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Socially Responsible Company

Shop socially responsible products this year with Little Bird Vintage Designs this year!

Every aspect of Little Bird Vintage Designs is as sustainably produced as possible

Little Bird Vintage Designs prides itself on being a Socially Responsible Company and Product. Family owned and operated, American Made, each of our 4 product lines practice minimal to zero waste throughout production. From our Marketing Material which is produced on recycled, recyclable paper, to our Direct To Garment Print which uses water-based ink and is extremely Earth and Kid Friendly, to our hand Painted Applique’s, each individually painted onto organic Cotton and sewn to ensure the quality you would expect.

We only have one Earth and I feel passionately about preserving it for generations to come.

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It all started with a… {Part 1}

Each year I tell the magical startup tale of Little Bird Vintage Designs.  “It all began with a Lovie and our Signature Ava Bird.”   Little Bird Vintage Designs got started 9 years ago this month in Corpus Christi, TX.  My husband was beginning his residency, and we were starting our family with just the one, Ava.

A Hand Painted, originally designed, Ava Bird Lovie was given to Ava as a goodbye gift from my very best and probably most influential of mommy friends, Anastacia Postema.  It was love at first sight!  I knew right then and there in the doorway of our tiny apartment, this was IT!  This was the product I had been dreaming of when I envisioned being an entrepreneur — I had found it!  The moment was magical, I still remember it as if it was yesterday.  I told Anastacia my plan and got to work on implementing it the very next day by heading to the court house and registering Little Bird Vintage Design (Side Note: in 2011, I officially changed the name to Little Bird Vintage Designs.)  It was the first name that came to mind, and since I couldn’t imagine anything but a bird at the time, it just felt perfect.  And the rest is history….

The Original Little Bird Lovie :)The original Ava Bird Lovie!The Original Little Bird Team!

Anastacia Postema, Ava, Eli and me, 9 years ago…

But did you know it actually all started with TWO Birds?!?!  

Stephanie Harrison of Belly and Baby, now Little Paper Crowns took a huge leap of faith in us right from the beginning and started our initial following and orders for product that February.  It became clear that we were limiting our audience by just offering the feminine Ava Bird.  Thus, a boy version was born!  Since I was a novice at sewing and crafting, I could not figure out how to reduce the size of his hair to accommodate the set 20″ x 20″ Lovie pattern that we had become accustomed to developing, so his existence was only lived out in a few rare samples.

Until NOW!

It is SO unbelievably cool how God works.

Looking back on every step of this business, all 9 years of it, things have gone exactly how things should for each period and season of my life.

  • In 2007 we hatched the Signature Ava Bird and Lovie.
  • In 2008, Leo the Lion, created by our Graphic Designer and Visual Creator, Erin Wallace, arrived and the Nest hasn’t been the same since.
  • In 2009, Maximus Our Octopus came to be and donned the same signature eyes and curve to his tentacles just like the Ava Bird and Leo Lion.
  • In 2010, My husband finished Residency and we moved our Nest to San Antonio, TX just as the market was crashing, Boutiques were leary of homemade businesses and I was expecting our 4th…. Needless to say, I took a tiny step back from Little Bird to regroup….

By the Summer of 2011–our 4th and {final} animal was discovered through brainstorming with Erin over email. (We have never met in person, all these 8 years, and 3 animals, and many web designs between us.)  We new we wanted a reptile, but all the sketches looked too characteristic of Pascal from the new film “Tangled”. Until, my husband struck a pose at the fridge in our kitchen, I took a picture and sent it over immediately, the next day, the design of the Kalli Gecko was born!

  • That year (2011) we not only Launched our 4th Trademarked Design but also our new Eco Friendly Printed Collection.  This Eco Friendly Collection features a new organic option of printing versus the standard Screen Print.  The Method is called Direct to Garment Print and uses 100% water based inks, and blends into the fabric rather than laying on top. It is 100% Environment and People safe. Each animal got a full Collection of both Hand Painted Appliquéd Products and Eco Friendly Print Products.
  • December of 2011, I read the wonderful book Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes, and was immediately inspired!  If I was going to do this, I sure better be doing it with purpose and for a purpose!
  • The Buy Love, Give Love segment of Little Bird Vintage Designs was added and the “One for One” model adopted–“For every Blanket, Lovie, Pillow purchased, Little Bird Vintage Designs donates a blanket to a child in need.  Buy Love, Give Love.”  And we do just that, with the hopes of “Spreading warmth, Love and Happiness throughout the World, one Little Bird at a time.”
  • To date, 228 Blankets have been donated around the world.  Visit our Buy Love, Give Love page on the site to read more.

It had been a dream of mine since the beginning to get in Whole Foods Market and on the Ellen Show, AND guess what!  I’m still awaiting my invite to the Ellen Show, but we have been selling out on Aisle 8 of the Flagship Location of Whole Foods Market on Lamar, in Downtown Austin, Texas since the Spring of 2015!!!  In fact, right next to TOMS Shoes in the Whole Body Department!  

Yes, things were growing almost as if I had planned it …

2015 was GREAT, unexpectedly amazing, moving, humbling–to say the least!  I solidified my presence and title of self proclaimed Mompreneur and can hardly wait to show you our Latest Addition to our Nest!!  Come Back February!  I will debut our Latest Addition to our Nest on the 1st day of my favorite shortest month of the year!!  Until Then… Check out our Fresh New Shop Layout on the Site!  Sorted by Animal, featuring each of the 5 Trademarked Designs’ Full Collections including our newest accessory–Little Bird Vintage Designs TERVIS!!!!

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God’s Gift, Light from Heaven

The summer of Teddy… That’s what the Summer of 2015 will go down in history as…  Our world completely changed the day we got the surprise news we were unexpectedly expecting again after closing that chapter in our lives when our 4th arrived.  Little Bird was our 5th child!  God had other plans in mind, and once we made the decision to accept and move forward with trusting in His plan, and letting go of our image of “The Perfect Plan”, we haven’t looked back.   John and I had no idea we had always obviously needed 5 children, we can’t remember what life was like without Teddy!  What a gift!

He arrived early and fast!  {I had my first contraction at noon and he was here by 4:02pm that day–we had to decide, do we go pick  the kids up from school or head straight to the hospital and have family pick the other 4 up???  So glad we chose the Hospital route.;)} He made his grand entrance into the world 12 minutes after we arrived!

His signature hair is proof of his speedy delivery!     

The day we found out the sex of Teddy, at week 13, we found out he was even more of a special gift than we could have imagined.  I can now officially speak from experience from birthing 5 children, you never know how you will react to the news:  Your baby has Down Syndrome, until you hear that exact statement directed at you.  And all the stories are true and immediately relatable.  You instantly know that gut wrenching, uncontrollable, inevitable sadness and despair that envelopes you, mourning the loss of the hope of a “healthy” child.  The uncertainty that follows.  The darkness.  The conversations that come, the choices that have to be decided upon.  The leaning on faith and trusting…  And then, just like many of the stories you hear, there is a light!  And just as quickly as  the news was delivered, that dark period of grief and loss that felt so overwhelming, becomes a blip in your distant memory, the crevice in your heart slowly fills with a new, brighter joy and you find your way out.  At least that was the case for me.  Of course a much abbreviated explanation of my reaction, but there is no need to dwell in that time for me.  In fact, I am so grateful for the gift of experiencing that sorrow ahead of his arrival so that not only I could welcome him into this world with such wide open loving arms, but I could prepare all his loved ones hearts as well.  It’s a natural response to grieve the expectation of a 100% healthy child, but I am so glad to have had the first hand knowledge of knowing our vision of 100% is somewhat limited and lacking.  Each one of my 5 are 100%+ perfect the second I meet them!  And Teddy was no exception.  He was perfect.  He is perfect.

I was struggling with how to bring his uniqueness out into the conversation.  God’s presence and voice was so strong and present throughout my pregnancy and even stronger now that he has arrived.  I feel the overwhelming desire to shout it to the world, and spread the Good News!  I am so grateful and joyous that I get this front row seat to witness first hand God’s plan unfold in not only Teddy, but my other 4 gifts, his siblings and my husband and myself.  He already has shown us so many gifts in ourselves and our family that we never expected, and has proven time and again that He is in control and to trust solely in HIM.  Since I relinquished my vision of “The Perfect Plan” for my life, he has shown me so much more than I could have ever dreamed, and opened my eyes to the beauty that comes in faith and trust.

I am thankful and thrilled for what’s to come…

Needless to say, Little Bird has slowed slightly–not nearly as much as I expected from transitioning a family of 6 to a family of 7, but I do appreciate your patience as we adapt to our present.  I now start each day differently, and with an attitude that is evident in my actions going forward as a daughter, wife, mother, and business owner, ‘Let thine Will be done’!

I felt strongly that I needed to share this with you.  I run things completely differently than I did last Fall, and I am so glad for the opportunity to share my heart and be vulnerable with you.  I am so joyous for this life I have been given and truly want to Shout it Out–and I hope it shows throughout my family, friends, community and in my business.

You will notice some additions to help make you feel more a part of the Flock with our monthly Newsletters–sign up below if you haven’t already, our new Vlog on youtube, which gives you a more behind the scene glance of all things Little Bird and the decisions that go into perfecting each product–including the making of a Little Bird Product start to finish!  You can now purchase everything directly from our Website:  www.littlebirdvintagedesigns.com/shop, and Little Bird Vintage Designs products are also being sold at select Whole Foods Market and boutiques throughout Texas.  As we grow and expand into different venues, we want you to know that our online shop will always be available 24/7!  Keep up to date with Flash Sales and promotions by following along with us on our Social Media outlets too!  {sign up for all of the above through their links to stay completely up to date with all things Little Bird}.

Yes, Teddy will have a new animal that is chosen and was actually created 8 years ago by the original Designer of the Ava Bird, Anastacia Postema.  Although it was Trademarked, it was never added to the Nest officially–until now!  Hoping to debut him by September!!  Thank you for your patience, though!  He came so early, we weren’t ready to for him!;)

Thank you again for all of your support and love for Little Bird Vintage Designs and all that it means to me and my family.  I am excited for what’s to come and glad to share in the bright future with you!

Wishing you warmth, Love and happiness all the days of your life~

Joyfully Optimistic Bird,

Grace

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Tales from a Mompreneur #2

Many ask what my typical day looks like, and in my favorite podcast:  Entrepreneurs on Fire, their second routine question to their guest is always:  What does a typical morning look like for you?

I know my Mompreneur Friends can relate:  Typical?!?!

I have 4 children, and I’m pregnant with my 5th–and that’s this year…  My spouse works shift work, which varies from month to month on which days he’ll be on and then off and then on and then off… I try and be as much a full time parent first, Spouse second and Mompreneur 3rd, but that’s a difficult request when deadlines come up.  Luckily, my husband loves being a full time parent just as much when he’s home, so it makes the balance  a little easier. 🙂

Here are 2 examples of a “Typical” day for me:

6:45:  Wake up, get fully ready for the day, heat up 16 oz of water with lemon and drink up!

7:05:   Check on boys, who are already up eating breakfast together after doing their morning routine of making beds, brushing teeth, and getting socks on–We wear our clothes for the next day instead of Pajamas, a trick my neighbor Fran taught me long ago 😉

7:10:  I get the girls breakfast set, wake them up, shuffle them through their morning routine and then get lunches out (I make a weeks worth all on Sunday night), and we’re out the door as soon as they eat!

8:00ish:  We arrive at school.  We have a bit of a commute since we’ve moved.  It’s worth it though.  I really love this trapped quality time with each of them and it allows us all a chance to fully wake up for the day.

9:00:  I’m back home and start to work.  Everyday is a new agenda for work, some days are filled with producing, some with inventorying, some with webwork, all start with checking orders!

Noon:  I break for lunch, either solo or with my husband, or any employee that might be working that day.  And go for a walk and just get moving for a bit.

1:00:  I wrap up work projects so that I’m done by 2 just in case I need to run errands before I pick up around 3ish, or just take a quick power nap–which as of this year, I’ve had to work into my routine again, with a life form growing each day inside of me.

3:30:  Kids are loaded and we start our commute back home.

By 4:00 we’re home for the day and luckily we live on a fabulous property for both kids and adults that allows for peaceful outdoor play and adventures or just a serene setting to just sit and observe 🙂

5:30:  I’ve got dinner started while kids pair off for showers (we have 2 girls and 2 boys so it makes it easier).  My big kids are so much help with my littles, and thankfully they are all pretty self sufficient beings.  AND it helps that they pick out their own clothes and take pride in dressing themselves.

6:00:  We eat!  Together, when possible, which thankfully is most nights since we’re not quite at that extracurricular phase of life yet…

6:45:  Night time routine begins, books are read by and/or to all 4, and they’re asleep (or content in their own bed winding down by 7!)

7:15PM:  This fluctuates with John’s schedule.  When he’s working, I get back to work in my studio.  When he’s off, I’m off.

Bedtime could come earlier, but it’s usually closer to 11….

and then wake up and do it all again.

ON A DEADLINE:

I wake up at 5:15 and do my morning routine and head to the studio to sneak in 2 hours before my world wakes up, and then work while they’re in school or around them when they’re home, and then by 7:15, work until midnight or so…


Luckily as a mompreneur, I have an inner drive that keeps me going–entreprenuering paired with mommying is challenging, but doable if both roles are something you love and are passionate about.  I love that I rarely waste an hour throughout my day–and when I do, it’s painful.. I feel it.  My biggest weakness is making time to just sit and veg out.  I’ve got so much life to live!

I am so grateful for a fabulous team though!  I couldn’t even think of Mompreneuring successfully without outsourcing–Which I do locally.

Taira has become our Fiber Artist Extraordinaire by just being responsible for that component of Little Bird.  When I was doing it all, the painting was sub par to say the least 🙂  Each Animal comes to you Bold, touchable and soft.  IT’s been triple coated with quality textile paint, heat set, and washed, ensuring your Bird, Lion, Octopus and/or Gecko remains as lovable and bright as the day you brought it home to your Nest!  Completely washablethe painted animals simply get softer with each use and wash!

Karen and Mariana have completely mastered and taken ownership of each stitch sewn on each animal, making each of our 4 Trademarked Animals come to life!  I remember when they first stitched an Octopus and stayed on the line with each curve to all 8 tentacles!  I was sold!  I’m a self taught seamstress (and painter), so the minute I could pass those tasks off couldn’t come soon enough!  They are brilliant at it.  And the 3 of them make such a dream team!

My Website and Marketing are now outsourced to Angela Wysocki, of Make it Radiant. She keeps me on top of my web design and development and provides me with all things marketing and upward moving in my business.

Jennifer Fraser, a fellow Mompreneur and Little Bird’s photographer and visual imaging specialist, keeps Little Bird looking fresh, exciting and completely approachable!  I love her work and style.  I needed my product to come across as touchable and warm in pictures and she achieves that so beautifully!  My tags on each of our products are thanks to her mad skills.

Erin Wallace of www.tinytwistcreative.com, is the creative force behind 3 of 4 of Little Bird’s 4 Trademarked Animals, and the designer of my Brand identity and Visual Image!  We started working together when we just had a Bird in our Nest 🙂

AND Anastasia Postema is the Original Artist of THE Signature Ava Bird!  I will forever be grateful for the gift she gave to Ava way back in January of 2007.   I remember the moment like it was yesterday.  I opened the door to her standing with a lot of crafts she was giving me as she was packing the last of her things for their trek to Oregon to live.  And then she handed me the Lovie, our first Ava Bird Lovie.  It was a beautiful gray, original design, Bird, on a minky square of mint green stripe and pink minky backing, with little pink minky circles on the front.   It was love at first site….  More on the rest of the story another time.

Thank you ladies for making Little Bird a reality!  There’s no looking back–excited for all that is to come!!

Wishing you a Warm, Happy Day today, FULL of Love and Whimsy!

Joyfully Optimistic Bird,

Grace

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Little Bird Unites with Lamar Whole Foods in Austin, Texas April 3-5!

Producing!!! 

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A little change in plans this weekend:

Little Bird and Lamar Whole Foods Market Debut festivities has been moved to an even Bigger and Brighter weekend — Easter!

We wanted to really take advantage of all the fun activities taking place at that Downtown Lamar Location throughout that entire weekend and they agreed!

I promise it will be worth the wait, and I can’t wait to see you and show off ALL OF OUR products alongside Lamar Whole Foods Market location and gorgeous space. They are such a fun, invigorating partner! Excited to be working with Whole Foods!!!

So — Austin, Texas flock and surrounding areas — come see us at the Lamar Whole Foods Market Location the weekend of April 3-5th!

We’ll be sure to WOW you!

‪#‎lamarwholefoodsmarket‬ ‪#‎wholefoodsmarketsw‬‪#‎wholefoodsmarket‬ ‪#‎austin‬ ‪#‎keepaustinweird‬ ‪#‎littlebirdvintagedesigns‬‪#‎lion‬ ‪#‎octopus‬ ‪#‎bird‬ ‪#‎gecko‬ ‪#‎buylovegivelove‬

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Reality from this Mompreneur…

After a HUGE week of illness within our Nest–we are finally seeing the light!  The end is near, and the sun is returning ensuring a wonderfully warm weekend ahead–This Mama Bird in particular is EXTREMELY thankful for this!  

I truly feel torn at times whether to be all business with you, our Little Bird Flock, or be in reality.  I’m a mother of four — soon to be five!  Look for our Latest Addition to both our Little Bird Nest and home Summer 2015!!

A wife to a very supportive, strong, attentive, loving and passionate man, who also happens to work crazy, unpredictable schedules on any given week, but who still makes time for each of us.

A lover of Montessori {if I didn’t LOVE Little Bird, I’d be opening my own Montessori School House ;)}, a proud Entrepreneur with a passion for Socially Conscious Business and Consumerism–why can’t you make a buck and help your fellow man simultaneously??

I am a believer in the good and positive and try to avoid negativity like the plague!  Forward thinking individuals are who I chose to surround myself with.

I am a consumer of great organics and environmentally/people friendly goods–thus Little Bird’s Eco Friendly Printed Collection, which produces Vibrant, Bold styles using only water-based, sustainable printing materials.

I think homemade gifts are the best to receive–even when purchased.;)

I support Local!

All that said, you will notice throughout Little Bird’s 8 years in operation, the company has been a true reflection of my life in all the roles that encompass being a Mompreneur.

Alongside Little Bird’s 4 high quality product lines, you will see touches of my world wrapped within each order-Literally!  Did you know that each of our 4 Signature Trademarked Designs, {Bird, Lion, Octopus and Gecko} represent each of our 4 Children?

I have decided to be more outspoken and honest about how that title looks on any given day.  There are a lot of stumbling blocks and hurdles, thankfully surrounded by even more moments of joys and victories {no matter the size ;)}!

I am so thankful in this day and age, one can be a mom, a wife and a business owner all in one!  Granted–it’s a tough balance at times, but it’s worth it to me.

I hope to encourage, not deter, other Mompreneurs out there, and provide our Flock with more insight in all that you are receiving when you purchase from Little Bird Vintage Designs!

Your feedback and shared stories are always welcome to me!

I wish you a gorgeous, warm and sunny weekend–where ever your Nest may be!

Joyfully Optimistic Bird,

Grace

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100% Product Satisfaction Gauranteed!

On my Little Bird agenda this month (there are far too many ‘to-do’s’ to list here) but one in particular is to educate and inform future and current Little Bird Fans on exactly why Little Bird stands by and supports particular products and concepts and design elements and make each Little Bird fan more comfortable with all things that make Little Bird, Little Bird.

For starters, Price…  I know Little Bird product is pricey–and it can’t just be reasoned with “it’s hand-made, one of a kind, unique”… I am continually in search of and researching the most efficient cost effective ways of producing all Little Bird items all while remaining true to why I started this company in the first place–To provide a safe, secure, loveable item that will make the world a better place and all those who encounter it happier and enthused to go out and do the same!  Organic, Sustainable, Free Trade, Environmentally Responsible, Eco Friendly resources come at a price, which, luckily, as more companies dive into this concept are driving prices down, it’s still going to be more expensive than other items on the market today to produce and sell.  You have my word that I will be ever vigilant of ensuring a fair price though.  And one thing you can count on from Little Bird is quality, and 100% satisfaction.  Which brings me to my next point.

Customer Guarantee.   Little Bird is in the business of selling Warmth, LOVE, and Happiness, if that is not what is felt when your item is received, then by all means, give me the chance to make it so or offer your money back. If you are not completely 100% satisfied with your Little Bird item–let me know.   I recently did a Trade Show in San Antonio, TX, something I realized I do not really do enough of, I’d say.  Therefore, I had no idea what to expect!  So I filled my booth with pre-made items which were wonderful, and gave a good representation of all Little Bird has to offer, but I did not factor in how many Custom Orders I would walk away with and the time it would take post show to fill them.  In fact, of the 24 sales, 16 were Custom Orders.  It caught me off guard and I wasn’t able to provide that individual attention that goes into each custom order before the blanket is even produced to ensure customer satisfaction.  I also usually hand deliver items and receive direct feedback, but since these were from out of state and so outstretched in our South Texas area, I had to mail some orders.  In turn, of the feedback, which was only given by a third of the Custom Orders, there was 1 overjoyed, 1 upset but anxious and hopeful it could be corrected easily (unfortunately there was a tear), and 3 complaints, mainly stating it wasn’t what they had pictured!  Oh my, I was sad.  It’s no fun getting complaints no matter who you are or what service you offer.  I was so thankful that each gave me the opportunity to correct the issues and work on getting closer to their ideal image though, and learned a great deal and made adjustments based on this experience.  It’s tough growing…

The main point I want to get out to you though is:  Please utilize our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.  AND, to make it easier for you, please contact me directly via email, I promise a prompt response.  AND please spread the joy if you are completely satisfied!!  Nothing could make me happier–well maybe the sheer excitement that comes from the children’s faces as the gifted blankets are given–there’s nothing that can replace the joy of a gift received!

Wishing you all a joyful end of summer!

J.O.B.,

Grace

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Why Little Bird Uses Direct To Garment Printing on all Printed Totes and shirts:

Why Eco-Friendly Print—{Direct to Garment Print}??

Direct to Garment Printing practices are pretty new, 6 years old to be exact.  It’s a safer, cleaner, environmentally conscience option to Screen Print.  Using Water based inks and dyes rather than screens and harsh chemicals, just makes sense to me.

That’s why I chose this process for Little Bird Vintage Designs.

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