It all started with her own wedding several years ago. Megan Knapke was marrying her college sweetheart and was doing all sorts of DIY stuff for decorations and other things. She stumbled upon customized dress hangers, but didn’t have the time to make one for herself. However she liked the idea and kept it with her.
As time went on, other friends of hers got married and she started making hangers as wedding shower gifts. Everyone loved them. The idea is simple and yet so very personal. She simply took a wooden hanger, some wire, a flower and heavy-duty glue, and created something very special. The wire gets fashioned into the bride’s new name such as “Mrs. Jones” and the date of the wedding. This simple touch looks great in photos and gives the bride something special to hang her dress up with post-wedding as well.
This popularity led her to where she is today. She now has her own Etsy store called Hang it Up Hangers and makes about 15-20 customized hangers a month for people all across the country. In addition to making hangers for brides, she also makes smaller hangers for children. While a majority of business is for brides, she will make a hanger for any occasion. For example, she has made a hangers for a graduation, someone’s mom and cheerleading.
For Megan, the best thing is the freedom that comes with running her own business.
“It gives me the ability to do what I want when I want,” she said.
In some ways, Megan admits to being traditional when it comes to a family. She would love to be able to stay home with her future children but would still love to work while doing it. This work-from-home business gives her that freedom and flexibility. She also likes to joke with her husband who majored in entrepreneurship about how she’s the first to start her own business.
Through talking with Megan, it was evident how empowering owning a business is to her. She’s able to have ownership over something in a positive way, which she loves. Over the years, she admits she’s struggled to feel like she’s really good at something. I know this feeling well, and I feel like so many other women do. We are often our own worst critics. These hangers, however, take a great deal of detail work and practice. Not everyone is as crafty or talented as Megan. This business has really helped her to see her own talents and skills as they are.
Looking forward, Megan will be a part of a bridal show in January, something she is excited about. Also, each quarter she sends a portion of her profits to a non-profit doing great work. Last quarter, the portion went to Determined to Develop, an organization in Malawi that a friend of her’s started. She loves the ability she has to give back.
The hangers range from $16-$30 depending on size and whether you have one line of writing or two. Check out her Etsy store here.