We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Morton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I think I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit ever since I was 10 I would come up with business ideas and and I loved making jewelry. Over the years I’ve had several business names and attended many craft shows. My full time job always was the priority. So I trusted that this dream would come true and I waited for Gods timing to bring it to reality. After having my daughter Hazel a new spark lit inside me and I wanted to create something I could pass on to my children and also help contribute to my family once I became a stay at home mom. I needed something to give me freedom to work when I could be at home with now our two little ones. Many people ask why Butterflies and Banjos… My nickname at the church I worked at was Butterflies and Banjos and I thought what a perfect name for my new brand! It captured the carefree and joyful feel of the brand.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Looking back I think I always struggled with the answer of what I was going to be when I grew up. I’ve always loved people and been very creative. I studied psychology in school and went on to work for non profits serving youth and people in crisis. All through the years I worked at non profits I always had something creative I was doing on the side. I always heard you could not make a career out your creativity but I knew it was my passion. I guess if I speak to younger people I would tell them be faithful in wherever you are planted. Even if it is not your dream job give it your all! I always trusted that God knew me and he would make those dreams a reality at the perfect time. I think every step of this business I am amazed, because I never thought it would come to pass. My other piece of advice is to just take the next step. Don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture just take the next step and keep going! That has helped me stay grounded and hopeful when it gets hard.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First we would visit downtown Fort Collins and walk around! Maybe go for a coffee at Little Bird Bake Shop one day and Lucile’s for breakfast the next. Then we would make sure to visit the Social for cocktails and appetizers. I would definitely take them around different breweries and food trucks in Wellington and Fort Collins. We would have to get up to Horsetooth to go for a hike or go paddle boarding one day. We would take them to our favorite spot for fly fishing. Then cook a dinner at home and have a fire outside to enjoy.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
After working at the church I knew there was something creative ahead of me. A coworker named Marty Hutchinson connected me with Bart White of 3Tradesmen. We started meeting 2 days a week and he showed me all the possible trades I could pursue from screen printing to embroidery. After looking into many options we came back to my first love of jewelry. Bart went on to spend the next several months meeting with me and texting and mentoring me on business and woodworking. He took me in as a daughter and believed in me a built my confidence and courage up! He also gave of his time, talent and resources to see me through and help make this life long dream a reality.
My dad has been an incredible support helping me get set up to be independent. We have worked hard to get my own equipment so I can be home with my kids. My dad has always believed in me and told me I can be anything I put my mind to! He and my mom have always been my greatest cheerleaders. My mom is an incredible sales woman so she has coached me in sales. I think over the past two years I’ve called my dad and mom daily to get wisdom or support.
My husband has worked 7 days a week for almost two years to help me get to this point and always has supported and believed in me. He has come to shows on his only day off and helped me sell. He has helped me get set up converting our laundry room to an office. I could go on with the love and many sacrifices he has made to make this a reality. He is the greatest gift!
Both of our parents and family have helped watch our kids for shows or to allow me to go work at Barts shop. I am so grateful for all the support and encouragement of our family and friends!
Also Timia York of Timia Rose photography has helped me with beautiful product photos for my Etsy and website.
Jason Garner of ProStar painting gifted me a beautiful website. His generosity and kindness helped me make sales easy while I was pregnant with our son Henry. I am overwhelmed with gratitude!
Bart White 3Tradesmen Timia Rose Photography