Meeting the Queen Bee

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you will know that I’ve grown into a big fan of Instagram shops and brands. One of the first I ever came across was baby clothing and accessories supplier Bee Bee’s Boutique. At the time, they were running a brand rep search and, after getting approval from Ryan and some friends, I decided to enter Ralphie. With just a few followers to my name, not to mention a feed of photos that were a bit all over the place, the lovely Rhiannon Beeson took a punt on us. And it’s been up, up, up ever since then!

I think the same can be said for Bee Bee’s. Rhiannon set up the store with her own little bee – Lottie – in mind, wanting to find cool clothing and accessories that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to buy on the high street. Today, she stocks a fabulous range of amazing brands from around the world, and her customer base is growing as demand for handmade, on-trend, baby clothes from small businesses continues to skyrocket.

“I’m super passionate about supporting other mumpreneurs and small businesses, and we’re so proud to work with our stockists,” Rhiannon says. “We’re also pretty proud to have a couple of firsts under our belt, being the first supplier of Lil’ Cubs, Hudson Reign and Lyn in Stitches; the first UK supplier of CarlijnQ; and the first European supplier of Coco & Cru.”

Rhiannon has also let me in on a little secret that I’m absolutely honoured to be able to share with you all. Bee Bee’s is now an official stockist of Fred and Noah!

“We’re so excited to be working with the wonderful Natalie from Fred and Noah,” she says. “They were the first Instashop we bought from and we’re totally addicted to their awesome leggings. When we got the email to say ‘welcome aboard’, I ran into the kitchen screaming in total disbelief!

“All of our Fred and Noah stock is ready made and ready to ship so our little bees will get the same quick turnaround. We’re really honoured to be working with them and think this is a really exciting time for Bee Bee’s.”

I feel very lucky to be one of the first to congratulate Bee Bee’s on this fantastic news. The leggings are going to be in great company on the website and they certainly fit the bill in terms of what types of clothing Rhiannon aims to stock – bright and colourful, and funky and bold.

“We also test all of our products before we approach a stockist – how do they wash, what’s the fit like, the material and so on,” she explains. “Talking to mums on a regular basis and looking after our own little bee means we know what’s important. But most of all we go on gut feeling. What brands do we love, what’s their approach with customers and do they fit with the Bee Bee’s ethos? We’re super lucky to work with such wonderful brands.”

When asked what her favourite Bee Bee’s item is, Rhiannon says that it is way too difficult to choose just one. So she opts for one from each brand she stocks instead: “Fred and Noah – has to be the fabulous pink cloud leggings: super soft, bright and funky yet girly print, perfect fit and they last. Lil’ Cubs has to be the Oranges and Lemons baby grows – the little yellow soles are soooo cute and the unisex print makes it one of my go-to baby shower gifts. Hudson Reign – personalised tees without a doubt; they’re just so cool and the quality is amazing. Coco and Cru – all of the blankets are lush but Mint Triangle and the Peach Herringbone are to die for!”

If you haven’t already, you can check out the full range of clothing and accessories at www.beebeesboutique.co.uk. I don’t know about you, but I’m off shopping…

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Think outside the bulb

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I stumbled across Bulb London’s Instagram page (@bulb_london) a couple of months back (this happens quite often these days!), and I was immediately captivated.

I absolutely love it when I find something different and quirky – and this new kids’ lifestyle and décor brand is definitely that. Their designs are unique and clever. As soon as I saw their amazing lightbulb decoration, I was desperate to get my hands on one.

After months of hard work and preparation, Bulb London opened its virtual doors last week. In between running her new business and packing up orders, Agnete Rinne – the amazing mama behind it all – took some time out to tell me what Bulb London is all about, and what inspired her to set up her own business.

Before we hear all about Bulb London, tell me a little about yourself and your family.
We are a trilingual, modern, lifestyle-conscious family living in London. I came to the city in 2006 to study and I’m still here (laughing). I’m originally from Rīga, the capital of Latvia.

I have always been creative; my mum was a painter so I guess, she ‘pushed’ me down the same route, which I’m grateful for. I painted portraits back home, but wanted to try something different when I came to London. So I went for visual arts and graphic design. I’m not exactly a computer person, but I’m happy I hold a degree. I met my partner Farhan (everyone calls him Haan) during our university days, and we are still going strong. Oh gosh, we fight and argue – not only we are from different cultures, but we have our wonderful daughter Mia as well as our joint business to juggle.

So how did the idea for your business come about?
My mother use to paint, as did my grandfather, so I come from a very artistic background. I have a natural eye for colour and shape, and I always wanted to do something big; sometimes I think people don’t dare to dream big enough. So one day me and Haan sat on the sofa and we were like “f*** it – lets do it!” My creativity is unstoppable, but I need someone to manage me, therefore we are a great match. Trust me, not everyone can work with their other half, especially with a control freak like me!

Where did you get the inspiration from for your fabulous designs?
Our darling Mia is the heart of Bulb London. As a parent, I have a job to be a role model to my daughter, and by extension, to other young people too. I also understand how to turn a lightbulb on in someone’s head. Creativity equals inspiration, and if you’ve got a creative mind, you don’t ever stop working. It’s about how you deliver your idea.

Now that your shop is live, what products can people get their hands on?
We launched on 1 June. We worked day and night to go live. Every single thing – from the sketches to the final products – we’ve done ourselves. We have a range of prints, kids’ room deco and tees for kids aged 1-8 years. We also created a tote bag for people who like to ‘think outside the bulb’.

If you could choose one favourite item from your range, what would it be?
Am I allowed to have favourites? (laughing) It’s definitely the Mama Queen print – it’s a portrait of me! I also love the black bulb all over print tee.

I know it’s early days, but what’s in the pipeline for Bulb London?
We are basically building a baby – creating it, evolving it and developing it. At the moment, we are working on our adult range of tees. We’ve got so much more to give. I truly believe that we could all change our entire consciousness if we dared to dream big.

Visit Bulb London’s website to discover the full range. And be sure to check out Agnete’s Instagram page for some amazing lifestyle shots.

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