Well, it's official... BayBee Boutique opened it's virtual doors three years ago TODAY. Although the shop looks drastically different today than it did back in 2014, our message is the same; I still strive to find the BEST natural products for you and your baby.
When I was pregnant with our first son, Jaxon, my husband and I decided it would be best for me to stay home for his first year earthside. It was a difficult decision for me to make. I was used to going 80 miles an hour at my fast-paced Paralegal job and couldn't fathom just "sitting at home," with a baby (which, by the way, I can openly and honestly admit that I was so naive about this!). On top of making this difficult decision, I felt like I was making 10,000 other decisions about my pregnancy and future baby. I threw myself into research in an attempt to find the best stuff out there! I was a "crunchy" mom before I even knew something like that existed.
I think most people would agree that being your own boss is a pretty common dream. I had always felt my organizational skills and drive could be put to great use when starting a business. When I was just about halfway through my pregnancy I started playing around with the idea that I could open up an online boutique centered around natural products for mama and baby, using all the resources I found while pregnant.
One day on my lunch break at work I sketched out a logo for my hypothetical new store. I chose the name "BayBee" for a couple of reasons. Mainly because I wanted to phonetically spell "baby" and somehow include "bee" in there. "Bee" was actually a little nickname my family gave me when I was little: Carley Bee (my maiden name is Bach). The sketch (see below) kind of gave this real feel to an amazing opportunity that presented itself. I know starting a business while pregnant is probably not the smartest thing to do, but I was really determined to do this. I used my last paycheck from the law firm to fund my new adventure. After a few months of research, filing all the necessary paperwork, collecting inventory, and designing my website, BayBee Boutique officially opened for business on March 24, 2014.
original sketch of BayBee Boutique (circa Oct 2013)
my first official logo (circa Feb 2014, right before opening)
Jaxon was born less than a month later; in between feedings and naps, I continued searching for natural baby products for my little guy. The shop began to grow as my baby grew. Due to Jaxon's horrible reflux, I started making these oversized, uniquely-shaped bibs for him. I figured other moms had this problem as well, so I uploaded them and they started flying off the shelves! At four months old, little Jax started with periods of fussiness, lots of drooling, and sticking his hands in his mouth. I had been sent a couple of amber teething necklaces as samples to try for the shop. I'll admit, I was so skeptical that it would actually work, but it sure did! From this point, I was definitely on board with getting these uploaded in the shop! When Jax was full-blown teething I started looking for natural teething remedies and discovered the concept of these silicone necklaces that are safe for baby to chew on and play with. Unfortunately, I disliked the silicone necklaces on the market at that time. They were not fashionable and they were way too expensive! I was already making the bibs, I had started making the amber necklaces, and I thought to myself I should definitely be designing and making my own silicone necklaces!
Starting your own website from the ground up is difficult enough, especially in an already saturated baby market. I had the designs, I was willing to put in the work, but I just did not have the time. Who does when they have an infant?? That's when I discovered Etsy... well actually, I had been shopping on Etsy for a couple years by then, but it didn't click that I should be SELLING on Etsy until now. I uploaded my first designs in October 2014, about 7 months after BayBee Boutique opened. I quickly discovered the amazing support of handmade shops and my shop exploded from there! I didn't have the time to manage my own website on top of Etsy so I went ahead and shut down the website and redirected my domain back to Etsy. I sold off all remaining stock from my non-handmade inventory and devoted myself fully to Etsy and being "handmade."
our new logo (to better represent the "handmade" feel of my Etsy shop)
For two whole years, I worked my butt off growing my Etsy shop. Being a mompreneur, I had the amazing opportunity to work with fellow small shop owners and connected well with other shops just like mine. After working many collaborations with shops like Urban Oreganics (botanical apothecary) and Marleys Monsters (eco-friendly reusables), I found that my shop needed to expand beyond the limits that Etsy offered. I made the decision to delve back into the world of SEO and coding and got right back into creating my own website. This website you're on right now, baybeeboutiqueonline.com, reopened September 2016 and features all of my designs, plus so much more! From here, my shop has once again grown tremendously. I feel so unbelievably fortunate that I've had the opportunity to stay home with my son all while running this business.
A few fun facts for you:
- To date, we've mailed out nearly 2000 packages... woah!
- We've also sold to over 500 people IN PERSON!
- Any BayBee Boutique branded product is researched, designed, created, sanitized, packaged, and shipped by yours truly.
- Right now we work with 5 other eco-friendly, natural, mama-run brands to create some amazing Gift Sets for you! (And we're looking to add more!!!)
This year is already proving to be our best year yet! We're adding some amazing products and programs to the lineup and I cannot wait to share all my ideas with you! Be sure to sign up for our Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming sales and new products.
Until next time,
Owner + Designer