It’s not easy starting a business from the ground up — especially as a mother to three young boys.
The activities that most perform naturally every day, like eating, working out, getting dressed in anything other than sweats or simply taking a shower are added bonuses. A mother of three basically has three full-time jobs. Katie Lynch, does all of this with grace while managing an online women’s boutique. Kate + Grace Boutique began when Lynch realized that driving to a store to shop just wasn’t a practical option anymore. With three young children, these outings had become more of a burden than a treat so she turned to online shopping.
“I used to love going to the mall. It was therapy for me,” said Lynch. “And then I had babies that could walk and have opinions and it got really challenging. That’s when I discovered the online world because the reality was I just couldn’t shop peacefully any longer. I obviously love the convenience of being in your jammies and slippers and being able to shop. The kids can be down and you can have a glass of wine and that became the best therapy for me at this phase of life.”
The story of women losing their sense of self-identity post-motherhood is an age-old dilemma. In an effort to remain true to herself, Lynch launched a space that would give other women — and mothers — a chance to escape, even for a moment, and browse new clothing that is both modest and affordable.
“I think it’s very easy to get caught up in being a mom,” said Lynch. “I think taking the time to find what your thing is, whether you’re a working mom and your thing is to work or you’re a stay at home mom and your thing is to homeschool. Whatever makes you happy and whatever excites you I think you definitely need to find. And that’s what makes you a better mom and a better woman and a better wife is to have that time for yourself that gives you life. Something that gives you life and purpose beyond your family.”
Lynch has managed to find that purpose in Kate + Grace Boutique, where she provides women with a space to affordably shop free of the stresses of the store. She has also managed to find a balance that many modern women struggle with — the balance between self and family. Before launching her store back in March, Lynch was just months away from giving birth to her third child. And while the task of raising three children and a company all at the same time seemed daunting, she knew that she needed to take on the challenge.
“When I launched in March, I was very nervous … because I was going to have my third boy in a month and I was anxious [about] how am I going to raise three and also start a new business,” said Lynch. “My longterm goal is to build it slowly and to always enjoy what I’m doing and that right there takes away a lot of the pressure. I feel like if it gets [to be] too much, I can always step back, but what I found is that I love it, and when you love something and you’re passionate about it, then, of course, you want to balance it and find time to do it.”
Since, Lynch has managed to give to her family, give to herself and give to her community. She donates brand new clothing from her boutique to local women in need. By partnering with Marisol Women’s Services — a ministry of Catholic Charities of Denver that provides comprehensive supportive services for women in need — Lynch found a way to honor local women through her boutique.
“I was so excited about owning a boutique, but I just felt like there needed to be more,” says Lynch. “I just believe that we all need to give back in some form … I knew that I needed to work my business where there was a giving element. This is beyond just work and a boutique, it’s providing joy and happiness for other women.”
Lynch began donating brand new clothing to the women of Marisol services regularly. And while new clothes may seem like a superficial addition, Lynch believes that few things can provide the same degree of confidence that a brand new outfit can. She believes that by giving these women something brand new, she is showing them a level of honor that they otherwise would not have experienced.
“It brings tears to these women’s eyes when they get brand new clothes,” said Lynch. “Whether they’re pregnant and their body is changing or they have a job interview and it’s just something nice and new to give them confidence, whatever it may be. It’s the coolest thing ever to hear the stories and how it really does impact them. Just this little tiny thing can really impact their joy and really honor them. I think women and moms that especially are struggling just need to feel honored and dignified and worthy.”
This is her way of giving back. By honoring local mothers and women with brand new clothing Lynch is showing that owning a boutique is more than mere fashion and profit. She’s using her business as a way to support those that have less.
“I have a goal for the everyday mom, that I can empower her… and show her that she can do it. She can follow her dreams, she can do whatever she wants to do and balance being a mom and being an awesome mom,” explained Lynch. “My boutique is small, but I think at the end of the day it can do great things.”
You can check out Kate + Grace Boutique for yourself, here.
Models provided by Goldie Mae Productions.
Location by Mythology Distillery.
All photography by Kyle Cooper.