Worth the Trip: Mama’s Happy in Independence.

An Independence occasional shop aims to keep mamas happy.
Amanda Ficek at Mama’s Happy in Independence.

Amanda Ficek had an idea for a business, but she needed a name, so she turned
to her husband for help. “I told him I didn’t know what the final product mix
would be,” she says. “But that I wanted it to be a place that made the women
producing the product happy, that the women who would come in to shop or take a
class would leave happy. And he responded, ‘So nothing for the men?’”

Well, no, not directly, she thought. But then it clicked: “Remember, when
mama’s happy, everybody’s happy,” she says. Right then and there the name of the
shop materialized and Ficek, a stay-at-home mother of three, opened Mama’s Happy
in 2010 in Independence. (She’s since opened another location in St. Paul and a
new one in St. Louis Park, opening this month.)

The Independence occasional shop sells goods made by 40 local artists and
artisans—all women—while also offering workshops to its clientele.

With an inventory that’s constantly changing, this shop is paradise for those
looking for the best of handcrafted, upcycled, repurposed and vintage
merchandise for their home. “We work as a team, not as individuals, to help and
support one another,” Ficek says. “Some people find joy in rehabbing an old
piece of furniture, some by sitting at the sewing machines, and some by simply
wandering into one of our shops, where inspiration comes in all shapes and
sizes. This is what keeps our customers coming back time and time again.”

But it’s not just the unique inventory and the home décor inspiration that
keeps shoppers hooked, it’s also the energy. It’s the positive vibe that comes
from a group of talented women working together to support each other. “When you
empower people to do their thing and reward them for doing something they love,
it’s a win-win for everyone” Ficek says. The sentiment was also echoed by her
assistant, Ann Hayes. “It is important to connect with bright, talented, and
like-minded women because we all benefit from each other’s knowledge,” Hayes
says.

And, most importantly, having this space, whether selling in it or shopping in it, keeps mama happy.

Chalk It Up

In addition to selling upcycled and handcrafted home goods, Mama’s Happy also sells Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. Not to be confused with chalk board paint, this product is great for finishing pieces of furniture (without priming and sanding) and has a multitude of other uses. Mama’s Happy offers Chalk Paint workshops focused on the various techniques for using the paint, allowing students to “play” before starting on their own piece of furniture. “Come solo or bring along a couple of girlfriends to join in the fun,” Ficek says. “Rest assured that you leave with confidence to transform that outdated dresser into a fresh and fabulous piece that reflects of bit of your own unique personality.”

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Mama’s Happy
7888 County Road 6 (also known as Watertown Road), Independence
763.777.3899; mamashappy.com