Mama Bear's DIY Den Opens Norwich Storefront
Published: May 12th, 2023
By: Sarah Genter

Mama Bear's DIY Den opens Norwich storefront Mama Bear's DIY Den opened a storefront in March known as MBDD Shop, located at 147 Dan Main Road in Norwich. The store sells owner Taylor Jackson's handmade shirts and drink tumblers, as well as an assortment of products from local, women-owned small businesses. (Submitted photo)

NORWICH — Local entrepreneur and owner of Mama Bear's DIY Den Taylor Jackson recently opened a storefront, known as MBDD Shop, to sell her handmade shirts and drink tumblers, as well as an assortment of products from other small, women-owned businesses.

The store is located at 147 Dan Main Road in Norwich, and features various products including women's, men's, and kid's clothing, natural products, drink glasses and tumblers, accessories, candles, handmade jewelry, and more from vendors based in Norwich, Oxford, and Gilbertsville.

Jackson said she got started by selling her products online under Mama Bear's DIY Den about five years ago. She focused on T-shirts that she bleached, dyed, and printed designs on herself using a process called sublimation.

Story Continues Below Adverts

"When you first get a printer you don’t put the ink in there, you put the sublimation ink, and then that prints out on sublimation paper, it’s just a special paper that I get off Amazon, and then I just press it on with my heat press and the sublimation ink goes from the paper onto the shirt," Jackson explained.

This technique allows her to print nearly any design on a short- or long-sleeved T-shirt or sweatshirt. She even prints designs on frosted and clear drinking glasses, glass tumblers with wooden lids and straws, and metal tumblers for cold and hot drinks.

The creative freedom provided by sublimation keeps the shop's items unique, allows customers to order any MBDD shirt in their size, and provides the opportunity for custom orders.

"I do custom orders. They’re just a little extra, obviously, because it takes a little more time to make them," said Jackson. "With Mother’s Day, I’ve been doing these birth flower sweatshirts and shirts, and I have a whole chart of all the birth months and flowers, and then there’s some greenery and stuff, and I’ve been making bouquets and putting ‘mom’ or ‘grandma.'"

"I can print pretty much whatever, and I try to do some custom orders, like if a business would give me their logo or something. I do a lot of special announcements, which are really fun, like babies or birthday parties, anniversaries, stuff like that," she added.

In March, she officially opened the MBDD Shop storefront, a cozy, "boho-western" store where she sells her own handmade items as well as products offered by other small, women-owned businesses.

"I just felt like there wasn’t much around where you can find custom graphic tees, and I wanted people to be able to come and feel, because that's a big thing for people, and I make a lot of really soft shirts," said Jackson.

Story Continues Below Adverts

"And then I really think women's small, locally-owned businesses are really important to support," she continued. "I have a couple of other shops, small businesses, in my shop that I also feature. So I wanted it to be like a whole thing where people that are online or at vendor events, I wanted them to have an opportunity to have their stuff in person, too. It’s just a lot different than what you see online and what you see in person."

MBDD Shop's open hours vary, but Jackson said she's usually open on Saturdays. Hours will be posted regularly to the MBDD Shop Facebook page. Jackson said shoppers can also contact the store via Facebook to schedule a private shopping experience.

"I’m still kind of figuring out when I really want to be open. I have three kids, and my husband works six days a week in construction, so I have to go around that. Obviously I work at NBT full time until four [p.m.], so I think I’m mainly going to be open on Saturdays," Jackson explained.

In addition to selling locally-made products, Jackson began hosting fun and creative events at the shop as well, partnering with local creators.

MBDD Shop has already hosted a laser-engraved sign-making class, and will be hosting a bracelet-making party this weekend for moms and their kids to celebrate Mother's Day.

At 12 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, the shop will host a "Mom and Mini" Memorial Day cookie decorating class, and on Wednesday, May 24 at 5:30 p.m. they'll be holding a candle-making class with Patty from Twisted Tree Designs. Details of upcoming events can be found on the MBDD Shop Facebook page.

Overall, Jackson said she wants the store to support other small, local, women-owned businesses while also providing self care opportunities to local women and moms.

"It’s important to mainly support moms and small businesses. It’s good for us to do something more. Like we often get lost and caught up in the everyday life and stress, and we need to do something for ourselves. A lot of this for me is self care, and I’ve put part of myself in everything that I make," said Jackson.

"I have two boys and then I just had my daughter. So I think all the time of how she’s going to grow up, and I just want her to know even though I may not be happy with myself I guess all the time, I want her to be happy with herself. So I'm always trying to improve mentally every day for my kids."

More information on MBDD Shop can be found on the MBDD Shop Facebook page.