Janet from Bear Paw Creek turns 39 1/2

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!

Janet Stephens Entrepreneur of Bear Paw Creek

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!

Count down to turning 40 – what a life! Click To Tweet

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?

Leave a comment and enter to win one of our fabulous t-shirts made my Now That’s Bold.

Bear Paw Creek T-shirts Made in USA

Janet Stephens

Janet Stephens

Janet is the founder, designer, and one of the seamstresses behind Bear Paw Creek's made in the USA line of creative movement props, and bags. She is passionate about her faith, family, and loves the journey of learning and growing this life provides.

8 thoughts on “Janet from Bear Paw Creek turns 39 1/2”

  1. As someone who has been there and made it through, you may be surprised at what this milestone will offer you! Happy half-Birthday!!

  2. Hey, I’ll take a tee shirt, but I’ll tell you what, I’ve already won by having a friend like you to learn from and learn with these past years. It makes me smile to think of you turning 40 soon. You’ve come a long way baby! 🙂

  3. Janet, happy day. I think it’ll be grand to be 40. My dad always said it won’t feel like it when I’m “old”. How do we buy shirts? I need a new purple shirt in my wardrobe!

    1. Hey Elena! I do have some here, but no purple 🙁 The next my friend orders shirts I told him to order purple! You can check out his other shirts which are awesome at NowThatsBold.com He designs them himself and there are some funny ones on there!

  4. I hope you have a fabulous 6 months until your big day. You must be a very bold person to have both moved to Alaska and started a creative entrepreneur enterprise. Happy birthday!

  5. Dorothy Nelson

    I just read this. It has been a few busy weeks what with Iola, having Sammie here, and picking all the garden produce and taking care of it. Our freezers are overflowing! I am so proud of all that you do and have accomplished. I am so thankful that you seek God for wisdom and guidance. He is our strength in good and bad times. Love, Mom

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