Small Business Adventures: Biddle and Bop – Part 3 “Christmas in July Review”

**This post was meant for way back in July, but life happened, and its just now going out. This isn’t complete, as the kid box was not reviewed in this chapter completely, but it is what it is, as life happened, and that will be the next blog.**

I received my Christmas in July box yesterday and had to hold out on opening it because I wanted to make sure I wrote my pre-review before I could open the box to really express what I wanted and see if it matched up with my information that was shared in original order. In the Part 2 of this 3 part series, I shared what I was hoping to see in my box. Here is a breakdown of what came in the box and how I feel about it all.

Opening the box was fun because there was re-use which I am always a fan of. Along with re-using an amazon box and the Sunday comics for the padding in the package, everything was cutely wrapped in the package with very Christmas and July tissue paper.

My Babywearing Mystery Box for a Baby came packaged in little individual packages and the Create and Imagine box came its own little box wrapped in purple fabric ribbon.

The Babywearing Mystery Box was $240 for the box, and the break down of what I received is as followed:

– Fidella Fly Tai $115

– Beco Gemini $130

– Organic Cotton Beco Drool Pads $19.99

– Slugs and Snails Tights $16.99 Each

– Baggu Reusable Bag $7

– Special Coupon Code for Discounts on Future Orders

Total Value of Box: Over $300!

I was thoroughly impressed I received the brands of carriers that I had been wanting to try. Wrapping is still a little new to me, and the thought of adding another wrap to my stash kept me cautious of ordering the first day that the box was announced. I decided to jump in and was pleasently surprised by receiving a Beco and a Fly Tai which was what I wanted to try. Those two items alone, peeked my interested enough and made up for the cost of the box itself. The extras that also came with the carriers though, were a bonus. All of the extra products were new to me except for the drool pads which I thought was just genius and perfect and something every carrier loving mama needs. I was surprised by the tights, and did some background research on them. I totally love them and can’t wait to put them on my future little babe. Two pairs was generous since they are so highly priced. Oddly though, I think one of my favorite I can use right now products has to be the reusable bag. I am such a bag hoarder, but I had never used this brand before, and lets say that this might be a new favorite of mine. I might need to invest in more of these. They are super light weight, and very large and durable. There is only one bag that I possibly like more and its about five times the price point.

With all the good of the box, there is also the honest side of any disappointment that I may have. My only disappointment was the print of the Beco. It is my least favorite print of all time. Steps. I saw the print as being a very modern geometric print that isn’t my style. I know for some its a natural print and very gender neutral. Since I don’t know the gender of my future child. Gender neutral is smart, but I wasn’t sold on this print and I was hoping that my description of what I was wanting and didn’t want would explain and gear my box stylist away from Steps. However, I really can see how maybe my descriptions which sided on vague could be mistaken for, ‘I will like this print’. I am not returning the box though. Because honestly, its a good deal, and I can always trade or share the beco gemini in my lending library.

What was I hoping for more though? I think in the back of my mind, I was really hoping for a Beco Soleil in twilight with an infant insert. I have yet to own one of the new V2 versions of the new Beco Soleils, and I have not yet owned or even seen one in person, and the infant insert of the carrier, so part of me was hoping for one of those, in that specific print, but honestly, its a surprise box. I don’t want it to be all about what I want, but maybe a different perspective into what I need.

Overall I am really happy with my experience with this box. I think the only thing holding me back from ordering the Everything Babywearing Box was that the selection at Biddle and Bop is currently still very small and I am not in the market for wraps and ring slings or tula carriers. I already have those, and I just am not in love. The FlyTai is new to me, and so I wanted to try that out, and Beco was something I wanted to add more of to my collection, so I was open to that. It was really the other variety of products that I was hoping to also try. Biddle and Bop may not have the widest selection of baby carriers because they are still a new and small store, but they have a broader collection of items for the Adventure Parent within me, and they carry products I have never heard of, so I was really exploring that more than anything. I am hoping as their store gains traction and more people gravitate towards a store for older kids, that their product selection will grow for the baby market.

Another thing that I was really interested in investing in was the Create and Imagine box. Biddle and Bop has a lot more product geared towards older kids then your typical online babywearing and cloth diaper store. I would say that 75% of their product are geared towards toddlers and older who are growing into independent little adventurers. I think that draw is exciting for the stage that MiniMe is at, but its hard for the future mother side of me that is also wanting a one stop shop for my baby needs. However, everything is in stages, and I think I will appreciate it more when I don’t have Baby on the brain, and instead am desperately looking for some new toys for my older child who is done with silicon teethers and looking for something to explore and stimulate the imagination. So enter the Imagine and Create box.

This box is geared towards the child who has a broad imagintion and who loves creative play. I geared this towards MiniMe who is going on six years old, but is a little immature for her age in certain aspects. The box had a mask, a silkie, a doll carrier, crayons, cotton leggings, and a soap carving kit.

The value of everything definitely hit the threshold I was hoping for. I think I would have wanted more play things since she doesn’t do dress up, so the mask has since been tossed to the side. The crayons are useless to her, she doesn’t like how they are not finite motor skills, so she declined them and we are regifting those, she was lost as to what to do with the silkie, and surprisingly, she didn’t care for the carrier as much as I thought she would. She was impressed for about 5 minutes. The rainbow leggings and the soap carving kit though, it was all she wanted. It’s 100 degrees outside, but she still wants to wear them. The soap carving kit is the biggest success as she loves it, and we have since bought about 12 more bars of soap so she can create more soap carving items. Needless to say, the house has no shortage on soap now. I think if this was a child maybe 1-2 years younger, or one who liked playing pretend more, this would be the perfect set. However, for the child who likes real animals, and not make believe, and really loves arts and crafts, this was a 50% win. There are two newly 3 year old blondes in my life though who are about to get a bunch of giggles out of the rest of the stuff!

Biddle and Bop was one of the first stores this year to do a big box of surprises. The store has started a trend though, and more and more stores are doing surprise boxes with carriers and other items. One thing I liked about B&B’s boxes are that they are catered to what you describe, or at least they try to. There selection is also wider in age, so you’re not getting only baby stuff. They are up against some heavy competition though as about 5 other stores have since started “Surprise” boxes and they are all the rage all over the place right now. Not sure if the stores are getting their money’s worth for their boxes though, because some boxes are filled with lots of little knick knacks, and some have some higher end stuff, but all in all, the boxes are all filled with the same kinds of things for babies under 1. I think I lucked out, and there are things in my boxes that are great for all ages. Not just more baby shower gifts.

Biddle and Bop is still growing as a store though, and I genuinely look forward to new products that will be coming into their store, and what next years surprises boxes might hold. Maybe then, I will be ready to use all the cutesy little things for my own little rainbow tot.

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