This week I am so proud to feature Amanda from The Love More Shop. I had the honor of meeting this mama in person, on our trip to Oregon this past fall, and she is just as incredible in person as she is on the internet. She is doing something truly magical with her shop, with a portion of the proceeds going into the Love Fund to send a lucky couple out on dates, and she also features writers on her blog in her The Love More Letters series. She is desined for greatness and I know she will reach it, she has a vision and we just love her (and her products)! Go shop and support this lovely mama and her family!
I started The Love More Shop in mid July after coming up with the idea 6 weeks prior. I use Instagram as my main social media platform but we are also on Facebook and Twitter!
I am a mama to a one-year-old wild boy, step mama to a wise 6 year old, and woman to an eccentric, often bearded man. We live in the little city of Portland, OR and plan to move back to my hometown to start a small farm and retreat center in the future.
Currently I am selling apparel, jewelry (a beautiful minimalist gold bar necklace that says "love more"), totes and a few digital products. However I know that the company will evolve quickly as it grows and I am excited to see what that means! I don’t imagine selling shirts forever – I imagine this turning into something bigger than that.
I started with the shirts because I wanted to create the Love More brand and thought apparel would be a simple place to start. It all happened quite quickly. I bought a small screen printer, learned how to print, and went for it. After my first few batches I realized that opening a business and handling all that comes with that on my own on top of taking care of a family and working two other part time jobs meant I should find someone else to screen print for me! So, now I have a screen printing company helping me out with the physical printing but everything else is all me. Time is a funny thing isn't it? Somehow we make time for what we need to make time for. I decided to start with one design so I wasn't constantly needing to create new art work. That's time consuming and my energy is better spent getting the word out than creating a bunch of different products and designs with no one to buy anything. Besides, I have a love affair with simplicity and the goal of this business is not to create more stuff but build a brand around an important mission and message.
The mission of Love More is to give back to parents so they can nurture their love. A portion of the proceeds from each item sold go into a Love Fund and each time the Love Fund reaches $100 we will have a contest via instagram and send the winning couple the money so they can go out together and nurture their love. Raising kind and empathetic humans starts in a loving home and with loving parents so we want to help - be it a small simple way. It’s easy to love your kids, but not always easy to love your partner. Am I right? When our baby boy was a few months old our friends gave us $100 to go out on a date. It was such a thoughtful and unexpected gesture that really touched our hearts. We were broke but (DESPERATELY) needed some time out together and were able to escape one evening for a couple of hours together. (We pretended we didn't know each other and drank too much.) This inspired us to pass the love on by helping other parents with a night out together. Single parents can enter too and use the money to nurture themselves with something special.
I always imagined I would be a predominantly stay at home mom and then when I got pregnant with my son I realized to make that a reality I would have to find another way to make money or live on solely beans and rice. I have a BA in women's studies and a BA in interior design and was working in the design industry when my son was born. I didn't want to go back into that world unless it was in a position where I felt like I was doing something good for the world. I'm not interested in wasting my time and I didn't want to take time away from my son and put all my energy into something that didn't have meaning to me. Not that design is not awesome and so very important – but it had to be the right job for me and I wasn’t finding anything worthy of leaving my baby. I am also a yoga teacher and wanted to put more energy into that instead of devoting 40+ hours a week to a desk job.
“Love More” has been my mantra for a few years now - always a reminder when I am feeling angry, frustrated or overwhelmed. So when the idea for this business started to form it seemed natural. It's fairly easy to be kind and non-reactive when you are single or have few responsibilities - at least it was for me. But when you have a family everything changes and loving more becomes so vital on a daily basis for your family to thrive or sometimes simply survive.
Since I only opened shop in July this isn't really helping to support our family financially just yet but I hope it will down the road! It has however made the love more message a huge part of all of our lives and something we think about and try to live by daily. It also has meant that we, already introspective people spend a lot more time pondering the meaning of life, love, awareness, kindness, and truth more often. I would much rather be living frugally spending my time creating something good that both helps people and sends a good message than making a lot of money and doing something that didn’t make my heart happy. We are mainly selling apparel now but I hope it will evolve into something much bigger than that so that we can help more people, more families, in as many ways that we can.
It’s rough running a startup business alone while taking care of a family so I constantly have to remind myself to breathe deeply. I cherish nap times and have started to do babysitting exchanges with my friend to have some time to focus. Otherwise I have to wait until everyone is asleep at night to really focus. But it’s worth it because I love that I am running my own business and can make all the decisions. It’s so fun to imagine something and then make it happen. I feel so blessed to have so much support from the mama community on Instagram too. It’s awesome to see other people excited about this company and the mission. I can’t wait to start sending people out on dates regularly! That is going to be so much fun.
If I had to pick a favorite item from my shop I would say the necklaces. I collaborated with my friend and jewelry maker to create them and think they turned out beautifully. They are minimalistic and elegant and a staple piece in any fashion savvy mama’s wardrobe.
Image from thelovemoreshop.com
If I gave advice to a mompreneur I would say to be authentic. I wanted to start a business that “gave back” but that wasn’t generic. I thought about my own life and what mattered to me. Making sure my family didn’t suffer because my partner and I weren’t loving each other enough was at the top of the list; so I thought, why not try and help other couples love each other during these (often broke) years of new parenthood. Oh, and find someone to watch your little ones for at least a few hours a week (I am still working on this) so you can work without someone crying, pulling on you, throwing food, needing a nap, pooping their pants every 3 minutes. It also helps you create work time and separate family time where you can be fully present with your little ones.
Thanks Amanda! xoxo
Thanks Amanda! xoxo