload your mailing list, and SendOutCards prints, stuff, stamps and mails your holiday cards for you.
  • The holidays are an awesome time to launch your own greeting card and gift business, and I'd love to show you mine. Let's get together so you can take a look.
  • Include financial abundance for my family in your prayers.

Free Publicity

Are you a woman who means business?  Would you like a little free publicity for your business?  Who am I kidding?  Who doesn't want free publicity? I am doing a series of blog posts highlighting 30 women who mean business. To be considered for a featured spot, head on over to and answer a few questions about your business.  Who knows, you just might be the next featured woman who means business!

More from Gratitude Geek

This article is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.




  • Danette Bush

    What a inspiration !!! When I grow up I hope my business becomes something I can be as proud of. :) You have made me realize that even with all the stuff that has been thrown at me lately I can still get above it, over it and continue on. Thanks for letting us be a small part of your story.

  • Mary Hogan Staples

    Sandy you are an inspiration to us all.You can tell you love what you do. I haven’t been making primitives but about two years but someday hope to have my buisness built up like yours.I too am so happy when people are lined up at my shows and happier when they ask where I’ll be next.Good luck in everything you do in life.


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