There’s something special about the perfect pillow. Not only can it provide a good night’s sleep, but it’s often associated with comfort, security, and an overall sense of well-being. Ten-year-old Eliza White, with the aid of her younger sisters Evelynn and Everley, has taken the pillow-as-comfort concept to a new level with her business Sow at Home. For each hand-sewn pillow she sells, White donates a pillow to a child in foster care with a message of love.
Edge: How did you come up with the idea to make and sell pillows?
White: My [great] grandma taught me how to sew when I was six, and we’d make pillows. We’d go to the store and buy fabric, and she’d put the pins in to hold the fabric together. This is the first year that I measure and cut the fabric myself, so now I do it all on my own.
Edge: How did you decide to donate pillows to kids in foster care?
White: My nana had a business and always gave back a portion of sales to charity, so I wanted to do something where I gave back. I decided to help foster kids because even though they don’t have parents, they should still know they are loved and supported, so I donate to the Nebraska Children’s Home Society. “Sow at Home” is because we sow seeds of hope and love into the lives of children in foster care.
Edge: And you sew a message on the outside of each pillow?
White: Each one has a saying, like “you are loved,” “you are important,” “you are brave.” If a pillow doesn’t have a message, it doesn’t get sold or donated.
Edge: How many pillows do you make, sell, and donate?
White: This year we’ve made more than 50 pillows, and I sold 10 at the spring business fair. I usually sew once a week at my grandma’s house, and my sisters help now by stuffing the pillows and picking out fabric. We each choose fabric that we think girls our ages would like. For girls my age, I like checkerboard, swans, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.
Edge: Where do you sell the pillows?
White: I have a booth at the Children’s Business Fair in the spring and fall, and now I have an Instagram page, @sow_at_home where I take orders there.
Edge: Do you have plans to grow your business?
White: I’m going to start posting my pillows on my Instagram, and my sisters are going to start their own businesses. Evie is going to make jewelry and Everley is going to make bubble tea. We’ll all have booths at the next business fair.
Edge: What do you like to do when you’re not sewing?
White: My hobby is volleyball, and I just started piano. I like to play outside with my sisters and my friends, and help my sisters with their businesses.
Edge: Do you have a favorite pillow you’ve made?
White: I have a checkered pillow, a baby Yoda pillow, and a flamingo one. I love flamingos!
Edge: What do you enjoy most about your business?
White: I love that kids in foster care get to have a huggable, soft pillow and be encouraged by the tags. Little girls and boys love the pillows. At the business fair, a little boy grabbed one and wouldn’t let go until his mom bought it for him!
Edge: What’s the most challenging part of your business?
White: Overcoming my shyness when I have to talk to people at the business fairs.
Kailah White: I’ve really seen her come out of her shell, be confident in her voice, and know she’s making a difference. Each tag she makes spreads the love of God, which is the driving force behind what we do.