It doesn’t take long to see what Jenna Thomas’s inspirational lifestyle brand is all about.
“Here to brighten your day.”
That’s the message on her Etsy shop, where Thomas sells T-shirts, keychains, stickers and wooden signs, and on her TikTok page, where she shares her creative process with 10,000 followers.
Thomas, a fourth-grade teacher at Sand Creek International School, started her side gig in November.
“I have always been a creative person,” Thomas, who had dabbled in hand lettering, said. “I just never really trusted my instincts on being creative or thinking I could run with my creativity.”
On a whim, she decided to try out digital illustration.
She started with one sticker: A bushel of flowers with the phrase, “Enjoy being.”
“It took off,” Thomas, 25, said.
Within two days, she sold out of her first batch of the stickers. She was hooked.
She launched the O Hippy Brand, a nod to her love for positivity and a boho style.
“My friends always joke that I’m the type of person who says, ‘If you think happy thoughts, that type of energy will come to you,’” Thomas said. “I gravitate toward the hippy mindset.”
And her products show that off. Her colorful stickers, often designed with rainbows or flowers and fun handwritten fonts, say things like, “Stay groovy” and “Good things are coming.”
Thomas has also expanded to designing shirts with phrases such as “Happiness is where you find it.”
“I want everything to center around positivity,” she said. “I want to spread a bright happy mood or vibe.”
Thomas gets a lot of inspiration from being a teacher, whether it’s something her students say or something they’re reading.
A recent T-shirt design that reads “Don’t lose sight of love” came from something a co-worker said.
Another idea comes from something a student said.
“He was telling me, ‘Ms. Thomas, even though it’s hard, I always know you care and that’s what matters,’” she said.
That’s how she wants to make people feel through the stuff she makes.
“I want them to feel cared for, happy, inspired,” she said. “I want to make people feel good.”
Thomas keeps a list of ideas for designs in her phone that she says is about 300 items long.
Whenever she has time outside school, she’ll tackle one idea at a time. She hopes to grow her online business (etsy.com/shop/ohippybrand) into possibly her full-time job or to get some products in stores.
For now, she’ll spend her Saturdays filling orders and sometimes making fun videos of the process to share on social media.
In one recent TikTok video, Thomas had a message for her followers: “In case you need to hear this today, you are exactly where you’re meant to be. Because one day, you’ll look back on times like this and be proud you kept going.”
Sometimes, after a hard day or week of teaching, Thomas is one who needs to hear something like that. And it tends to put things in perspective.
“Even when not everything is fine, I’m going to choose to see the light in the dark,” she said. “I’m going to focus on the good.”