Artist Turns her “Designs by a Desperate Mom” into a Thriving Business of Encouragement to Moms

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Entrepreneurial mom, Jan Hurn, has spent 8 years growing her small stationery design company peaceofpaper.com, founded out of a desperate situation, into a platform to provide hope and encouragement to mothers everywhere. With Mother’s Day approaching, Ms. Hurn is on a mission to demonstrate to moms that a simple note or encouraging word can bring peace into a loved one’s frantic world. Her own story is one many relate to and has not only provided hope to those in difficult situations, it became the foundation for her company and life's purpose.

“I hope that everyone who gives or receives a Peace of Paper card or note, is touched and encouraged. The business was founded with the intent to convey blessings and thanks."

Entrepreneurial mom, Jan Hurn, has spent 8 years growing her small stationery design company, founded out of a desperate situation, to provide hope and encouragement to mothers everywhere. With Mother’s Day approaching, Ms. Hurn is on a mission to demonstrate that a simple note or encouraging word can bring peace into a loved one’s frantic world.

Jan Hurn’s world was devastated in March 2002, when her husband left the expectant mom with no means of income to support her two young daughters Hannah and Alex, and soon-to-be-born daughter Adeline. Out of necessity, the desperate mom proceeded to provide for her hurting family. And she prayed.

In a September 2002 preliminary court hearing the judge painted a bleak outlook for Jan, saying she was going to lose her car and would have no real assets. She also added a mandate that as soon as the baby was born, Jan had to figure a way to take care of her three young children.

Jan worked small jobs to help pay bills; including painting houses and furniture, planning weddings, cleaning houses, parking cars and even walking dogs. Though she was struggling to make ends meet, she was able to stay in her rental house, but not without a lot of help from many unexpected sources.

As she tirelessly worked to support her kids, many communities pitched in to lend a helping hand. A home group at a friend’s church in Arkansas held a garage sale; with $2,000 in proceeds going toward helping Jan buy a dependable automobile, since she lost hers during the divorce process. A car dealership in Fort Worth threw in a matching gift to fund the balance on the car.

Encouragement came when a women’s group at her church threw a shower in November for newborn baby Adeline; presenting Jan with a money tree. The shower provided $17,000 in much-needed funds. The support that was coming from every side provided overwhelming blessings.

Out of a grateful heart, Jan designed her first Peace of Paper artwork, hand-drawn note cards as hostess gifts to the many women who had blessed her with the baby shower. The note cards featured a cross illustration with the scripture quote, “May the Lord Bless and Keep You”, which was exactly what had been occurring in Jan and her young family’s life. But the blessings didn’t stop there.

Though going through a divorce made for a difficult 2002 holiday, Jan was thankful for continued help she received from so many. That Christmas, a local church provided Christmas gifts for all three girls.

Jan was encouraged again by the group that threw her the baby shower; with positive feedback on the note cards she had designed. In fact, many requested that they pay her to make personalized cards for them to give for the holidays. It sparked the beginnings of possibly doing more with the illustrated note pads and cards Jan loved to create.

In January 2003 the divorce was finalized. Though it was painful, Jan’s hopes were not crushed and she vowed to give her daughters a good life.

A college friend provided another boost of hope to Jan by paying for a nanny in the home for two-year old Alex and baby Adeline. It allowed Jan to continue to work. Added assistance came from a mom from 11-year-old daughter Hannah’s school, who took to buy her daughter’s school lunch supplies.

The following year, after being encouraged by friends who enjoyed her custom notes and stationery, Jan played with the idea of supporting her family with her designs. A friend helped fund start up costs for the fledging business, which she named Peace of Paper. She also penned the tagline, “Designs by a Desperate MomTM” to convey the true origins of the business.

“God truly blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined”, says Jan. “So many people pitched in to help my girls and I get on our feet and move on with our lives.”

The business began to grow with new designs and added product lines; all designed, packaged, and distributed out of her home. Jan continued working side jobs, but the focus on Peace of Paper increased.

A few years passed and Jan met a handsome and kind man, named Mike, who loved and accepted her unconditionally. Eight months of dating and many pre-marital counseling sessions later, they married.

Mike adapted well to instantly having three daughters, and loved them as his own. Jan said, “Mike took on so much including three girls, a ton of debt and all the baggage that comes with divorce, but he took it all in stride.” The marriage was just one more blessing that came into Jan’s life following a very difficult period.

Jan is proud to see Peace of Paper, which was birthed out of desperation, grow into something meaningful. “I started the business as a way to make ends meet and express my gratitude. Now it provides hope and inspiration to myself and countless others”, said Jan. “I hope that everyone who gives or receives a Peace of Paper card or note, is touched and encouraged. The business was founded with the intent to convey blessings and thanks. I just want to keep it moving forward and see how many people can be inspired by what I love to do.”

Fort Worth-based Peace of Paper offers simple, touching and heartfelt stationery products for all occasions, including great gift ideas for holidays like Mother’s Day. Each design is hand-drawn by owner Jan Hurn, who is continually inspired by her children and her faith. For product inquiries, go to http://www.peaceofpaper.com or call 817-846-1296.

For more information, or to schedule an interview with Ms. Hurn, please call Tim Hewitt at 817-205-3898 or email him at tim.hewitt@circlehbranding.com.

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