Friends, I had the best day yesterday. After a rough week (computer problems, car troubles, lots of talking about schools and vaccines), it was such a gift. When I get busy, I tend to put my blog on a shelf. Since it doesn’t feed my family, it’s the first thing to go when I’m in a time crunch. But yesterday, I was finally able to dive back into this space that I love so much and it just filled me up. Being able to do what I love made me think it was the perfect time to introduce Shannon Buth to you here.
Some of you may already know Shannon, a Chicago-based mom to four little boys, who is the mastermind behind the imperfect heart that has become a favorite logo in my closet. She runs a business called House of Shan from her home with her husband Greg.
“I’ve always had a love for fashion,” Shannon says. “I made a career out of my passion, and worked for a California-based clothing company for most of my 20’s, and then was the very first stylist at Trunk Club.”
In 2019, while staying at home with her boys, Shannon launched a blog called “House of Shan” where she could talk about fashion and fun. She also wanted to share some of the lessons she learned from when her Mom had passed away a few years before.
“When my Mom was very sick, a dear friend gifted us both bracelets that had the words ‘live what you love’ engraved on them,” she says. “So simple, but those four words resonated with me so deeply. I realized I couldn’t take a single day for granted. I needed to live with passion, laugh everyday, love deeply, lift others up, and I couldn’t ever quit my daydream. In fact, I wrote these very words down when I was first creating my brand and have never looked back. It came from my heart and I continue to incorporate all those messages in everything I do.”
It wasn’t long into having her blog that Shannon created a sweatshirt with her logo of an imperfect heart stitched in the corner. She calls her collection “Live What You Love” (LWYL). In many ways, the LWYL collection is a love letter to her Mom’s life.
“I first sold this sweatshirt at a holiday market and people seemed to really like them,” she says. “I decided to give $5 from each sweatshirt I sold to a homeless shelter near where we live. When I gave them our donation, they made me feel like it was all of the money in the world. I had just done this little thing but they made me feel like the difference I was making was real.”
So in January 2020, Shannon decided to expand her brand and add a few more sweatshirts and products to her House of Shan offerings.
“I had no idea of what I was really getting into and could never have predicted the year that I was starting my company in,” says Shannon of the pandemic. “But in some ways, it was perfect timing. People really embraced the brand and wanting to connect with family and friends in a meaningful way. 2020 made it so hard for us to be with our loved ones, but gifting from House of Shan was a way to do this.”
In addition to tapping into her love of fashion designing new apparel items, Shannon is still giving back. She donates $5 from each purchase to a new charity that she chooses monthly (last month, it was the Children’s Heart Foundation and in March, she’s donating to The Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas, Texas, which was directly impacted by last month’s unprecedented winter storm). To date, Shannon has raised $25,000 for her charities. (This is mind-blowing to me, considering she only started in January 2020, and has had her four little boys e-learning from home nearly this entire time!)
Shannon ships each package herself and includes a handwritten note from her. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing women, men, and children proudly wearing and sharing the imperfect heart and spreading a message of love,” Shannon says. “There is so much power in having an idea and going for it. It’s not always going to be perfect, but it’s okay to figure it out as you go. I still can’t believe that this is what I set out to do and now it’s happening. It’s a crazy cool moment.”