Meet Gretchen from Feral Mama Shop - The Cleveland Moms

Tell me a little bit about yourself – where are you originally from and how long have you lived in town? 

I am a Cleveland gal! Born and raised on the west side. I recently bought a home in Lakewood with my partner Liam. I have a one and a half year old son and a 9 year old pup. 

What are your favorite things to do with your family? 

I absolutely love being outside! We frequent the metroparks and enjoy finding new places to hike and explore. Edgewater has been another staple since I was a baby and luckily my son loves the beach as well. Prior to the pandemic, we liked trying out all the local coffee shops and diners in the area. I look forward to doing that again soon. I love to travel, and once the pandemic is over plan to take my son everywhere!

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I was briefly skating with Burning River Roller Derby!

What are some of your favorite things about NE Ohio? 

The seasons! I LOVE our colorful falls and chilly snow days. I love all of our amazing museums, especially the Art museum. Also, we are so lucky to have the metroparks system. Endless exploration! 

Please tell us about Feral Mama Shop! Why did you start it and how did you know this is what you wanted to do? 

Feral Mama Shop began actually as a type of blog space on Instagram. I was a new mom and looking for an outlet. I was used to working multiple jobs and being on the go. As much as I love being a mom I needed something just for me. I wanted to create a space that was supportive for moms, free of judgment, and safe to be who they are as women as well as mothers. As it grew I started getting ideas for designs. My partner taught me to screen print and it just took off from there. I send most print jobs out to a local screen printer now because it’s very time consuming. I focus on alternative apparel for moms and babies, and I am starting to branch out to unisex designs as well! 

How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?

I have found so many amazing connections from other amazing mom owned businesses in Cleveland! From City Hippie Granola to Varigated designs… so many talented women! The support is fantastic. I love connecting with local moms, community is so important.

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start their own business? 

Do it! I have wanted to own a business most of my adult life. I never felt confident enough in myself to pull the trigger. I finally did it and I wish I had sooner. Grab what you love to do, and share it with the world! 

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

Becoming a mother. It is the one thing I’ve known I wanted to be my whole life. 

Anything you would have changed or done differently with your business thus far? 

Oh man… so much looking back. I started out knowing absolutely nothing, and am still learning as I go! The learning process is part of the fun though! I feel that it’s never ending as I continue to grow. 

How do you juggle being a working mom? 

This is HARD. I have a very attached parenting style especially with Covid keeping our loved ones at a distance. I have to squeeze time in during naps, evenings when my partner is off work, and weekends to get anything done. And when there are rough days, business just has to wait. I’m very fortunate that I’m able to stay home with my son, I know not everyone is able to. Owning my own business makes the flexibility much easier to manage, but much more difficult to carve separate time out. I’m still working on finding a good balance. 

Where do you hope to be in 10 years? 

In 10 years, I hope to have a little storefront in Cleveland for Feral Mama Shop, featuring products from various moms in Cleveland! 

Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood? 

My partner Liam, hands down could not do it without him. He is endlessly supportive, patient, and amazing, my best friend.

For more info on Feral Mama Shop, visit:

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