Mom Goes from Chemical Engineer to Entrepreneur

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From Riley With Love, an all-occasion online gift boutique now open

Cristi Tate-Sims spent five years working as a chemical engineer, but always felt something was missing.

While on maternity leave last year, Tate-Sims realized what she longed for – passion for her career.

“I was always envious of people who loved what they did,” she said.

Tate-Sims has always had a creative streak and loves crafts, so on May 22, she launched From Riley With Love (, an online gift boutique. The specialty gift store is named after Tate-Sims’ daughter, Riley, who was born Jan. 25, 2009.

The day after Riley was born, Tate-Sims was notified that she was getting laid off. While the new mother was distraught, she used this opportunity to do what she really loves. She began making diaper cakes for relatives and friends, which led to candy and cookie bouquets and candy cakes. Without realizing it, Tate-Sims had started her own business.

"I wanted to create gifts that not only looked great, but were also tasty,” Tate-Sims said. “I've always enjoyed making people smile and that's what my products do."

The items make great gifts because the diaper cakes are practical.

“You always need diapers,” she said of new mothers. “And the diapers come in beautiful, hand-painted boxes that can be used as storage.”

The candy cakes, which feature treats from Snickers to Twix and Skittles, are a great alternative for traditional baby shower and birthday cakes.

“It looks like a cake, but it’s candy,” Tate-Sims said. “The idea came from watching the cake shows on Food Network. I was looking for a way to make cakes cool.”

Tate-Sims’ engineering training has already come in handy with From Riley with Love. Her former roles in production planning and technical support prepared her for this new endeavor.

"I know how managing inventory levels and handling customer problems can affect the bottom line. Those skills prepared me for running my own business,” she explained.

Gifts offered through From Riley With Love start at $35. Local same-day delivery is available for orders placed by 2 p.m. Orders outside the local area can be shipped via UPS or USPS.

For more information visit

Hayslett Media Consulting
(732) 816-4650
Representing: From Riley With Love

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Cristi Tate-Sims