Hello, and welcome to Chews Life! We’re so glad you’ve found us, and we hope you find just what you are looking for in our shop. If you need a little extra help, or have something to share with us, our email is always open -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Chews Life began as an invention born of necessity, when owner Shannon Wendt was expecting her fourth child. Shannon designed her nursing bracelet to feature the numbers of the clock and a moveable charm, and to help her track the times she nursed her sweet babe. Wanting to bring this easy, wearable aid to other mamas, Shannon launched the nursing bracelet on Etsy in 2008 -- and it sold within fifteen minutes of being listed! The bracelet was soon joined by her Classic Mama Necklace. Designed as a pretty, grownup and durable alternative to the fine jewelry that was so easily broken by tugging babies and toddlers, the Classic pendant necklace stood up to the attention of her toddler day in and day out. (Both of these original products are still featured in the shop, HERE and HERE!)
In 2014, the first Catholic product was added to the shop, then called Organic Mama’s Shop. Again, necessity was the mother of invention! After a stormy season of suffering, Shannon knew that the Lord was calling her back to the Rosary -- but with five kids, 20 quiet minutes to pray seemed an insurmountable obstacle, and Shannon asked Him how He expected her to pray a full rosary every day? In answer, the Lord inspired the Rosary Bracelet with its signature movable “bookmark” crucifix charm. This charm is essentially a bookmark to hold one’s place in prayer, and it allowed Shannon to gather those brief quiet moments scattered throughout the day to pray the whole rosary. This small but significant change was a Godsend, helping Shannon to develop the habit of daily prayer in the midst of the beautiful (and sometimes challenging!) flow of life.
2015 brought two important additions to the shop: Chews Life Soft Silicone Rosaries made their big debut at the Edel Gathering, and shortly after, Laura joined the shop as Shannon’s right hand and Chief Operations Officer! The brightly-colored, baby-safe, chewable soft rosaries were an instant hit and lead to other silicone products, including Chews Life Decade Rosaries and Mama Necklaces. Meanwhile, Laura helped meet the many demands of running a successful shop as the small, one-person business really began to grow into something more.
In August 2016, the shop grew out of the "organic" market and found a community among Catholics. It only made sense to shed the name Organic Mama's Shop, and to become Chews Life! Just in time for the Christmas season in 2016, Shannon’s vision of a beautiful, detailed silicone Miraculous Medal and St. Benedict Medal, and a nubby-backed, custom cross came to fruition, and these were added to the product line.
Since the fall of 2016, several women have joined the team to make and package Chews Life silicone products and our semi-precious gemstone Life Rox line. The “Chews Crew” now consists of ten part-time Makers and three full-time Executive Team members. Chews Life makers and executive team members are all women of faith local to Grand Rapids, and Shannon considers it a true blessing that her business helps women support their families and to live out their vocations.
Again, welcome! Check out our Frequently Asked Questions, and contact us if you have any other questions. For our most current special promotions and product updates, be sure to subscribe to our email list and follow Chews Life on Instagram and Facebook (@ChewsLifeShop). We are happy to have you here, and we are so honored to be a part of your lives of faith and prayer. Thank you from all of us at Chews Life!
Meet the Executive Team
Hi! I’m Shannon Wendt the owner of Chews Life! Wife to my best friend, Zach, since
2002 and mama to our lively crew of 6 kids! We homeschool and as a family, we enjoy our mini hobby farm, theatre and adventuring! We love a good road trip, hiking the woods, or exploring a new city.
My husband is an entrepreneur too! He runs a growing real estate team here in West Michigan (WestMichiganRocks.com), so growing small businesses is something we really love doing together. You’ll find us spending romantic weekends away at a marketing conference or putting the kids to bed early to curl up with a bottle of wine and a good business audio book. Haha!
We manage it all with lots of help! I run on a little coffee and a lot of Jesus!
Laura began working with Chews Life during the summer of 2015. After she demonstrated an impressively consistent ability to count to ten, five times in a row, Shannon recognized in Laura many other skills that would be instrumental for business growth. Laura became Chief Operations Officer shortly thereafter and has been an invaluable asset to the company. This COO can most often be found hanging out with the four handsome young men in her life and her adorable Standard Poodle, Roscoe. Other great loves in her life include: literature, Liz Lemon, Spanish, coffee, Spanish coffee, a good Merlot, and intricate manicures (her favorite self-soothing activity). Laura’s English degree can be seen patrolling all of Chews Life’s copy, and preventing atrocious crimes against punctuation; her Master’s degree from University of Chicago shows up most often during impromptu biblical studies lectures to a very captive audience of sons in a minivan.
An adult convert to Catholicism (by way of Eastern Orthodoxy, by way of Protestantism), Laura also enjoys adding to her collection of BFF Saints, most recently St Joan of Arc and Blessed Solanus Casey. Having hit a few rough patches in adulthood, she thanks God every day for the family and friends who have supported her, made her laugh, written most of this bio [hat-tip to Whitney!] and let her live in their basement. She has more than she deserves, but no less than she is loved — in short, everything.
Hello! My name is Whitney, and I was thrilled to join the Chews Crew as a Maker in 2016, and a full-time member of the Executive Team in June 2017. I now manage the website, social media, and create graphics and shop emails, among other shop duties. I can also be found roaming around Customer Service, so you might hear from me if you email us. :)
I have two incredible “babies” (Julia, 13 and Jack, almost 2) and another due in June 2018! I’ve lived in West Michigan for 12 years, and am happy to have found a wonderful Catholic community here. My husband and I were both converts before we met, and now continue the journey of faith as a family.
Among my favorite things are: C.S. Lewis (after whom I named my son), summer weekends in Pentwater, Michigan, cuddling with my kids while watching movies, music, popcorn, and dark chocolate.