House of Shan Spreads Messages of Love, Imperfection and Connection in a Playful Collection
We sat down with Shannon Buth to learn about the inspiration behind her "Live What You Love" collection of clothes, accessories, and wallpaper
After a quick glance through the House of Shan website, you might find yourself smiling as you browse the joyful, colorful hearts covering caps, socks, sweatshirts, mugs, t-shirts, and more. The array of merchandise is cute and playful, but the brand’s passion to support deserving charity organizations is most impressive.
The mission of the “Live What You Love” (LWYL) collection is to give back to women’s and children’s charities, with a new nonprofit organization selected each month. In February, $5 from every product sold is being donated to the Children’s Heart Foundation.
Impressed by House of Shan’s service to the community, we reached out to local founder Shannon Buth to chat about the inspiration behind her flourishing, philanthropic business.
An imperfect heart stitched over your heart as a daily reminder to… Live your passion, laugh everyday, love deeply, lift others up, and don’t ever quit your daydream.
Q&A with House of Shan’s Shannon Buth
Tribeza: What was your inspiration for creating the “Live What You Love” collection ?
Shannon: So it started in Chicago. When my twins were very young, started a mom’s group. The whole idea was for women to get together without their kids and have a night out and a night off. I’d have speakers come in and talk about relevant topics as a way to connect. And it grew and grew over the years. It was really cool. It was such a beautiful community. So when it got bigger, I wanted to have a place where I housed all of our information and where some of the speakers could share write-ups, so I wanted to have a blog for this. And that imperfect heart was my unofficial logo. The whole idea behind it is to embrace the imperfect and lift each other up and celebrate community.
Then during that time, my mom got sick. So I started writing about grief. She came to Chicago one last time to visit the boys and to visit us, and we kind of knew it was going to be the last trip. I had my mom’s group over when my mom was in town, and one of my friends gave us matching bracelets that said, “live what you love” on them. It just resonated with me. I think my mom getting sick really just shifted a lot of the way I looked at life, you know? That phrase just stuck with me.
After having my 4th son, I had this idea to make an imperfect heart sweatshirt. I hosted a holiday shopping market for women, and I was like, “I’m gonna go for it. I’m gonna make this sweatshirt, and I’m just gonna see what happens.” So I made about 30 of them and was giving back some of the proceeds to a women’s shelter in Chicago. So all the sweatshirts sold that night, and I was so excited. I think we raised a thousand dollars for the women’s shelter. Then I decided to just put this online and see what happens. That was January of 2020, and it just kind of took off by word of mouth. People got really got excited about it and the meaning behind it.
Tribeza: How do you select charity partners each month?
Shannon: The whole idea from the beginning was to give $5 from every purchase to charity, and now, four and a half years later, we’ve raised over $85,000 for charities. It’s just been such a beautiful journey. And I think my mom has just been like cheering me on all the way, you know?
We’re embracing the imperfect, we’re spreading love.
As I’ve gotten older, I want to support the smaller businesses, and I like to support smaller charities, too. I like giving recognition to the charity, highlighting it to people that would never have heard of this charity before. But we also support bigger charities, too. The Children’s Heart Foundation is who we’re supporting this month. I have several friends that have children that were born with congenital heart defects. So that’s just something that resonates with me. So since the beginning, every February we’ve given to them, and we’ve developed relationships with these charities now by being able to support them every year. So every November we support the Center for Child Protection in Austin. We also support a charity in Lake Travis called the Kind Heart Foundation. I like to support women and children’s charities.
Tribeza: Tell us about the expansion into pickleball paddles and even home decor such as wallpapers?
Shannon: I started playing pickleball with some girlfriends, and I just fell in love with it. One of the girls that works with me said we need to do a pickleball paddle. So we connected with Tangerine and it’s just been fun. That’s kind of the beauty of it. The LWYL collection can go in so many different directions.
As for the wallpaper, I connected with another women-owned business called the Sunday Social Club, and they create such beautiful grass cloth, made-to-order wallpapers. So we just got together and it actually happened relatively quickly.
The peachy pink wallpaper is up in my guest bedroom. And when it was installed, I just stood there for a while and I was like, “oh my gosh, this is a super, super cool moment”.
Tribeza: What’s next for House of Shan?
Shannon: People give me ideas all the time, which is fun. Everyone’s like, you should do pajamas and phone cases, and all these cute things that I would love to do, but it’s just one thing at a time. Our core items are definitely our sweatshirts. That’s what we started with. So I want to stick with the staples, but then once in a while, branch out and do something fun, whatever that may be — stuff that makes you feel good.
Tribeza: Where can we shop your collection?
Shannon: For now, we’re direct to consumer. Everything’s online. Sometimes we do pop-up shopping events with different small businesses. You can learn about those on social media, and our newsletter is a also great way find out about events and sales.
For the 5th year, LWYL is supporting the Children’s Heart Foundation during the month of February. Share your support when you purchase any item from the LWYL collection. Learn more and shop at www.houseofshan.com.