Megan Gladney and her now 5-year-old daughter Gemma frequently created crafts together.
“She’s really smart,” Gladney said. “She is literally the master of the craft. She can do anything.
When the Tramonto resident was diagnosed with endometriosis, it became even more important. She founded Carefree Highway Market (@CarefreeHighwayMKT on Etsy) to sell their personalized pencils, as well as barrettes and garlands. Holiday treats are also available.
“Right now, I sell in boutiques across the country,” Gladney said.
“We also have DIY paint kits. The shops love it right now. They can say they are women.
Larger companies have asked to sell her items on their sites and in their stores, but Gladney does not have the support available and would not want to.
“We are growing at the speed I want right now,” she said.
To promote her business, Gladney spent the quarantine posting on a plethora of social media sites. The result? Customers came “en masse”.
“It’s become this fun thing,” said Gladney, whose 71-year-old mother is also involved. “It was something fun for the kids because everyone was so, so bored.”
Carefree Highway Market was born, in some ways, thanks to Gemma. Gladney and her husband, Christopher, named their daughter after an Italian saint. It was difficult to find personalized items, so Gladney took matters into her own hands.
“Children’s names are unique now,” she says. “You can’t find them on a keychain. My items are personalized and so special. “
Gladney is from Milwaukee and Christopher from Scottsdale. Gladney’s skills run deep, as her grandmother worked for Minnesota Fabrics longer than anyone in the United States.
“She was sharp as a whip,” Gladney said. “She was a major in her class, but she cut all the fabrics and knew all the measurements in her head. She sewed anything for you, any pattern you wanted.
On his site is a list of his products, social media and a link to the Endometriosis Association.
“Since I was a teenager, it hurts,” she says. “I was ignored by all the doctors I saw, even though my mother had surgery and probably had it.
“Everyone looks at you like there is nothing they can do for you. I pushed for surgery. I’m glad I did. Hope this is my last surgery for this, in particular.
Endometriosis is painful and occurs when tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of a woman’s uterus – the endometrium – grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissues that line your pelvis.
Gladney explained that she was embarrassed by endometriosis, so only a few close friends knew about the pain.
“Everyone would say, ‘She looks great,’” she recalls. “They don’t know I am in pain most nights. Some people think I’m a fake, so I try to be really open about it and tell everyone I sell to. It is not something that should be ignored. “
After a battle with infertility, Gladney gave birth to her daughter. In a way, she was prepared for the birth.
“I would show up at work – in sales, which is often run by men – and they would look at me like, ‘Oh, she’s not feeling well again,’” she said.
“The pain was so bad last night that I felt like I gave birth to six children last night. My husband wanted to call 911, but you can’t call 911 for that. “
Gladney was bedridden immediately after Gemma was born. She wanted to return to work but was not convinced that she could do so. Carefree Highway Market kept her busy.
“I’m glad it’s taking off,” she said. “It’s a great working environment.”