While searching for unique bloomer options for our daughters, Maisie and Nory, we found ourselves coming up short on options for funky and fun patterns. That's how we found Stephanie of Happy Shombey! Her bloomer business has since evolved into the sweetest bells, rompers, and funky tops, but she still has some of the best bloomers in the biz (and in all sizes!) We're so excited to introduce her and her brand, Happy Shombey. Learn more about her below!
When did you start your business and why?
July 2015! I started making our daughter little bloomers in all different prints because it's so hot here. I had lots of people asking me to make them some, and I thought it would be a cool way to make some extra money.
What is the meaning behind your shop name?
My husband has always made up a lot of different nicknames for our daughter. Some have stuck with her, and some she grew out of. Shombey was one of them.
What inspires you?
Texture first. Then I see how I want to use it on our daughter. If I can envision putting it on Irie, I make it!
What did you do before joining the handmade world?
I was a retail sales and operations manager for Lucky Brand and then Sephora.
What is your greatest struggle with your business?
My turn around time + balancing my shop and life at home. Life gets crazy and owning a shop gets crazy. There are times when I really don't look forward to stepping in my work room. Then I have some kind of smack of reality reminding me that I get to work from home, and I get to work on my own schedule. I always try to stay self critical of my opportunities, but I've found that balancing home and shop should be the biggest priority. It never fails that when you dump too much time/energy into one, the other begins to demand your attention. It's a never ending struggle. At the end of the day, things happen and you cannot be 100% in both roles at the same time. Sometimes this requires you to swallow your pride, and own up to your short comings. I've had to do this as a shop owner and as a wife/mom.
What is your favorite part of your business?
Freedom + Friendship. There are times when I have to really get with it and crank it out, but it's not often I have to miss out on things with our family because of it. I'm home with our daughter so I'm not missing any milestones, and I'm also "meeting" some REALLY fantastic people in this community. From shop owners to reps and customers- I've had the pleasure of getting to know the most creative and loyal people I've ever come across. I say this all the time, but how many huge retail/corporate companies can say they have customers buying their product AND style it to take photos for social media posts??? Not very many! The handmade community is really an amazing group of people.
What’s one unique/quirky/funny thing about yourself?
I have a toe thumb. You know those short cut off looking thumbs? I have just one. Both of my dad's thumbs are stumpy like that. My mom has a normal set of thumbs. I got one of each.
Thinking into the future, where do you see yourself and your business going?
The plan is to go teach special education once our kids are both in school. I'm open to my business doing well enough to sustain me a bit longer. I'm not super interested in being self employed as a career though.
What is your favorite thing to do in down time or to relax?
Relax: I like to cuddle up and watch movies or a good tv show.
What is one piece of advice you could give someone who wants to start their own handmade brand?
Be yourself and make what you're passionate about. Don't make something to sell just because you think people will buy it. If you always make what you love, then having a butt ton of orders won't suck the joy out of it.
What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever made?
I honestly think it's still bloomers! I've evolved them over the years to fit my own needs (because babies grow up 😭), but the fact that I know I can do that for our now 4 year old daughter is pretty cool! I wish I could relive that entire process.
How can customers browse your goods?
You can find me on instagram at @happyshombey, or online at www.happyshomey.com