MyMotherHustle Story - Hannah Lowe Corman
“If I had thought too long and hard about the money, the logistics, the ‘plan,’ I probably would’ve talked myself out of starting, and you’d see me still sitting on the sidelines tinkering with five different business plans, but not doing any of them.” Here’s Hannah Lowe Corman’s #MyMotherHustle Story.

When and how did you begin your business? Give us the backstory! 

I knew I wanted to run my own business (and I went through a lot of ideas and business plans) while I was working as an investment banker and not-for-profit fundraiser, but it wasn’t until I moved to NYC that I realized my passion for art could actually be a career.

I have always drawn, painted and taken art and art history classes as a personal pursuit. When I moved to New York, I saw other women making livings as artists and photographers and thought, “Wow, maybe that’s a feasible career.”

In 2016, while also working in a local bakery, I joined an art show hosted by a fellow Rising Tide Society artist and sold the three paintings I had in the show, plus was commissioned for another one. With that, I was off! I built a website, painted a collection of dark, moody abstracts, hired a photographer to create quality photos of my work and started gearing my social media more towards this new career.

In mid-2016, I quit my bakery job to focus on painting full time. I take on custom commission work, paint large-scale backdrops for photoshoots/photobooths/weddings, and paint organized collections of paintings 3-4 times per year, based on my personal inspirations. This year, as I figure out how to organize my time as a new mom, my goal is to take on two painting commissions per month.

Tell us a little about your family. 

I’ve been married to my husband Mark for three years, but we’ve been together for 11! We met at work in Baltimore: he asked me out to dinner and I go, “Are we allowed to do that?” Ha. Well, we went out to dinner and we’ve been going out to dinner ever since! We’ve moved around the country a few times for his job, which we’ve found to be fun, new adventures. We like to go with the flow and keep some flexibility in our mindsets.

This past summer, we welcomed baby Ean Ross, our first child, after a few miscarriages and fertility struggles over the prior years. My sister, who lives in Houston, actually had a son two weeks before Ean! It’s been amazing to go through all of this together.

What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced or lessons you’ve learned since starting your business? 

Everything has been a challenge! Coming from the corporate world, it was fairly shocking to work for myself in that there’s no one to take care of anything except me! While the painting and the finances came easily, the technology and logistics of running a business were daunting. I built my first website on Squarespace, but when I realized they were unable to calculate my sales tax correctly, I had to switch to the Shopify platform. At that point, I hired someone else to build it because I was too busy to learn a whole new setup. In the end, I wish I had taken the time to do it myself so that when I need to update things, it doesn’t take me forever to figure out.

How does motherhood affect or influence your business? Your creativity? 

Well, for one thing, it forces me to be super organized with my time and to give myself permission to drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary. I’ve had to trim down to what the most pertinent steps are TODAY. That’s been liberating and forced me to let go of perfection and to get things accomplished instead.

I actually wrote a blog post about how my most recent collection of paintings came to me while breastfeeding. Living in the moment with Ean has been an incredible gift and I think it’s freed up brain space to allow creative ideas to foment organically.

What advice would you give to a brand-new creative entrepreneur? 

Dive in! There were moments where I felt like a complete idiot (um, how do I ship a painting?!), and moments where I would compare myself to my corporate peers (wow, she’s a vice president of a bank and I’m just starting out making zero dollars), but in the end, I think all the things I didn’t know helped me just focus on doing the work and following my creativity. If I had thought too long and hard about the money, the logistics, the “plan,” I probably would’ve talked myself out of starting, and you’d see me still sitting on the sidelines tinkering with five different business plans, but not doing any of them.

My second piece of advice though would be: have savings!!! Even with the meekest budgets and “worst-case” projections, I still fell short of my most unambitious goals. Luckily, I had a good cushion of savings from my corporate work. If I had to worry about making ends meet while also blindly feeling out a new career, I 100% would’ve quit and gone back to banking.

What advice would you give to a brand-new mom? 

You aren’t alone! Text me (or someone) in the middle of the night (someone who has a baby similar in age to yours is best). It will make you feel better and give you something to look forward to. My mom said, “It’s like being under a heavy waterfall from which you can’t get out.” So true – sometimes it’s nice, but mostly, it’s overwhelming.

Also, eat. Chocolate. But other things, too. I hear vegetables are good for you.

Ready to tell YOUR #MyMotherHustle Story? Submit it here.


Hannah is a painter and yoga teacher inspired by nature, movement and meditation. She grew up in Maryland, lived in Paris after college, came back to Baltimore to work in healthcare and not-for-profit banking, and then moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan (where they knew zero people) for her husband’s job. In 2015, her husband’s job took them to NYC, which was truly a homecoming as it’s where her father grew up and where many close relatives still live. Her son is five months old (today!), and she is working on figuring out this whole new mom/entrepreneur lifestyle, which is, honestly, overwhelming. Follow her on Instagram at HannahLoweCorman and on Facebook at Hannah Lowe Corman. Make sure to contact her here if you are interested in being considered for her 2018 commissions.

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