Small business spotlight: HanBowden Designs

Hannah hand paints journals with a variety of designs. Grace Everett | Photo Editor

By Kaitlin Sides | Reporter

Waco sophomore Hannah Bowden has had a passion for crafting for a cause since middle school. Bowden dabbled in many different crafts, but this year, she reopened HanBowden Designs and currently offers stickers, T-shirts and hand-painted journals.

“I am a health science studies major, so nowhere in my future does this apply necessarily to my job, but it’s just so much fun to be creative,” Bowden said.

When Bowden was in middle school, she started to teach herself calligraphy, and she would sell wooden blocks with hand lettering on them. However, it wasn’t until she started selling shirts to raise money for a mission trip that the idea sparked to start a small business.

“My very first mission trip that I went on was in seventh grade,” Bowden said. “I designed the shirt myself. That was kind of when I was like, ‘Oh, this is actually really fun.'”

Bowden started to sell stickers and other T-shirts, but she said it wasn’t until college that she expanded her creations into a business. Since then, she has participated in local markets alongside other student-run small businesses.

Bowden created HanBowden Designs at the start of this semester, when one of her camp friends urged her to start it.

“I worked at Pine Cove over the summer, and I was telling her, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to [sell my products] again just because it’s a lot of work,'” Bowden said. “And she was like, ‘If it’s something and it brings you so much joy, why wouldn’t you do it?'”

Bowden now uses her small business not only to find moments of peace during a busy sophomore year but also to share the gospel.

“I have to go do this and this and study for that test,” Bowden said. “And then I lose sight of what I really love doing, which is talking to people about Jesus and designing things that are going to glorify Him by using the gifts that He’s given me.”

Brittany Hood, 2000 Baylor graduate and Bowden’s mentor, said she was there when Bowden was just a child practicing on sheets of paper with Crayola markers.

“She just really has used her skills, like grown them, and then used them to just really invest in other people and important things,” Hood said. “That’s been amazing to watch, and it takes a lot of work to run a small business.”

HanBowden Designs currently offers stickers, T-shirts and hand-painted journals.

“It’s more just like, for the joy of doing it, and a lot of my stuff shares the gospel with people,” Bowden said. “So I think that that’s a really big part of it is like, not only am I selling fun, cute little stickers, but also each one I make has a message behind it.”

Kaitlin Sides is a Junior journalism major with a corporate communications minor. She is excited to be a part of the Lariat TV News staff as a broadcast reporter. In the future she hopes to work as a full time video editor in Charleston, South Carolina, or work for a fashion magazine. When not working, she enjoys spending time at Pinewood Coffee shop or time with her friends!