Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Jessica Seeliger is a whimsical woman

  • Jessica Seeliger had the same problem that many young mothers face. How could she combine her desire to be a mother with her wish to continue working?

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  • Jessica Seeliger had the same problem that many young mothers face. How could she combine her desire to be a mother with her wish to continue working?
    For an answer, she turned to her closet, sought guidance from some experts and set up her own brand new retail business, Touch of Whimsy, which offers “fashions and other blingy things.”
    Seeliger is selling her merchandise over the Internet, and also at shows and home parties. She had her first show booth Saturday at Little Balkans Days.
    It was a trip home for Seeliger, daughter of Ronnie and Mary Ann Tims, Arma, and granddaughter of Barbara Tims, Pittsburg.
    A graduate of Northeast High School, Arma, and the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas, Seeliger worked in print journalism for a time. She was formerly a staff writer and then managing editor at The Morning Sun, and later editor and publisher of the Wellington Daily News.
    She and husband Jon Seeliger are the parents of Harper Grace Seeliger, born March 10, 2010.
    “I wanted to be a mommy, so I quit the newspaper business and tried to find a more mommy-friendly job,” Seeliger said.
    She got an office job, but the office closed around a month later.
    “I never in a million years thought I’d be a stay-at-home mom,” Seeliger said. “I need to work, I’m a workaholic. I was sitting at home wondering what I was going to do, and a friend of mine in at the Wellington Chamber of Commerce reminded me that I’d always said I wanted to have my own business.”
    That’s where the experts came in, especially Donald Cain III, who was hired by the Wichita State University Kansas Small Business Development Center to serve as a consultant for the Cowley College KSBDC Outreach Center. His duties include providing free consultation services and affordable training to business owners and prospective business owners in a six-county area.
    “He’s an amazing man,” Seeliger said. “He helped me with my business plan and in getting financing ready.”
    For guidance in choosing merchandise, she looked through her closet at her own favorite garments and accessories that she had purchased at boutique shops.
    “I know that not everybody likes what I like, so I also thought about the other women in my life and tried to select clothes that my mother and my mother-in-law like, that my sister Mitzi and my niece MacKenzi and my friends like,” Seeliger said. “I wanted clothes that a woman can put on and feel pretty and special in. I want her to feel that she can take on the whole world in that outfit.”
    She has put together an inventory of clothing from various labels that she feels meets these qualifications. Also, for the next two months, Seeliger is offering a special line of breast cancer T-shirts, with a portion of the proceeds from them going to the Debbie Hofer Cleland Scholarship Fund at Northeast High School.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Debbie was a family friend,” she said.
    Seeliger decided against opening a store for the time being, at least not a permanent one. Instead, she’s focusing on the Internet, shows and home parties.
    “We might come in three or four times a year and do a ‘flash shop’ that’s open one or two days,” Seeliger said. “I’d probably do it right before Christmas, in the spring when new things are coming out, and in the fall.”
    She also plans to do home parties, but hates high-pressure sales events and vows that she will stay away from doing anything like that.
    “I want to let the women decide what kind of parties they want to have in their homes,” Seeliger said. “I like girlfriends parties where you can drink margaritas, talk and look at stuff and play dress-up with the clothes.”
    She will next visit in Pittsburg on Nov. 19 for the Holiday Shopping Expo at Lamplighter Inn and Suites. Meanwhile, Seeliger is running her business from home and taking care of her little daughter.
    “I’ve been home with Harper for two weeks now, and I love it,” she said.
    Anyone interested in learning more about Seeliger’s business may visit mytouchofwhimsy.com or e-mail jessica@mytouchofwhimsy.com.

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