Melissa Clayton: Founder + CEO of Tiny Tags
When I started Tiny Tags, I was just starting my motherhood journey. My heart was overflowing with love for the little boy I held in my arms, and I couldn’t think of a better way to express all that pride and joy than to wear his name on a necklace.
On a whim, I decided to make my own—and so began Tiny Tags.
Ten-plus years later, what started as a hobby has turned into my life’s passion—creating beautiful jewelry that celebrates the precious gift of a child and the journey of motherhood. Over the years, I have received countless emails telling me what Tiny Tags has meant to you. The stories have ranged from a toddler enthusiastically searching for her name on her mom's Tiny Tags, to a mother gripping her Tiny Tags for strength as she watched her son leave for the military. Every piece of jewelry has a story, and we have been honored to tell yours.
Probably the most unexpected gift Tiny Tags has given me is the personal healing from my own past. I was raised by my father while my mother struggled to show up for us—a truth that was hard for me to understand as a child. My mother carried so much guilt for not raising my sister and me. I can still see the shame in her eyes when we visited and someone would say, “I didn’t know you had children.”
I've come to understand my mother's journey after the relationships I have made through Tiny Tags and the hundreds of stories I have heard. I can see now that her struggles weren’t because she didn’t love me, but because she didn’t fully love herself. Sadly, my mother passed away from alcoholism when she was just 56. When I look back at our relationship, I find solace that she knew how much I loved her and I knew she loved me.
My experience with my mother propelled much of what Tiny Tags is today. My mission is to create a community that supports and uplifts women by recognizing that we have to love ourselves before we can fully love others. I hope that Tiny Tags continues to be a place to share real, vulnerable truths about this incredible journey of motherhood. A place where we can inspire and lift each other by sharing our stories. A place that recognizes our children do not need perfect mothers, but present ones. Most importantly, a place that focuses on what really matters in life—love and the incredible gift of a child.
To our faithful Tiny Tags family: Everything this company is today is because of you and the community we’ve built together. Every heartfelt story and every mother I have cried with or celebrated with has become a part of who I am today. The last decade has changed me from the inside out, and I feel so fortunate to be on this journey with you.