This summer we are thrilled to feature some local moms who are thinking outside the box and making a difference in our community through the businesses they own, organizations they are involved with, and work they do.
Brooke Happe started b.e. Happe Designs in 2016. We are obsessed with her colorful hand-knit hats and love that she donates a hat to Blank Children’s Hospital for every hat she sells!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I grew up in Northwest Iowa, played college soccer up there and then moved to Des Moines to get my Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Des Moines University. I have been married to my husband Jeff for 10 years this July. We have two boys who are 6 and 4 years and a daughter who is 2 years old.
What do you consider the biggest challenge of motherhood to be? The biggest joy?
My biggest challenge of motherhood is self-doubt. It’s easy to compare yourself to others especially with the presence of social media. There are so many different factors or lifestyles that people encourage you to try or push on you. I feel it’s easy to question yourself as a mother, parent, wife, caregiver, and all the other hats we put on as part of motherhood. I have come to the realization and self-confidence to remember that something that works for you, doesn’t work for another family. And that’s ok.
My biggest joy of motherhood is seeing my children grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
b.e.happe Designs started in February of 2016. I stepped away from physical therapy in 2015 to be a stay-at-home mom. I have always been a life-long learner, and I wanted to learn something new to keep my hands strong since I wouldn’t be working full time. I taught myself to crochet and then to knit. I would make things for people then the items started to get popular and I was getting more requests. I decided to start the shop in 2016. It was important for me to have my family be apart of the business and so we donate a handmade hat to Blank Children’s Hospital with each item purchased.
What’s the best part about being your own boss?
Flexibility is definitely the best part. I knit/crochet during naptime or after my kids go to bed. I am able to to be the mom during the day and be present with them and then get work done when they are sleeping.
What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
Being by yourself! It’s a great flexibility to be able to make your own decisions and do the things you have envisioned, however sometimes it would be nice to have someone to talk through things. I have really found a great community of other makers and businesswomen who I can talk to about the struggles and successes so that helps a lot!
What advice do you have for moms who want to start a business?
Don’t hesitate. Go for it and never look back. You never want to regret NOT doing something. If you fail that’s ok, you can look back and say you tried your hardest and it simply wasn’t meant to be. At least you know you went for it and won’t have to say ‘what if’ in the future. There are so many resources and online communities that can help you get through tough times and encourage you.
What is something you wish you had known when you started?
Looking back I wish I had known or had the confidence to do what I had envisioned. In the beginning, I felt like I needed to use neutral colors to fit in. But that totally wasn’t and isn’t me, I love bright, bold colors and designs with faux fur. I want to make something that someone sees on the street or in a store and is drawn to it because they feel confident and stand out in it.
What’s the last show you watched, thing you listened to, or book you read?
Business Boutique by Christy Wright
Des Moines Favorites:
Favorite spot for a date night: We love day dates at Brightside Kitchen
Best place to take kids: Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Favorite summer activity: Area Farmers Markets
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Anywhere warm
How/where do you relax: Beautycounter face mask and knitting in bed after kids are asleep
If your life had a hashtag, what would it be? #createlearnexplore
Check out our Des Moines Moms Movers & Shakers series from last summer.
Know a Des Moines mom we should feature? Let us know! Email [email protected] with details and we will be in touch.