Sunday, March 31, 2013

Military Appreciation!

Military Appreciation Giveaway!

I decided to open the giveaway a day early! I am hosting a special, three day giveaway as a huge "Thank you" to the military community for supporting Little Bean and supporting my family in our new military life. It's a very simple entry, just use the widget below, "like" Little Bean on Facebook and "Sound Off" with your military branch and a link to your Facebook profile (in the widget ONLY, not publicly, and only to verify your military affiliation if you win - I won't use it or access it otherwise).

Be sure to comment below and share this with all your military friends and family to spread the love!

Thank you to all of the military spouses and military personnel who have been so extremely supportive of me, my family and my boutique! I can't wait to see who the winner is!

***You must be affiliated with the United States Military in order to be eligible to win. For this contest, "affiliated" is limited to current service members, former service members (including veterans and retired), or their immediate families (including fiance(e)s, spouses, dependents, parents, or siblings; DoD ID eligibility is not required for "spouse" status for this giveaway, meaning same sex spouses qualify, too!). If a winner is selected who is ineligible, another winner will be selected until one is found to be eligible.***

Military Appreciation Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner of the Dorothy Dean & Little Bean Giveway!


Congratulations to Rachel T. of Seattle, Wa. on winning an entire coordinating set from the Katherine collection and a free mini session from Dorothy Dean Photography! I can't wait to see the pictures!

For all other entrants, to show our appreciation for your support and interest in Dorothy Dean and Little Bean, Dorothy will be sending out a special thank you code to use! For Little Bean orders, you will receive 10% off your purchase 4/4-4/11 by using the code!

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Didn't win this contest? Don't worry, this is grand opening month and there will be many contests to come! 

Monday will be the start of the Military Appreciation contest I mentioned the week before last. This contest is ONLY for individuals associated with the military. I'm giving away a surprise pair of earrings to show my appreciation for all of the support my family and I have received since being at Sheppard AFB in Texas and to say a huge thank you to those Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Guardsmen who serve our country and their families who give them the support they need to do their jobs!

Check back tomorrow morning for all the details and to enter the Military Appreciation Contest!

Now, it's back to the design room for me! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Time!

It's time for our first major contest! My dear friend, Dorothy of Dorothy Dean Photography in Tacoma, Washington is partnering with Little Bean to offer a fantastic prize package for one lucky winner! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter for a chance to win an entire coordinating set from Little Bean and a free mini session from Dorothy!

Be sure to share the contest with your friends so everyone has a chance to win! Good luck and I can't wait to see who wins!

Photo courtesy of "Janice Photography" in Wichita Falls, TX.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Friendship is huge and I cherish my friends dearly. A good portion of my friends have even become family. Friendship in the military is an entirely different relationship, it's almost instant, and it seems like family from the beginning - it is family in so many ways and that's true of the ones I've known for 7+ years and the ones I've met at Sheppard the past few months. I owe the creation and (hopefully) success of Little Bean to the set of friends who belong in this "just add water and a PCS" category. Without their inspiration, I might not have thought about it at all. Without their continued support, input and their shameless plugging of Little Bean amongst themselves, their friends and their families, Little Bean wouldn't be growing the way it is! So, thank you!

As a token of my appreciation and a nod to their positive influence, the majority of my original seven collections are named after some of these incredible (and cherished) friends; the only exception is the "California" collection which is named so because the colors and styles remind me of where I met my husband and he is my biggest supporter of all!

In the spirit of giving back, I've decided to run a special contest for military only! I will post the details next week!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Little Bean Beginnings

I never pictured myself starting a work from home boutique. I always pictured myself in a courtroom, in my suit, attaché in hand, ready for my case. I was a court appointed legal advocate before getting married and having the original Little Bean (LB). I knew I'd stay home to raise her and eventually get back to a career when she and her future siblings were all in school. But, you just never know what will inspire you!

Little Bean the boutique came from an outpouring of inspiration and support and a few serrendipitous events! It started with the need to be crafty after moving 4 states south of "home" and being thrown in head first to a brand new military life. I had LB and yes, she is enough, but I had an increasingly strong need for something independent of her, something just for me, even if it was trivial, even better if it was trivial. I taught myself how to make quilted ornaments using various tutorials. Another Air Force wife I know used to make and sell them and I always meant to buy them, but unfortunately never got around to it before she closed up shop. I went all out in my endeavor. I stocked up on materials and grossly overestimated my free time allowed by the original Little Bean! "You want to spend minutes of your day not paying me 100% of your attention, Mommy?!?!? Bahahahahahahaha, we'll see about that!" (She's gushingly sweet, but I just know she has a secret menacing side). I did manage to finish one ABU ornament and 90% finish about 6 others. Then Christmas came and went, the motivation to work on holiday decorations left with it. I went back to being project-less and direction-less.

But what's this??? My amazingly insightful and thoughtful husband bought me a jewelry making kit for Christmas! (Don't tell him I said that about him, he won't be able to fit his head through the doorway). I created my very first pair with the supplies from the kit; they were simple, but I was quite proud of myself and extremely surprised by how much I enjoyed making them. I decided to make a pair for one of my new friends for her birthday and made them grey and purple to match her style (this eventually became known as the Claire collection). The original pair I made just so happened to be PERFECT for another new friend and I thought she deserved something special (that pair is chocolate and gold toned, which became the Jaime Collection). I gave them each their earrings at a "Mommy's Night In," purely for convenience (or laziness). Another Mommy commented on how much she liked them and asked where I sold them and whether or not I had a web page. I didn't, yet, but the bean (tee-hee, get it?) was planted!

At that same "Mommy's Night In" event, I was told about a bow exchange happening locally. My interest was piqued and I jumped at the chance to try something new, but really I was in it for the grown up, non high-pitched, multi-syllabic conversation that would undoubtedly be sought by every other mommy in attendance. But, I took the bow making very seriously, too. I knew I wanted something satin and sophisticated/sweet and I wanted it to be something beautiful. I found a tutorial for a ruffled satin ribbon rosette and fell in love!!! I created the first "Kaitlyn" bow and exchanged 11 out of 12 at the event. One, the very first one, came home with me and my LB wears it all the time.

My husband was so impressed by the "Kaitlyn" that he suggested I sell the bows. Really, the conversation went more like this "What do you think, honey?" "That's great! You could sell those!" (I'm sure he thought it would mean I'd use up all the extra ribbon I bought and then I'm certain he mentally *facepalmed* when he figured out that actually meant I would spend more money).

I took about a week to really think about it, weighed the pros and cons, gathered input on
a shop name and logo, then spent another month or so building and revising my business plan, tracking down supplies (spending lots - my husband now urges me not to tell him the running total), developing designs and generating interest and here we are!!!

Little Bean is just starting out (I avoided a "sprout" pun there for your sake), but it's growing strong thanks to all the support and inspiration I find in all of you!

Pictured: LB wearing the very first bow I made.