Kirsten Tarmen is the founder of the Evelyn Hope Collection www.evelynhope.com where she designs inspirational two sided message pillows and totes as well as interchangeable jewelry. Kirsten's motivational pillows naturally caught my eye! The pillows bring inspiration into the home with two special messages; one on the front and one on the back so they can be mixed and matched depending upon the mood of the day. More than just throw pillows, they feature easily removable and washable covers in neutral colors and fabrics such as linen, tweed, and cotton. Keep reading to learn how Evelyn Hope Collection is helping clients stay motivate and positive.
NMFIT: What inspired you to create pillows with powerful messages?
Evelyn Hope (EH): I have always been inspired by positive messages and also feel we need to give gifts that will show the people in our lives how much we appreciate them. This whole gift card thing is great, but there are times when the right words can truly make a difference. We all lead hectic lives, so I tried to make them easy to order or buy and as affordable as possible. Some messages belong on magnets or coffee mugs, but I wanted to create beautiful, lasting keepsakes that will be treasured and look beautiful wherever they are displayed. I have them made in small batches, so I can offer lots of different designs. I started the business as a result of my daughter's near fatal accident which was seven years ago. I needed to create a business I could manage from home, hospitals, doctor's offices and be able to always be with her. Going through what we have with her and having a husband deployed several times to the middle east through out our marriage has probably made me cling to sentiments as a way to define our family or what we are going through. I am also at a point in my life where if I am going to put my heart into a business I want to truly love what I am creating, and I do! The customer feedback keeps me motivated and I love designing new pillows. We took a big risk launching this business on one military income and with a disabled child, and I wanted to do it right, but my husband is my biggest supporter. He will even email me from the middle east with a quote he thinks I will like...and yes, I have actually used a few of his ideas:) I began with just two pillow styles and a dream and I have built it up from there.
NMF: Which one of the fitness pillows are your favorite?
EH: I love the workout one and wanted to create it because it's difficult to find motivational fitness/health products that are also pretty and will compliment your home or office. I have this pillow sitting on a chair in my kitchen and I read it every morning as a positive way to start my day. We all need motivation in different forms and this is my way of contributing to positive inspiration...and it's near the fridge too!
NMF: Do you recall a time when you looked over at one of your pillows and felt inspired to workout?
EH: When I created the "She believed she could, so she did" pillow it was because I have said that to myself many times throughout my life when I faced challenges. Then one of my customers gave it to her daughter after she lost over thirty pounds and entered a fitness competition and it gave me new inspiration. I love to hear the reasons why my pillows are purchased or given to others, the stories always surprise me. I have had ongoing health issues and at times have not been able to work out for a year or more. I understand starting from nothing and having to slowly rebuild your strength and stamina, so when I am able to exercise I am beyond grateful that my body is healing and getting stronger.
NMFIT: How have people responded to your pillows?
EH: Better than I could have hoped. There are a lot of message products on the market and the double sided design was my idea and I was not sure how people would respond, but I am slowly gaining a loyal following. Customers share their stories with me about giving them to their loved ones or why they respond strongly to a certain message. One woman ordered one for a friend that was very picky and emailed asking if her friend did not like it if she could exchange it and I said sure. She emailed me a few days later and told me her friend cried in front of everyone when she opened it at her Birthday party. I also try to design every pillow with the intention of placing it in my home, so if I don't love every aspect of it, I won't make it. People feel good about giving my pillows as gifts because they get such a positive response and that is what gift giving is all about. They are such a personal, heartfelt gift so I think they feel the person really took the time to get them something perfectly suited to them. When I deliver to local stores, sometimes people will stop me and tell me about a pillow they really relate too and had to have or give to someone...and when I see one in a shopping cart that makes my day! I had a nice, elderly woman call me the other day and want to send a pillow to her Grand daughter for her graduation, but she had no idea how to use the internet and needed it shipped right away. I told her I would ship it that day and to just mail me a check and she was so happy. Knowing her granddaughter will always have one of my pillows given to her by her Grandmother was worth the risk of her not paying me, but she did very quickly. One woman told me she gave the DAD pillow to her 90 year father for his wheelchair and he loves it! I have also donated pillows to people who have lost a loved one or friend, are battling cancer or going through a challenging time...its a small gesture but it's something I can do.
For more information visit www.evelynhope.com
Training minds, changing bodies!
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