Welcome to the next Belles in Business. This time we are focussing on kid's fashion; it's a massive growth area economically so it is great to get an insider's view of the market. Look out for some top tips on running an online shop too!
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
I'm Dee, a young thirty something, mama, wife, business owner of beeniebuds&co and not forgetting a passionate Graphic Designer. We have two little beeniebuds aged 5 years and 8 months. Everyone that knows me would say I'm a busy body! Yes, that pretty much describes me. I love photography and every opportunity I get is a photo moment of the kids or everyday life.
WHEN DID YOU START beeniebuds&co? TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
It all started with a blog 4 years ago. I was expecting my first child and researching all the fab stuff I could purchase. I loved perusing the shops so much that I felt the need to share it with someone (other than my husband). I noticed the gift and clothing market for kids seemed limited. Everything was covered with cartoon characters and colours were pink or blue. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to start something new and fresh.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND beeniebuds&co?
The blog was going so well that it was nominated for a few awards so we decided to open an online kids store. The name comes from my late Grandmother who used to call my baby brother (at the time) little beeniebud because he was so small. My husband and I thought it would be the perfect branding to help us standout from the rest of the children's clothing market. We stock up-and-coming independent unisex clothing and toy brands.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT FROM HAVING YOUR OWN ONLINE SHOP?
I love the creative freedom to do what I want. Having worked in fashion retail for a good part of my career, it feels great to be a buyer, graphic designer and shopkeeper all in one! Just being your own boss is fantastic and I recommend it to all mamas out there. Customer service is a key part of our business and having one-to-one interaction is refreshing. You'll definitely learn that very quickly when starting a brand or business.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH BRANDS TO STOCK?
What I can say, it is really hard! There are so many lovely brands out there. We attend seasonal children's trade shows in different countries. It's the best way to get a look and feel of the products available. As well being a great way to meet the designer and get an insight into how they go about creating their collections. We often find new labels when browsing Instagram, it is a fantastic place to discover small independent children's labels.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE BUSINESS WITH MOTHERHOOD? ANY TOP TIPS?
One word that works for me is ROUTINE. I'm lost without it. It's good for me and the family.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE?
Busy! During the week it's the school run. Mornings are spent checking emails with a well needed cup of coffee. The world of social media is important for our business so checking and answering any Twitter, Facebook and Instagram comments.
The afternoon's are all about cuddles and playtime with our 8 month old. As well as design updates for the site and planning for the coming seasons.
In the evening the kids are in bed by 7:30pm and there's some one-on-one time with hubby!
WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF THE BUSINESS?
We've come a long way since 2010, the response has been amazing. We plan to do more pop-up shops and collaborate with designers on making bespoke designs for beeniebuds&co. Most importantly we want to continue as we are, providing a great selection of quality clothes and toys and excellent customer service.