As you know by now, I love sharing about companies and products we love on the blog and our Instagram - and most especially those made right here in New England. Next in our series of interviews from New England Makers, we have Kristina Grabarz of Two Little Beans & Co!
Two Little Beans & Co. is best known for their beautiful bibs, booties, and apparel for babies and small children - and especially their Maine/coastal-inspired designs!
Tell me a little about yourself and your business.
I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Biology. A few years after graduating, I moved back to Maine with my husband and worked in a Microbiology lab for almost 7 years. Shortly after the birth of my second son, I transitioned to being a full time stay at home mom. I’ve always been a creative and around this time sewing grew into the perfect creative outlet for me. Two Little Beans & Co. specializes in handcrafted goods for baby, including baby booties, bibs and apparel.
How did you start Two Little Beans & Co.? Had you been making baby goods for awhile or was this a new leap for you?
When both of my boys were babies, I sewed quilts and blankets for them. When my youngest was little, I took a real need to find him a pair of shoes that fit (and stayed on) and developed the pattern for our booties. The current pattern is based off of his feet and I was able to design the booties to grow with him with a non-slip soft sole to help when he eventually started walking. I started to make them as gifts for family and friends and was encouraged to turn this into a business!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Each day is a little bit different depending on if my boys are in school or not. There are three days that they are both in school and those days start with getting out of the house early for school drop-offs and running back home to work. I try to get as much as possible done during those days so that the remainder of the week can be a little less chaotic (haha!). Depending on the week, it’s finding a few minutes whenever I can find it, always keeping my fingers crossed for a good nap out of my littlest one!
What is your favorite part about owning your own company? And least favorite part?
I will always love seeing a new baby wearing a pair of booties or outfit that I’ve made. It’s so special that customers believe in the quality and designs of my products enough to dress their baby in them.
My least favorite part is probably all of the behind the scenes bookkeeping and paperwork that goes into running your own business. I don’t mind working on the numbers but I would much rather be picking out new fabric!
What has been the most exciting moment for Two Little Beans & Co. since you started?
It’s been so surreal to have my products featured in a few local magazines and newspapers but when Michael Phelps posted a picture of his son Boomer on his first Christmas wearing my lobster bib – that was definitely exciting to see!
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
I have a quote hanging on my sewing machine that says “nothing in this world is created without passion” and I truly believe that if you love something and put your mind to it, you can accomplish it (with a BIG side of hard work!). I would also say, learn everything you can about what it is you want to do. I went into this with zero experience or knowledge about business. I do a ton of reading, listening to business podcasts and researching every aspect of running a small business.
What is your long-term goal? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I definitely plan to continue to grow this business over the next five years. Our booties and bibs continue to be the most popular pieces and I want to expand those options but I’ve also been working on some nursery décor items that I would love to put out there over the next year or so. I’ve also brought on another Mom to help part-time with production, which means I can work to continue to expand the wholesale side of Two Little Beans too.
Who’s one of your favorite New England Makers?
Erin Flett – Love her bright, bold colors and designs!
Keep Up with Two Little Beans & Co.!
All photos courtesy of Two Little Beans & Co.