Janet Founder of Bear Paw Creek turns 39 1/2
So today marks the day I turn 39 1/2 years old. I don’t suppose many of you think much about your half birthday, do you? Since my birthday falls so close to Christmas, my Mom started sending me half birthday presents when I was older. I don’t receive them every year, but some
Yesterday I received one and it reminded me that I have six more months until the “big” 40! That birthday seems to be counted as a big one and some people dread it, bit I’m actually looking forward to it. Perhaps on the day I won’t feel that way.
It does make me ponder my life up to this point, and I wanted to share a bit of my story with you. Where did the idea of Bear Paw Creek come from? Read on!
From Wisconsin, to Alaska, to Missouri
I was born and raised in the great state of Wisconsin, the youngest of three. I had a wonderful childhood and was always creating something and loved to be outside.
After graduating from high school, I set of on my great Alaskan adventure. I was able to contact an older sister of a high school friend who had recently moved to Alaska and she graciously offered me advice and said I was welcome to stay with her while I found a job and place to live.
We had great fun together and she offered for me to live with her and pay rent. She had just purchased a log home bordering the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. It was simply an amazing place to live and experience part of what Alaska has to offer. I worked at Subway and also started some nanny jobs and respite care for those with special needs.
Both those jobs lead me to meet my husband and our family journey began! After our first son was born we decided to make the move to Missouri , and headed down the Alcan with a 24′ Uhual and car trailer. Flat tires, engine fires, and we eventually made it to Springfield, MO!
Bear Paw Creek is Founded in 2000
After our big move I was looking for a way to bring in some money so I could stay home with our son. After a talk with my sister, the idea of creating movement props, instrument cases, and bags that music therapists had a need for – Bear Paw Creek was started in January of 2000.
We picked up our first wholesale customer in 2001 and while our family grew, that was our main focus. We added three more children before picking up two more wholesale customers in 2008. We continued to add to our family and made a move out of the city to the country in 2011.
In 2012 I started to dive into the retail market and building out a website. I was hooked! I love the one on one connection with our customers and sharing ways to use our products.
We currently have eight wonderful children – so it’s always an adventure and busy at our place!
That’s a bit about my story – I wonder what the next 39 1/2 years will bring?