On August 27, 2015 I had the pleasure of meeting one of the sweetest moms in business by the name of Shaunna Thuet. I met her during a Pass the Cast event on Periscope. During this live broadcast I was introduced to a product known as Bowquet. A bowquet is a play on the word bouquet.
Each bowquet comes in an arrangement that resembles a floral bouquet. There are different, personalized themes that come with one headband. This smart idea takes having multiple headbands and simplifies it. Each bow is detachable and can be mixed and matched.
Shaunna’s story of how and why she started this business is inspirational. She is the perfect example of how a mom can use her story, passions, and talents to create her own business. Here is the interview with Shauuna.
Where are you from? What is the name of your business and when did it start?
Hi, my name is Shaunna Thuet. I am the creator of Bowquet Gifts. My daughter Keegan and I started this in April of 2014.
What prompted you start your business?
There were numerous reasons why we started. The most important being able to stay at home with my children and to help provide a source of income was very important to me. I owned a hair salon for about 12 years. It feels like it was yesterday. We signed the lease on my 22nd birthday just two short weeks after graduating beauty school. Was I nuts or what?
|Little Sister, Big Sister Bowquet|
I have always followed my instinct. Ninety percent of the time I think I get it right.
One hundred percent of any profits that we make goes towards medical expenses for Chance and Rylan. They just turned 3 and developed twin to twin syndrome in utero. They came 8 weeks early or premature. Chance and Rylan are survivors because against all odds they made it.
When I went in and confirmed my pregnancy at just 5 weeks they told me there were two heartbeats. I went in thinking I was having a miscarriage with one baby but to leave and find out there are two; and they both had heart beats at just 5 weeks old. I was so shocked but in a good way. They looked concerned when doing the ultrasound and I SAT there and waited for what was about to come. They asked me to get dressed after about five different people came in and looked at my ultrasound. Suddenly the excited butterflies started wearing off as they realized they were just talking amongst each other. When I asked if something was wrong they said to go ahead and get dressed; and go back out to the waiting room. Someone will come get you shortly. I thought I was going to be sick. I just knew something was wrong. Well at that time I was told that my twins were mono-mono which means there was no membrane separating them. The chance of cord entanglement was extremely high and I believe they said only about 40% of these type of pregnancies can survive. Then they asked if I would like to terminate the pregnancy. My heart was crushed. How could they even mention that. I was mortified. The second I saw those two little heart beats on the monitor I knew that I was in love. How could I not fight for them when they were already so strong. I knew in my heart that it was meant to be and decided anything that happens will be alright. We’ll handle it as a family and love them because they will be perfect to us.
The money [from the sells] goes towards therapies, surgery and medical expenses, and just recently genetic testing. They spent a couple months in the NICU and are doing good. They are the happiest two little boys you will ever see. In fact everyone constantly tells me how happy and smiley they are which makes me feel so wonderful because I know I’m doing something right.
They fill my heart with joy and make me proud everyday. But they have a very long road ahead of them. I am now blessed enough to stay home and I’ve been able to create another business. I’ve come to realize I have to be in control over something. Life has thrown us some curve balls but this I can control.
|Happy Birthday Bowquet|
How long did it take for you to reach the level of success that you are seeing now?
So it’s been about a year and a half or, close to it, since this venture has started. I created my first bouquet for a little girl who had a severe peanut allergy and we had made gift baskets for all of the girls. One of the lotions had almond extract in it, unbeknownst to me. Her mom is amazing and saw that there was almond extract in it. I felt so terrible that we had that and we didn’t have anything to give her. When I asked my daughter what does she like she said mommy she loves hair bows. Wanting to stay in the gift basket theme we decided to try to create a gift basket of hair bows. Then I thought how much it kind of looked like a bouquet of flowers. The idea was born.
I begin posting on Facebook and people started going crazy!
The interesting part is they also wanted to know more about Chance and Rylan. So, we begin sharing our journey documenting everything–therapies doctors appointments etc. I started in at the shop a few months after that and did pretty well. Then ventured into a single craft fair. People went crazy! So then I decided it was time to have my own website for BowquetGifts.com
|Peppa Pig Bowquet|
How does your passions fit with your business?
My goal is to provide them [her children] with their own kind of normal. Whatever that may be. At home is where I am needed right now and I am very happy to do so.
How did your headbands get featured on the TODAY Show?
Well, when I open my Etsy shop I started getting a little bit of buzz. In February a very sweet lady purchased a Princess inspired gift from me. Her name is Jene Luciani. She is the author of a New York Best seller book called The Bra Book. She is a style expert that regularly appears on all the talk shows.
She really liked the gift and posted it on her Instagram and I had noticed an increase in traffic. I kept in touch with her via Facebook and realized we had a lot in common. That was back in February. Then about a month ago I woke up one morning to find a notification on my Facebook page where she had posted a comment asking if I would be interested in making some hair bows for the TODAY Show. I tried to keep my cool and act casual. But inside I was squealing with excitement! I responded with yes and of course. I had no idea if my name would even be mentioned. She said everybody loved them .
I actually had no idea my name was going to be mentioned at all. She was supposed to have, I think, 5 minutes of airtime and it got cut to 2 minutes. But she still managed to talk about my business.
It has been a real blessing. All of the hard work and nights missing my lazy time with my family paid off. She didn’t have to help me but for whatever reason thank God she did.
Her story and business has inspired me. One simple, yet beautiful idea is being used to serve her family and she is bringing awareness to her sons’ condition.
Shaunna is offering everyone 20% off their purchases if you sign up for her mailing list. You can sign up here .