Your Story : Paula Ceresnie

Jul 30, 2021 Motherhood, Your Story
“I hope my story reminds people of the power of positivity. If you put your mind to it & stick to it, you can do it!”

It’s 1980 -- Paula and her husband were having dinner with friends and talking about their future. “What would the future be like for us young married couples? Would we have children? Yes, hopefully. As new moms, will we still work full time and put our babies in daycare? Well, maybe. THAT is the answer that did it for me. I knew I would want to start a family within the next couple of years and I knew I did not want to continue working as a dietitian for the Women Infants & Children Program (WIC) through Oakland County. I knew I did not want to use childcare outside my home. I also knew I would go crazy if I just stayed home!," explains Paula. "So, in 1980, two years before my first son was born, while I was working full time, 'Names In Knit’ was born (so really, my first baby )."

"I could now see my future. My life was going to be changing,
Always crafty at heart, this dinner conversation was her BIG ‘AH HA’ MOMENT and she knew... she just had to start. The first blanket Paula made was for a friend of theirs who received it as a gift at her baby shower.

“It was a slow start,” Paula remembers, “Making the first blanket was time-consuming and hard.” However, a few more orders naturally came in after that first blanket from other’s who saw it at the shower & loved the concept. “From there, the business snowballed! I worked doing both jobs while I was pregnant & then I did not go back to work as a Dietitian after my first son was born.”
There were many lessons learned along the way. One of the top lessons Paula learned to be successful while being an entrepreneur mom is that you have to be disciplined.

"If I had a to do a blanket, I would put that above the laundry. However, kids activities & sports, etc – my family always came first.”

Another important lesson learned is that follow through with your clients is key. A lot of the ideas for new blankets, etc also happened to come naturally from her customers, so really listening to them & creating a relationship was of utmost importance to Paula. “My customers became my friends,” said Paula. “It’s always exciting for me to receive an order and I STILL get just as excited to receive an order as I did when the business first began so many years ago.”

Even when life presented certain challenges, as it often does, Paula learned that the more she was open & shared, the more her customers understood. Even more so, this helped create a special bond between them.

“People call me to share the good news. I’ll never forget once when a customer said to me, ‘Have you ever thought about how many babies you put to sleep every night?’ It is a labor of love! It takes time, sometimes more than expected, but it is always worth it,” Paula recalls with a joyous smile on her face.

Growing up, her two sons would always see her working on the blankets (during the day she would knit and at night she would finish putting them together) so it was only natural that as they got older, they got involved in the business, as well. Her oldest son, Eric, started her website and her youngest, Justin, set up the accounting for her.

“The business was slow & steady for a long time, and then as my kids were grown I had more time to work on it & focus. Their involvement later helped tremendously -- having a website put me on a level of being professional. I started doing graduation blankets, boutique shows & fundraisers. Now I have a knitting team that works with me, and my husband (whom I credit the company name to) does my shipping & receiving. We have a good system. Truth be told, I invented curbside pick-up even before the pandemic!”
'Names In Knit’ blankets are machine knit and hand finished -- they are truly one-of-a-kind. It’s easy to see why people love them so much & even more so apparent from her clients words themselves. Here are a few testimonials :

“AMAZING blankets and a Covid baby boom killer combo.”

“Thank you! You are my “go to” for baby gifts!!! Love them!”

“Thank you, Paula! I can't wait for them to receive it! My grandtwins are now 8 years old and their Names In Knit blankies are still their most treasured possessions!”

“Thank you. BTW, I saw one of your blankets on a baby in Whole Foods and looked it up to buy because I thought it was the cutest thing ever. Such a great gift and will be my go-to baby gift from now on.”

“Wow! The blanket is SO lovely! You did a wonderful job. I am sure they will treasure it. I love the color and the design with the hearts! Thank you for taking the time to take a picture of it and sending it to me--I really appreciate it. You finished it so quickly .Thanks for your hard work. I have your card and will pass it around to my friends. A personal blanket such as this makes all the difference! Thank you so much : )”

“I had received a blanket thru you 6 years ago and now I am returning the favor to my newborn niece.”

A customer even wrote her a poem :

“Dear Paula,
As we gather our days in gentle, sweet memories
That we tuck inside our heart,
We remember with love those special few
Whose gifts of life, they impart.
We met some thirty years ago
When my heart was given a lift -
My infant daughter, Rachel Elizabeth
Was given this incredible gift!

I wanted to share this wonderfully warm
And cuddlly gift, with some friends -
I remember the joy it gave their hearts
And how much, it truly meant.
I'm oh, so grateful that you have continued
To share your gift with this world -
Something that's kept by all those grown-up
Once baby boys and girls.

What's especially nice about the blanket
That's shown above in blue -
Is that my oldest child, Joshua
Has this nickname, too.

Thank you for making Oliver's blanket
I'm so glad that it's finally here!
I know it will touch his family's heart
For, it's oh so precious and dear!

Paula, I hope that the words I have chosen
Envelop the feelings expressed -
May your days be filled with your heart's desire
And may your footsteps be forever blessed.
Thank you sooooooooo much!!!”
Paula reminds us how there is so much beauty in following a passion & believing in yourself, and that it’s never too late (or early) to begin.
Thank you, so much, for sharing YOUR STORY & your first baby, 'Names In Knit’, with us, Paula.

Want to know more about Paula? Here’s a quick snapshot :

What's one word the best describes you & why?
Committed to family, friends and my business.

What's one thing you do daily that you can't live without?
Checking emails.

What's one habit you're working to improve & why are you motivated to do so?
I need to drink more water during the day. It's healthy!

What does faith mean to you?
Self reflection.

What's brings you joy?

Anything else you want to share?!
Check out my website 'Names In Knit’, our Facebook Page and Instagram. There are lots of pictures & comments there from my customers. I always love hearing from my them, especially when they call. After all these years I get excited each and every time I get a new order. When they order a baby blanket, is it always good news!

{ Pictured below, Paula with her beautiful family taken by Rachel DenBoer }
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