Designs By A Desperate Mom

Jan Hurn has spent the past 8 years growing her stationery design business, one that was built out of desperation, in hopes of providing encouragement to moms everywhere.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Image from Peace of Paper

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