Feature Chik: BethAnn Hanson
We're so excited to introduce you to one of the most cheerful boutiques on the North Shore, The Happy Sunflower. Run by the incredible BethAnn, The Happy Sunflower has everything you could ever need!
Tell us a bit about your company! What do you do? What is your mission?
The Happy Sunflower is a cute little gift shop on Pickering Wharf in Salem. We feature Great Gifts, Amazing Card Lines and Nostalgic Candy. A super cute place to visit & find something you will love.
My goal with The Happy Sunflower was to become the go to shop on the North Shore for your gift giving needs. From Baby to Birthday, Pets to Thinking of You, Kitchen and Accessories, I try to have a little of everything so you can put together the perfect combination of thoughtfulness and fun. As a bonus, we have great gift wrap, so when you leave here, your gift is ready to give. My mission has always been that I don't bring in things that I don't use or love. I think being 100% behind the products I bring in and having integrity in their pricing is more important in the long run. My customers appreciate that I really try to find the best quality items I can. I really like to know who I'm buying from so learning about the companies I want to buy from is a must. Finding out why someone sells/makes their products is important...knowing someone is passionate about their products makes me feel good about my decision to buy from them. About 80% of the items, I sell are Made in the USA which is important to me...I'm helping local artists sell their wares and achieve their small business dream and they are helping me provide my customers with unique and handmade items...it's a win win.
What does it mean to you to be a small business owner on the North Shore?
I grew up on the North Shore in Lynn and have been living in Peabody now for 15 years. It's a great little community to grow and live in. I knew I wanted to open up a shop in Salem because I wanted to be in a place that people visited all year long. Pickering Wharf has been around for so long, and I have fond memories coming here with my family as a kid and loving that there were so many great little shops in one place. Opening up a shop in the same place that I visited and loved is surreal. I knew I wanted to create a cute little shop that people would stop in every time they visited Salem, becoming part of their family memories, just like mine.
What is your favorite part of being a business owner?
I'm living out my childhood dream. Being able to work for myself and providing a great life for me and my dog, Lucy is unreal.
When you were growing up, what is your ultimate dream job? If it's this, how does it feel to have met your dream?! If it was something different, how did your dream change over time?
Owning a cute little shop that people come from all over to visit is absolutely amazing! It is certainly not without its challenges and uncertainty at times but through trial and error, highs and lows, I've kinda figured it out as I go. The fact that I get to do this every day and that it has provided me a wonderful life can make me tear up just thinking about how far I've come. From making ornaments in my parent's basement, selling my wares at craft fairs all around the North Shore for 18 years to having a storefront in Salem for the last 12 years, it IS an absolute dream true. I absolutely love what I do.
Every business owner faces challenges. How are you empowered to overcome yours?
Being forced to close for 3+ months because of a Pandemic with no income coming in was rough, for everyone, but it may have just saved my business. I had to be more resourceful, find ways to bring in income while having the storefront closed to the public. I utilized Facebook Marketplace, added new items daily, scheduled curb side pickups and deliveries. It was a mess and amazing at the same time. It introduced many of the people that came in from Marketplace to my store for the first time. They had no idea I even existed and now they are regulars. Those wonderful people who were just home searching for a good deal, kept me in business. When I could reopen, I changed how I did everything, a total reset. I ordered different, I worked 7 days a week for a full year, made it work with what I had until I could get back on track financially. My customers were wonderful. They didn't get mad if I didn't have their favorite soap or candle in stock, they understood the challenges. So many of them called and emailed to see how I was doing. It kept me going. It wasn't easy and it took a while to feel like things were somewhat back to normal. I doubted myself, cried a lot, but ultimately through my sheer determination to make it through, I did. I credit my parents, Pat and Bob Hanson for showing me through their example, an incredible work ethic. As exhausting as it was/is, making them proud of me for making it through and excelling pushes me every day to succeed. I also have some wonderful people around me that when I'm feeling defeated or overwhelmed, remind me of where I started and how far I have come.
Tell us (in one word) how you would describe your bosschik business!
Anything else we should know about you, your business, or just a fun fact?!
We are a dog friendly shop! Bring in your doggo pal for some love and a treat while you shop
Where You Can Find Here:
Website | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok
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