Meet Shayna, the namesake behind the Hansen brand!
We sat down with Shayna to talk about what it means to be a female business owner, how she handles the balance between being a mom and running a successful business, and everything in between!
Q: Kris is the guy that we usually see on social media, chatting up your products! It’s rare that we have the opportunity to hear from you directly! Can you share a little bit about what your day-to-day looks like?
A: In a small business, you end up wearing a lot of hats! Pretty much everything that isn’t front-of-house or in the back of the Distillery is me. I do have support from some amazing people, though! I’m the one answering your emails and questions, organizing the tours and tastings, and all of the fun parts that come with running a business — invoicing, payroll, strategic planning…You could say that Kris distills and is the creative brains behind the brand – I handle the rest!
Q: You’re not only a business owner, but you’re a mom as well — a super mom if you ask us! Tell us a bit about your family and how you balance it all.
A: We are a busy household! We’re parents to Brock (3.5) and Waylon (1.5), as well as 2 chihuahuas, Dyna and Cash! They are what keeps me going! I love them beyond words, but it’s refreshing to speak about the realities of being not just a working mom – but a momtrepreneur! There’s a ton of self-guilt when you have to cancel or move meetings because of a sick baby, and the emails can just be overwhelming to stay on top of. There isn’t paid holiday time off where you can just enjoy being with your kids. It’s a challenge, but we also wouldn’t change it for the world. Not enough business owners talk about the lack of balance in your life as you’re trying to juggle growing and managing a business, and raising tiny humans.
Q: How have you handled being a woman in business?
A: I think the critical distinction is between a woman in business and a MOM in business. When we first started Hansen Distillery, I wasn’t a mom yet. So the sky was the limit – nothing could hold us back. But with being a momtrepreneur, you have to find a balance, which is really tough — and a really steep learning curve. You want to be there for your kids but you have obligations to your business; you really have to be kind to yourself and realize that as much as you want to, you can’t do it all. So I’ll share two things. If you want to get into business, go for it! My experience has been primarily in male-dominated environments — from the oilfield to distilling. No one has ever told me “you can’t” because I was a woman. But being a mom in business, especially as an entrepreneur, it’s isolating, and challenging. You’re torn between your two babies that you want to nurture and grow in different ways. Your business baby — which requires time, effort, and attention, and your real bab(ies), who rely on you for everything, and are your whole world. My advice to momtrepreneurs is to give yourself grace and to ask for help when you need it. It really does take a community, and I’m so grateful for mine.
Q: How does it feel to be able to carry on the family legacy? What does this mean to you?
A: This is in my blood — it’s part of who I am and what we did as a family growing up. To realize that Hansen Distillery is truly Kris and I carrying on the family legacy — it’s such an honour and a privilege. It’s what keeps us going.
Q: What’s one thing that you want people to know about Hansen Distillery?
A: We really do care about being authentic — to ourselves, our products, and our business. We use real ingredients and distill our own products from start to finish. It’s truly a labour of love.
Q: What’s one last thing that you want to say to Hansen’s followers and supporters?
A: It’s been a real rollercoaster from the beginning. Between navigating a new industry in our infancy, to navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been a tough time to be a business owner — there aren’t any roadmaps on what to do in some of these circumstances. With the ongoing economic challenges, that’s added an extra layer of uncertainty. But what we are certain about is the support and trust of our loyal customers. We wouldn’t have navigated these storms without you, and we are so grateful for your ongoing support of our small business. You keep us going.