Motherhood changes everything. For Linda Trieu, it not only brought a cute baby boy named Eden into her life, but a business too.
The 36-year old former litigation paralegal spent her maternity leave searching for precious products for her new bundle of joy. She found boy stuff hard to find — especially bibs to fit her son’s chunky neck size — and took the matter into her own hands making bandana bibs during her time off.
She enjoyed shopping for fresh fabrics and materials and eventually dipped her toes into making teething products and pacifier clips as her maker skills solidified. Today Three Hearts Apparel includes leg warmers to chewable necklaces and is the Houston-based mom’s full-time job.
Learn more about how Linda made the pivot from attorney to entrepreneur and meet this sweet maker in person at our Houston show November 18th. And this month, purchase a pacifier toy or clip and the brand will donate $4 to Hurricane Harvey relief!
When did you decide to start your business and why?
I began my business in March of 2015 while I was on maternity leave after having Eden.
What’s the story behind your business name?
While I was on maternity leave I found myself killing time with shopping… trying to find unique and fun items for my new little baby boy. I found that items didn’t fit him very well or I needed more variety so I started to explore by making slouchy hats, bibs, and pacifier clips for him. Eventually I realized that I could share my love of making these items for Eden with others and it has grown into the business it is today.
Did you go to school or have professional training in your field?
I was a political science major who went to Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. I spent the last 14 years as a litigation paralegal at the top 250 AMLAW firms in the country. In February 2017 I was laid off and decided at the time to focus on expanding Three Hearts to what it has become today. Three Hearts is my full-time job now.
Where do you get the inspiration for your products?
My inspiration for products come from my son Eden and my personal style of what I would love to have as a mom for my child.
Do you have any employees?
Three Hearts is currently a solo show but we are in the process of hiring a marketing coordinator and a warehouse processor.
At the start of your business, did anything completely surprise you?
I very much feel that I am still at the start of my business and learning and growing so much every day. I am so grateful for the amazing community of makers and customers who appreciate locally handmade goods. The feedback from my peers and customers has been the most rewarding and surprising for me.
If you could go back and do anything differently, what would you change?
I started the business with a partner who I thought had the same vision and work ethic as I did. I was very wrong and if I could change anything I would have skipped having a partner back then. I believe that I should have trusted myself and my abilities a lot more than I did.
Take us through a typical work day.
Every day brings me new surprises. Most of my mornings are spent with Eden and getting him ready for school. Then I spend the day running errands related to Three Hearts which could be anything from shopping for new display ideas or at home filling orders and working on replenishments for the upcoming market weekends. I love also meeting with other makers for lunch or dinner and really trying to explore new ideas in both doing business as well as product line.
What was the hardest part about starting your business? Favorite part?
I believe the hardest part is the amount of work that is required to make your business successful. It takes way more time and effort then a regular 9-5. But the most amazing part is the gratifying feeling you get from your creation and the joy it brings others.
What has been your proudest moment so far in your business?
My proudest moment is when I signed our lease for a new showroom and processing space. It just shows how hard work pays off.
Do you have any tips for newbies in the industry?
Focus on your work and your passion.
What’s something that people don’t know about you?
I am a total foodie. I have an obsession with amazing food and love to travel to try food as well. I try so hard to not over post food since I am one of those people who loves to take pictures of everything before I dig in!
Find Three Hearts Apparel online and at our Houston fall show November 18th! Through October 1st, we are donating 100% of proceeds from our online Houston ticket sales to Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey relief!