Local stay-at-home mom finds booming success online

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by Jenny Suniga / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @jennysuniga

kens5.com

Posted on October 27, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 27 at 10:24 PM

It’s the life every mom dreams of: staying home and having a career.

One New Braunfels mother found a way to make money online, and now her business is exploding.

On any given morning Shauna Hursh can be found tending to her two young daughters, McCoy and Italia.

"My day is usually spent with my kids. Then when they nap, I try to be Superwoman in those hours," Shauna said.
 
While her kids are sleeping, the 34-year mother is running a successful online clothing business out of her garage.
 
"I never could've imagined bringing both worlds together," she said. "I thought I was going to have to pick."

Shauna always dreamed of having a career in the fashion world, but once she and her husband Donnie started a family, she chose to say at home with the kids.

However, she never gave up on her dreams.
 
"Plans changed, and I just said why don't I try this from home? And I just really had faith that God was going to provide for us."
 
Shauna decided to try her hand at selling her one-of-kind clothing creations online, sewn from thrift-store scraps and vintage blankets.
 
"I dabbled on Ebay at first, but then someone said, ‘Why don’t you try Etsy. It’s more homemade and right up your alley,’” the mom explained.
 
In 2006 Shauna joined Etsy and opened her clothing boutique “Poor Pitiful Pearl.”

"I just wanted to bring in a little more income so it would take the weight off of me staying at home," she said.
 
Shauna started with just a few items for women and children, and modeled the clothes herself.  She sold just a few things a week at first.
 
"I was just so happy when something would sell," she said. "I was just happy when the page would get a hit, that someone would look at it."
 
Before she knew it, Shauna could barely keep up with the orders. Even country star Miranda Lambert chose one of Shauna’s vest for a photo spread in People magazine.
 
"In the last couple of years I could not have manufactured, predicted or planned what has happened," Shauna said.

For a few months, when the recession hit and her husband was laid off from work, the family lived off Shauna’s earnings.
 
Shauna says in the six years since she started her online business she has gone from an average of $400 in sales to $6,500 a month. Her business is flourishing so much she has hired and assistant to help with the workload.
 
Shauna’s on track to rake in $72,000 for the year. About half of the profits go towards supplies, and the other half she pockets.
 
"It's not easy money. I mean, I definitely have to juggle the staying at home and fitting in the hours to make a unique work schedule, but it's worth it," said Shauna.
 
Shauna says she couldn’t pull off the business without the help of her husband.

“I have a really supportive husband," she explained. "He comes home and he’s an amazing cook. He helps me take the kids to the park, and then I go back to the studio and sew as much as I can."

She credits much of her success to Etsy.com, a marketplace for artists and their handmade goods.

The site was started in 2005. It now has more than 800,000 thousand sellers. A majority of them are women.

“The internet has been a huge vehicle. This would be a different business without the internet," Shauna pointed out.
 
The ever-popular Facebook is also playing a role in Shauna’s success.
 
"When I look at the Google analytics and how many people are brought over to my site from Facebook alone, it's just been a great advertising tool," she said.
 
Shauna now has photo shoots with models, and boutique owners from around the country are ordering her clothes. Yet every day is still focused around her children.
 
'I feel very blessed that I get to raise my children and run a business," she said.

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