{Sponsored Post and Giveaway}: Chalkolate Cake

School 4It’s that time again: back-to-school!  Time for new backpacks, new teachers, and the ever-popular “first day of school picture”.  If you’re looking for ways to spice up those photos this year, and maybe you aren’t the most crafty/creative mom, look no further than Chalkolate Cake!

With adorable, printable signs for all occasions, this locally-owned Etsy shop should definitely be on your list of favorites! I was so happy to chat with Sara, the owner of this adorable business, to learn more about how it started and where she’d like to see it go in the future. (And be sure to read to the end for an extra special giveaway!)

1. Tell us about yourself and your family.
I was born and raised in Minnesota, came to Iowa City for college, and haven’t left. I love the area too much. I graduated from the U of I in 2008 and currently live in North Liberty with my husband Erik, and my 2-year old daughter, Katie. I work full time in North Liberty, am a full-time mom, and I put on my “design” hat at night after Katie goes to sleep. Graphic design is my creative outlet and I love it. (Ironically I didn’t go to school for it. I’m self-taught.)

20150131-IMG_50182. How did Chalkolate Cake begin? Where did the name come from?
I had been interested in designing something for a few years, but I didn’t know where to start. I saw “free chalkboard fonts” on Pinterest one day, and I decided to try them out. I ended up making a first birthday chalkboard for a friend’s grandson. Everyone loved it and encouraged me to make more. So I did. Almost 2 years later, I have a full lineup of printable chalkboard posters, invitations, wedding signs, back to school signs, and more. The name…hehe… well I like to design chalkboard signs, and I also happen to like chocolate cake. So I put them together = Chalkolate Cake.

3. What are your favorite pieces to do/why?
My favorite are back to school chalkboard signs. I love reading what all the kids want to be when they grow up! I’ve seen quite a variety of answers, from doctors to “Darth Vader”.

untitled1174. What are your hope and dreams with the business?
My goal is to grow slow and steady and take my business from being a “hobby” to “a real job”.  I love seeing photos from customers holding their printed chalkboard signs. It’s very encouraging. I’d love to see my signs (or invitations!) in a magazine someday.

5. What are some challenges of working from home as a mom?
The biggest challenge I face is time. When I started my Etsy shop, I promised my daughter I would not let Etsy take away from her time with mommy. So I try to only work on signs at night after she goes to bed. This is definitely easier said than done, and it makes for some late nights on the computer for sure, but it’s worth it. I want to be present in my daughter’s life. I feel like her creativity and her energy help make me more creative, and my signs are better for it.

**Be sure to find Chalkolate Cake’s Etsy shop and follow along on Facebook!


Thank you so much, Sara, for sharing your story with us!  We love watching mom-owned businesses grow and flourish!  And…we’re excited to announce that one lucky reader will be winning a FREE printed sign for the occasion of your choice!  Enter below for your chance to win, and tell your friends too!  Winner will be announced on our Facebook page THIS Friday!  (Oh, and if you aren’t the lucky winner this time, you will have ANOTHER chance to win one of these signs at our Moms Morning Out on August 29th!  To get your tickets, click here!)

This is a sponsored post.  ICMB was compensated, either monetarily or with product, for writing the piece.  However, all opinions expressed are our own, and we love this product!
Sara and her husband Matt (sweethearts since they were just 16) got married in 2007, and since then have welcomed four beautiful children (Sam in 2008, Cooper in 2010, Nora in 2012, and Adam James in December 2015). A born-and-raised Iowan, Sara received both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (in Spanish Literature) from the University of Iowa. She's still teaching Spanish wherever and whenever she can, but her true passion is owning Iowa City Moms and building this community alongside her amazing team. Sara is also the Community Engagement Coordinator for City Mom Collective, and the owner of Cowork Collective downtown Iowa City. Common denominator in all of these jobs: community, community, community.



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