Celebrating Real Catholic Women: Shannon Wendt
This week, we celebrate the lovely and talented Shannon Wendt, creator and proprietor of Organic Mama’s Shop. I first met Shannon on the Saturday night dance floor at Edel. Since our dance-off in Austin (she obviously brought her “A” game), we’ve gotten to know each other more the old-fashioned way – via Facebook. I knew that Shannon has a heart the size of Texas, but I wanted to know more about her and Organic Mama. You’ll want to be sure and read through to the end for an exclusive special promotion available for Real Catholic Mom readers!
Real Catholic Mom: Hi, Shannon! Thanks for being here! Can you tell the readers a little about the inspiration behind Organic Mama’s Shop?
Shannon Wendt: No problem! I’m so excited to share my stuff. Thanks for giving me a chance! I started my shop because I really love to give (and receive!) handmade gifts. I love the real person aspect of it! Time is precious, and when you spend it creating something for someone else, that means something.
RCM: So, how did it all begin? Did you just wake up and decide, “I am going to take the jewelry world by storm?”
SW: Back in 2008, I started with nursing jewelry. My products all started out as gifts I would give friends at baby showers and people kept encouraging me to sell them. So, one day, I opened an Etsy shop and it took off like a rocket!
I’ve recently launched a new line of Catholic Mama jewelry and those products were born out of a personal need. I used to pray the rosary daily before I had kids. But as the babies started coming, my day got a lot less predictable and quiet prayer time was elusive. Also, as the little ones got bigger, the rosaries got moved out of reach. And out of sight, out of mind … so I created my Rosary Bracelets so that I would have a constant reminder to pray! I designed it to be durable. It can withstand the attention of my toddler, but still looks beautiful. Also, I added a unique feature – the movable crucifix charm. I hardly have 15-20 quiet minutes to finish a rosary, but finding 5 minutes here and there is totally doable. The movable charm can be clipped to the place I left off.
RCM: A movable charm to keep track is ingenious! My Swiss cheese Mama brain loves this concept so much. Now, the Rosary Bracelet – is that your favorite product, personally?
SW: My Rosary Bracelet is definitely my favorite; specifically the green turquoise! It’s bright and fun and just a little funky. I feel like that’s really me. A simple tool used to grow faith, but with a touch of spunk that can’t be missed.
RCM: Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a lil bit o’ spunk! I like it. So, you’ve got rosaries as part of your product line; your Catholic faith really seems to inspire your work.
SW: Even before I created Catholic jewelry, my faith has always been front and center in my business. I tucked it into every nook and cranny of my shop and print material. When expectant customers contacted me with questions or custom orders, I always let them know I was praying for them. And my name has a lot to do with my faith. I often get asked why I chose “Organic Mama’s Shop” as my name. It started as a joke. I bought organic before it was hip! And my more mainstream friends referred to me as the Organic Mama, and it stuck. But when it came time to name my shop, I prayed on this. And I realized what “organic” meant to me. It wasn’t just the food I buy and the products I use; I realized that what it really meant was living a lifestyle that sought to live, love, grow, and create in a way that God intended.
Also, I’m passionate about helping struggling Moms. The Visitation is my favorite story in the Bible! Moms need each other! I’m glad to be able to help them in a small way through my products, but also 10% of my profits go to support HELP, my local crisis pregnancy center.
RCM: That is so awesome! The Visitation is my favorite mystery of the rosary! And St. Elizabeth was my Confirmation Saint. So, if you could spend the day with any one saint, Shannon, who would it be, and why?
SW: Undoubtedly St. Joan of Arc! There are other Saints I love. But her life seems the most exciting. She is my Confirmation Saint because I’ve never been one to follow the crowd or let injustice go. I’ve never (sometimes to my detriment!) been one to give up on a fight! The thought of being one chosen by God to lead an army and fight injustice is exciting! I know her story is a little less than glamorous and didn’t end pretty. But if I get to choose the Saint, can I also pick the day? (RCM: You go, girl!) I’d love to ride along with her to Chinon where she picks the king out of the crowd and relays to him the secret sign that her Saintly counsel gave her. How it must have felt to be plucked up and set straight on the path of God’s mission for you and have such clear confirmation from Him!
RCM: I know it sure would be nice if God had a text plan, but that hasn’t happened yet, so … Anyway, is there anything else about you that the Real Catholic Mom readers should know, Organic Mama?
SW: I was gonna say something funny, like, I have misophonia- an extreme intolerance of the sound of people eating. But what I really want your readers to know is that I could use some prayer. I’m currently nine weeks pregnant and we’ve lost our last three little ones. Each one was physically and emotionally more and more difficult. So this mixture of excitement and anxiety can be a little overwhelming. I just want God’s perfect will for this child, and He hasn’t filled me in on what that plan is yet.
RCM: Well, we will definitely pray for you, Shannon! God bless you! Won’t we, readers??
I told you she is a sweetheart! Shannon also says that all her items come with a lifetime repair and replacement promise. Shipping is free for orders of $50 or more, and 10% of each order goes to the HELP Pregnancy Resource Center. You can find Organic Mama’s here, on Etsy and Facebook. And, for a limited time (until September 5, 2014), use discount code REALCATHOLIC and receive 25% off your order!
P.S. Here we are on the dance floor at Edel, having a blast Real Catholic Organic Mama style.