Spil Kids Meet the Mama: Marie Manders, Kids Shop Owner

We've said this before and we'll continue to say it: becoming a business owner has given us the opportunity to network with some very inspiring mama entrepreneurs! We started networking with Marie Manders, owner of kids shop Mariehone Kids last year and she has been lovely to get to know. Mariehone is Danish for ladybug. Danish kids are taught that they can blow on a ladybug and tell it to fly up in the sky and ask for nice weather. Since in reality this tale doesn't always ring true, they are on a mission to make kids ready for the outdoors no matter the weather!
Originally from Denmark, Marie opened her online kids shop in Connecticut when her first son was just one. She and her family have since relocated back to Denmark and we look forward to following her journey of boutique growth and motherhood! We appreciate the time she took to answer some questions below.
Q: Can you share a bit about what your family looks like as well as your work as an entrepreneur? How and when did your journey as a mother and business owner start?
A: I am a SAHM (stay at home mom) of two boys. The oldest is five and youngest is two and a half. I started the business when my youngest was one. But it had been brewing ever since we moved to the US and my oldest was just a few months old. We are now back in Denmark and my husband is also starting his own company. So currently we have a very flexible schedule and can be with our kids much more than if we both had our old corporate jobs.
Q: Do you have any favorite childhood toys, games, activities or even spaces that stand out to you?
A: I LOVED to draw when I was a kid and could spend hours in my room sketching. But I also loved the outdoors, and we lived on a great cul-de-sac where all the kids would meet up and play a Danish version of baseball. Behind the houses was a big field where we could play for hours until our parents called us in for dinner. Great memories.
Q: What is hardest for you to juggle or balance right now? Have you found any hacks that are helping?
A: I have never been able to give this business ‘full time’ focus. My primary job is taking care of our kids and I didn’t want to take on a nanny to do this. So I have often done business with kids in-tow and a lot of marketing content is simply videos and pictures from daily life with them. But that also has meant that I haven’t been able to scale the business. I think it is important to align your time commitment to the ambition level you have for your business. I am happy “chugging along” for now so the time I can commit to the business is fine. But if I want to grow the business further I will need to invest much more time - and capital.
Q: Do you have any advice for an aspiring business owner who is stuck and doesn’t know where to start?
A: It is so cliché to say: Just do it. Get started with something and then pieces will fall into place almost automatically. For me it was putting in the first order for goods. Once I overcame that the business was suddenly very straightforward to build (i.e. I needed a website to sell the goods, I signed up for farmers markets, I had stuff to show on my Instagram profile, etc.)
I find it to be a winding road with many ups and downs and surprises along the way. But the satisfaction of having something that is my own beats any obstacle and defeat.
Q: I feel that being a mother often pushes you to embrace something that may not have initially come easily. For us it’s embracing the play and the mess. What might it be for you?
A: Patience and calm…
Q: There is inspiration in so many places especially as a creative type! Who and / or what inspires you?
A: I think much of my aesthetic comes from my grandfather’s home. A very modern, Danish mid-century house with the most amazing furniture and art.
Q: One thing that has helped my state of mind is focusing on gratitude daily. What are you grateful for?
A: This is so important! I attribute my positive outlook to gratitude and what I feel especially grateful for are the communities I have been part of throughout my life. And of course the fact that I got to be someone’s mama and wife :)
Q: What are your favorite activities or places to enjoy with your little(s) or big(s) nowadays? (And / Or if your littles are big, do you look back fondly on any particular activities with them from when they were little?)
A: The beach is my happy place and my two boys love it, too! We practically lived on the beach in the US and would go almost daily: the beach was our sandbox and I got my eldest into searching for sea glass. Now we live a little further from the sea, but it is still a favorite destination and pastime. 
Q: If you are into quizzes and whatnot, do you care to share your Horoscope? Your Enneagram? Myers Briggs? Human Design Type? Anything else?! And if you share any of this, does it ring true?
A: When I was in the corporate world, I did a couple of those personality tests and the common denominator is that I am an extrovert who likes to take action. I have always thrived when interacting with people and that is why I love having this business: I get to meet and talk to so many interesting people that I otherwise would never have encountered.
Zodiac sign wise I am a virgo and a water pig (Chinese). According to the Chinese I am supposedly optimistic, gentle, modest and a blunt person and cannot tolerate others beating around the bush. I don’t know about the gentle, but I am definitely very direct in my way of dealing with people. And I don’t do well in relationships where there’s a lack of transparency / honesty. What I can relate best to is being optimistic. Sometimes to a fault. But life is just so much better when you have faith in tomorrow.
Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
    A: The first female Prime Minister of Denmark. Which didn’t come close to happening. But it was a dream of mine for many years. We have now had two women lead the country and I hope the same happens in the US soon.
    Learn more about Marie by visiting her website at https://mariehoene.com/ and her Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/mariehoenekids/. Feel free to use code SPILKIDS25 in her shop for 25% off your first order :)
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