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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Shop & Support Moms - Jane Brekke - Little Linden Herbals

I am so happy that I attended the southern Maine Mom and Baby Expo a couple of weekends ago. I've wanted to go for years but it never worked out. So happy this time I did, because I met so many great hard working mom-preneurs who I could feature on the blog this month in our Shop & Support Mom series!

Jane Brekke of Little Linden Herbals is one of those moms who I found her information at the Expo. She is a local Maine mother who creates spectacular herbal items for the whole family but specifically for moms and babies. I am so intrigued by her work and know you will be, too. I think these would make wonderful baby shower gifts, but also for new moms home from the hospital or even holiday gifts for daycare providers, etc.

Please take a look at her site!

Thank you for sharing, Jane!

MOMS: discount below!

Images shared from Jane Brekke

1. How did you start your business? 
I started by making herbal products and doing consultations for family and friends really.  This turned into making products and doing consultations for friends of friends, etc.  I also made a lot of products for my daughter when she was born and ended up giving a lot of them for other moms to try. 

Why did you want your own business? 
I wanted to stay at home with my daughter as much as possible but still work toward shifting my career and making some extra money.

When did you start your business? 
Technically last November, but it was slowly starting months before that. 

2. Why was owning a business a perfect situation for you and your family? 
Honestly, it isn’t a perfect situation at all!!  It’s very hard at times and stressful and I often wonder if it’s all worth it.  At the end of the day though, I have been with my daughter more than if I worked outside of the home and her energy goes into everything I make which I think is very meaningful and apropos to what I do.

3. What does your business specialize in? 

I specialize in handmade organic and/or wildcrafted, herbal products and individual herbal consultations.  I started making products for mommas and babies but I have branched out and make everyday products as well.  I make herbal teas, salves, room sprays, lip balms, nipple cream, healing wash and other products for babies.

What's your favorite product? 
That’s a hard one!  I think the Soulshine Spray is my favorite.  It has Linden Flower Essence in it which is said to, amongst many other things, help connect mothers to their babies. 

How'd you come up with the name? 
Linden is a beautiful, magical, medicinal tree.  There was one growing outside of my childhood home in West Virginia.  My daughter’s middle name is Linden.  I put a little bit of Linden in all of the products that I make.  

4. What do you love best about working for yourself? 
No one is judging my creativity but me!  It's really easy to experience a sense of flow when I get to do things 100% my own way.

5. When working, When do you work in the day/evening? 
I work during my daughter’s naps, after she goes to bed, on the weekends and sometimes in the middle of the afternoon with her right by my side.

What's your process for working? Things you do daily, a routine? 
No routine when it comes to work!  It’s a lot of cramming things in when time allows.  When I do get time to make products I am very careful to create a good space to do it.  I want my intentions to be clear when I make things and I want my products to be the highest quality that I can produce.

6. Take me step by step through working with customers. Do you do anything special or unique, wrapping, specials, etc.?

Working with customers starts with honesty above all else.  I’m not trying to make a fast buck with my products.  I want people to buy products and services that can either help them or bring them joy.  If I don’t think my product or service is right for them I am quick to say so.  

I offer doula discounts and I try to do free shipping offers every once in a while.  I also do free drop offs at Seacoast Birth Matters in Kittery, ME.  I hate for people to pay for shipping when they live locally so I try to accommodate that as best I can.  I do the York, ME Summer and Winter Farmers Market as well.  I don’t sell my mama and baby products there but will bring orders there and do keep mama and baby products behind the table in case anyone is interested. 

7. What is your success rate? 
I think for a first year business I’m successful enough.  I’m not a business person and I don’t know what true measurements of success should be for my situation but I’m happy with how things are going.

What do you think customers would say about your work, shop? 
I think most people enjoy my presentation of products.  I do often hear people say they use my product “every day!” which always makes me smile.  The majority of people that have had consultations with me continue to use my services and I feel connected to them as not only clients but also friends. 

8. Why do you think people should shop in your store or buy your product that you create, and why should they support moms who work for themselves? 
People should buy my products if they value high quality, handmade, chemical free, teas and skin care products.  I am very picky about the sources for all of my ingredients!  I want things first safe, second fresh and third made or grown with the best intentions.  

Supporting all mothers in general should be everyone’s first priority. The truth is that ALL moms need support when it comes to making a living!  I think we are all just trying to do what is best for our families and ourselves.  Supporting mothers whom work for themselves is a great way to show, with your dollars, that you value women who are brave enough to take on the demands of both parenthood and business simultaneously.  Being a stay at home mom was the hardest work I had ever done…until I became a stay at home working mom!! 

10. How does your business allow you to be a great mother? 
I get to be with my daughter a majority of the time while doing something I love.  I believe that our children can feel our joy and that gets passed along to her when I am working.  I also believe in the products I make and she gets slathered in them daily!  

11. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you? 
I am a complete introvert.  I really have to push myself to do things like Farmers Markets or just general self-promotion.  I hate promoting myself!!  Even doing this blog interview is taking me out of my comfort zone.  I believe, however, that feeling uncomfortable is a catalyst for growth so it's worth it! 

12. What is the coolest thing you've ever experienced as part of working with this business? 
I worked with a mom that confessed to me that she was completely skeptical about working with an herbalist.  She was suffering from intense anxiety amongst other things.  We worked to together to come up with ways to incorporate herbs into her daily diet in a way that was nourishing, yummy and fun too! She ended up experiencing so many positive outcomes and was so enthusiastic about her results.  I felt so grateful to be a part of her health team!!

13. What is one of your favorite gifts to give someone for the holidays? 
I love giving my teas as gifts!  So yummy and comforting.  

14. How many kids do you have? Give us one word to describe them.
I have one daughter.  Magic!

15. Contact information- email address, phone number, web site, blog, social media, etc. 


I am happy to offer 15% off from now until January 1st 2017!  Enter MOM at checkout.  I am always happy to drop ordered items at Seacoast Birth Matters in Kittery, ME as well.  You can enter the code DROPOFF at checkout to waive shipping charges and then send me an email to arrange a pick up.

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