One Handy Momma
“Creativity is creativity. It just plays out in different ways,” says Nneka Mosley of One Handy Momma. She started out making and selling designer handbags, a hobby she’d turned into a business, but closed down when she and her husband decided to have children.
“I’d had some awesome experiences along the way, but realized that I’d lost the passion to continue.” Mosley has now channeled that passion into her new venture, designing and building practical and stylish furniture and teaching women how to do the same.
“A friend and I both knew women would be interested in learning these skills, but there weren’t many options for that when we got started. So we wanted to inspire women to believe in themselves and their ability to do this!”
She says she may be a bit biased because she now has three little ones of her own, but she most enjoys creating pieces for kids’ rooms. Her personal favorite piece is a Black Panther-themed bed she and her husband built for their three-year-old son. She came up with the design for the headboard and then they brought the entire project to life. She’s also designed and built bunk beds for her twin daughters.
“In terms of my unique style, I like to call myself a mixed bag because there are so many elements of various styles I like. But at my core, I have an eclectic style; strong design, vibrant colors, and bold printed fabrics really speak to me.”
Back in 2013, she and a friend launched Handy Chics, a business that hosted workshops teaching women how to design, build, and upholster their own furniture. They’ve put on various furniture classes over the past five years and now, during Covid, offer illustrated DIY tutorials on the One Handy Momma website.
Mosley affirms that anyone can learn how to build furniture. “There are tons of beginner and intermediate projects that anyone can tackle. And you don’t necessarily need to spend money on a lot of tools. However, if building is something a person is interested in really doing on a regular basis, there are a number of tools they would need to invest in.”
The One Handy Momma site’s free tutorials let people know what will be involved with building something. They list the required tools up at the top of the step-by-step, illustrated instructions.
Some projects she’s showcasing right now include a farmhouse table, a children’s bookcase and a collection of holiday place settings. Her site also includes lifestyle content such as inspirational quotes and recipes.
In her personal life, she says that work-life balance is harder to find since shelter-in-place began. Having everyone at home collapses a lot of normal routines and everything is out of place for her as she’s balancing a corporate job on top of managing virtual school for their three children and running the household.
Her DIY creations have become a needed mental-health escape. “Because of this, I have to be very intentional about carving out time to do the things that will help me feel centered and balanced. And for me that involves creating. My husband and I try to give each other breaks so we can both take the time we need to do what will keep us sane.”
In the near future, Mosley plans to create an e-book on DIY furniture projects. Her goal is to get that affordable book out to all women who would be interested, to empower them to create a lovely and organized environment around themselves.
Written by Cristina Deptula