Alyson from Port & Starboard Monogram {+ giveaway}

Today I’m shinning the light on a fellow military wife. She’s also a new mom who just moved from Georgia to the United Kingdom, and she’s the owner of Port and Starboard Monogram—an Etsy shop specializing in monogramming and appliques. I hope you’ll enjoy the interview, and I really hope you’ll enter the giveaway below; Alyson was very kind to give one of my readers a customizable T-shirt!

Hi Alyson! Can you give us a quick overview of what you offer in your shop? My shop offers articles of clothing with monograms and embroidered
patterns. I don’t know if it is the looming start of school or what, but
the teacher monogram shirts are the best sellers!

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but you guys are
affiliated with the Air Force, right? How did you come up with the name
and logo for your Etsy store?
We are affiliated with the Air Force. We are five years in, and
sometimes it feels like so much more. The name of the shop came about because I love the nautical lifestyle, and Port and Starboard are the
right and left sides of a boat. At the time I was doing only traditional
monogramming for people which includes an initial to the left and right
of the last initial.

How did you get started with monogramming? I truly only got started with monogramming as a business because I
purchased a sewing machine with the embroidery function. I have been
sewing my own clothes for a while now but that hardly helps to pay the
bills—it only increases them! I figured if I used the embroidery
function to pay for my sewing habit I would be doing pretty well.

Can you describe your clientele in three words? Fun, teachers, and preppy.

What is your most popular seller and what’s your favorite item in your shop right now?  As I said, the most popular item is definitely the monogram
teacher pocket tee. I spend every nap time making these shirts! My
favorite item right now is the monogram sweater because I can now where
sweaters year round in England!

You recently moved from Georgia to the United Kingdom—what was it like keeping your business afloat during the transition? I did just recently move. Gonna be honest: I did not keep the
business going. My machine was afloat on the water headed over and I
couldn’t use it! There were some disappointed customers who kept asking
why everything in my shop had been removed, but I just couldn’t do it.
The repeat customers have made a come back though and are quite excited that I’m back!

Tell me about yourself! Along with moving overseas, you also just had a baby, too, right?

Oh my…the baby. I was not expecting her to be so strong willed.
She is only nine months and is walking around. I just… I can’t even deal.
It has made the move to England that much more intense. It is nearly
impossible to get a house together with a small child. Lucky for her, she
is so cute and irresistible.

Do you enjoy working from home? Working from home is very difficult. I’ve read articles
that describe the battle of working vs relaxing. It’s great not having
to dress up and go to an office, or put Lottie in nursery, but finding
the motivation and focus can be challenging. I find that I just have to
wake up and make things happen. If I lounge for too much of the day, I
never get anything done.

What do you like to do in your free time? I really enjoy sewing my own clothing. I’m always angry while
sewing (my spouse can hear the frustration across the flat), but the end
product is so rewarding. The only trouble now is that I don’t buy too
much clothing, because I think, “Oh I can make that no problem.” I seem to
always forget that there is a house to clean, a child to entertain, or
sleep to be had.

What’s your favorite thing about living in England so far? My favorite thing about England so far is definitely the weather. I
know, call me crazy. I should probably be saying travelling (which I
love to pieces), but after spending five insanely hot summers in Texas and
Georgia, I will take a cool 70 degrees with a light drizzle any day. It
is late July here and I am still comfortable in pants and long sleeves.
This is heaven for me!

Where can people find you? (Leave as many links as you’d like!) Come shop at my Etsy store, find me on Twitter, or check me out on Pinterest!

And now, it’s time for the giveaway! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to have your blog or business featured here? 


  1. My favorite teacher was my fourth grade teacher Mr. Pesek because he made learning fun! 🙂 We would play games when learning different subjects. It really helped the students comprehend things .

  2. LOVE everything in the Port & Starboard Etsy shop! I feel like Alyson and I have a lot in common… I'm also an married to a gentleman in the AF, and am currently surviving a brutally hot summer in Texas. I teach 2nd grade so there is about a 99% chance that if I don't win this giveaway I'll be placing an order soon for the adorable teacher pocket shirt! (:

  3. Also, my fave teachers were my college education professors… they were fantastic at leading by example and were always incredibly supportive of both our successes and failures!

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