I am attempting to start this adventure, where I am trying to stay away from the big box store, and move towards the little Mom and Pop Store for our shopping. This country was grown by people who wanted to build a life and take care of their family through small business. As we all became materialistic consumers, the chains and big box stores started popping up. Europe however is still doing it right, preserving the tradition of the independent business, and helping families build futures. I miss the community that was centered in Europe, and although I don’t want to live there for the rest of my life, I want to bring a bit of that passion back home to the United States, so here I am, attempting to support the big dreamers, and get my fix.
Something special about a lot of the independent small businesses, is that they all support each other. So you are always bound to find unique products, and quality that is just not available at large mass produced scales. There is a reason I became very exclusive with my clothing, the higher quality usually means longer lasting. In a small business, they don’t always meet wholesale quotas, so stocking the mass produced often times junk, doesn’t happen, which means small business is supporting another small business and bringing products not usually available at Target, and usually has a unique ‘something’ about it, and usually is made to last and inspire.
In the first week of July, I have frequented 4 small businesses, and I am really happy with the outcome. So we will start with the first one: Biddle and Bop. I first came across this store in a forum on Facebook that was promoting Beco Baby Carriers. Their link came up and the name just grabbed my attention. I could not resist seeing what this store was all about. At first glace, you can’t help but smile at the front page, “Embrace Imagination. Encourage Adventure”. This phrase simply sums up all that I want for my future child. The simple layout of the webpage grabbed my attention and I wanted to know more. It was their post about a Mystery Christmas in July box that grabbed my attention originally, and so that was the first thing I would explore.
Upon further exploration, I was surprised at the small selection of products that they carried. I thought maybe I was reading it wrong, but that was not the case at all. The were really a small business with small investments so far. The second thing that made me gloriously happy was the fact that this store that first drew my attention because of baby carriers, had a unique selection of products for Big Kids! That is one thing that saddens me about some of my favorite small retailers, they don’t carry product for the over 5 years old crowd. Biddle and Bop has some very fun creative and unique things to offer though.
Their blog was also not exclusively about promoting products they were selling. It is primarily about promoting different parenting methods, recipes and a clean eating, nature loving lifestyle. The pictures are also breathtaking and fun and makes you wish you had a school aged child to frolick in the woods with. The support for outdoor play, and their products that are both natural and friendly and expand to a larger range of ages is a big bonus. They are definitely a different business than I am used to.
Biddle and Bop does not have a brick and mortar retail store. They are currently exclusively online and currently don’t carry more than a handful of product lines. They do carry the more popular baby carriers, but it is very unique how small each category is how they really are used in real life. Biddle and Bop share their own kid and parent duos using the exact products they are sharing. Their reviews are based upon their actual love for the product.
The small nature of the business means that they can really be hands on with their customers. That is one thing that blew me away. Just how customer service centric their store is. I almost want to say that my experience so far was like a personal shopping experience at Nordstrom. I had so many questions, and when I reached out the store to ask about the stock of an item, I receive nothing but great feedback and answers to all of my inquiries.
The only thing that disappointed me was the lack of large selection, but I need to learn to appreciate the small selection that made shopping easy. I didn’t have to search far for the best gift for MiniMe’s birthday. If they could bring a larger selection so that I could find something for the whole family in one stop, it would be both the greatest one stop shop and probably my demise. The one stop shop experience isn’t what small business shopping is about though.
Their website runs smoothly, and is also mobile friendly. Their blog is a great place for “moms of young children who are starting to explore the world around them” to read. It honestly is a good read no matter what. Their selection of wraps, ring slings and mei tais are all very new to me. I had heard of Tula, and my Beco obsession brought me to their website, but I was really happy to see a bunch of product brands that I had never seen before. It really opened my world up. I really love exploring new brands, and the fact that they are working with small companies really warms my heart.
I was able to make my first big purchase from them and owner Jessica is so sweet to have answered all my questions. Not only is she running a store and raising two girls, but she is also sharing different styles of parenting and learning opportunities with parents. A small business that is very social media friendly. I can’t wait for my first package to come.
Biddle and Bop is currently only an online retailer based out of New Jersey, but hopefully one day it grows and will be something I can visit.