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.