IDAHO FALLS – Staying home with the kids is part of many mothers’ daily grind. Though raising children can be rewarding, some women occasionally feel burnt out doing the same thing day after day.
Chynna Hansen of Idaho Falls knows how that feels. Being a mother to three boys is what she loves most, but she says it’s often an exhausting job.
“There’s a lot of pressure to be the picture-perfect mom — to be thin and make the best recipes and throw the best parties (all while) being supportive of your husband and have the best-looking children,” Hansen tells EastIdahoNews.com. “Moms who choose not to work often feel the ‘OK, but what else do you do?’ judgments coming their way.”
Two and a half years ago, Hansen decided she needed a creative outlet and started designing T-shirts.
“I come up with phrases and sell (shirts) with those phrases on them,” Hansen says. “We figured out how we might go about getting shirts printed and started selling to family and friends at first.”
Hansen ran the business out of the basement of her home initially, but through word of mouth, the idea quickly took off and eventually became an online business.
“I definitely saw a need for more options for moms when it comes to everyday clothes,” Hansen says. “As a mother, your body changes a lot. When you have a baby, (your body) is not what it was before. I went on the hunt for the perfect fitting T-shirt, and moms really responded to the words I was putting on them.”
Phrases such as “Mama Power,” “Mom Squad,” and “Raising a little gentleman” adorn her shirts. Hansen says her boys were the inspiration behind many of the phrases. Today she processes more than 1,000 orders a month through her website Littlemamashirtshop.com. Since launching her website, her inventory has grown to include tank tops, sweaters, sweat pants and ball caps.
But her company is about much more than shirts. It’s about motherhood.
“I feel passionate about defending motherhood — the joys, the sorrows, the ups and downs, the highs and lows,” Hansen says. “My tagline for my clothing business is ‘Celebrating motherhood one shirt at a time. I thought (my business) was a really cool way to tell people, without telling people, who (I am) and what (I) do because it’s printed on (my) shirt.”
Through her business, Hansen strives to show women it’s possible to achieve their dreams while being a mom at the same time. She recently started teaching mothers how to grow their own businesses from home through a series of classes.
“I’m really feeling a pull towards teaching other moms how to do what I’ve done in whatever their passion or industry is. Some of the people in our classes make earrings or baby swaddles,” says Hansen. “You really can build a successful, profitable business working three to four hours a day.”
The four week course is open to any mom who wishes to attend. The cost is $120. There isn’t currently a way to register, but Hansen says you can go to her website and sign up for her email list. More information will be sent via email soon. You can also follow the Little Mama Shirt Shop on Facebook and Instagram.
To mothers who may feel overly critical of themselves, but feel they want something more out of life, Hansen’s advice is to go for it.
“Do the thing that scares you,” she says. “As a mother, sometimes you put yourself in a box and feel like you’re only allowed to do motherhood now. But you gain so much satisfaction by working on something for yourself.”
Hansen also has some advice for those who are critical of stay-at-home moms.
“(Being a mom) is the most important job. We are raising the next generation. We’re doing the best we can, and we all have the same goal, which is to raise happy, healthy kids.”
Click here to learn more about Hansen’s business.