Raise your hand if you’ve had a parent, grandparent, or parent figure teach you to cook, ride a bike, sew, or teach you any other skill? We all have memories of special people in our lives that taught us life lessons and skills. It’s that sense of tradition that was passed down to inspire Kristen Walla and her business, Haddie Bear Bows and Clothes.
The slogan for HBBC says it all: “Childhood is short. Stand out!”
Kristen sure embodies that slogan and definitely stands out. I had the pleasure of meeting this young, blossoming business owner when she came to my studio needing branding and lifestyle photos for her business, I felt an instant connection with her!
**Video and special promotion at the end!**
She came from a small town South of San Antonio but don’t let that fool you, she’s got big plans! I took one look at her charming children’s clothing and first thought, “What can I get for my little girl!?” Haddie Bear really seems to have the perfect little bows, dresses and rompers for every little girl. These handmade items are perfect for photo sessions, birthday presents, holidays, and just because dressing up is fun!
I love supporting small businesses, there’s usually a good story with how they start. I found out a few important things about Kristen after our consultation that led to the way I approached this special photo session:
- Her love of her mother and grandmother inspires all parts of her business, especially her style!
- Her passion is married with her drive.
- This momma bear gives back!
Me: “These bows, dresses, and rompers seem like every little girl’s dream! Tell me about your inspiration.”
Kristen: “Some of my earliest memories were putting together scrap fabrics to make outfits and learning to sew them with my grandmother. Haddie Bear Bows and Clothes began as Haddie Bear Bows in December 2016 and my inspiration was my daughter, Hadley, in the beginning. The expansion into the clothing line is dedicated to my mom and grandmother. You’ll see a “vintage” feel to some of my designs. When I’m stuck, I like to go through those old scraps in my late grandmother’s closet that we used to work with years ago and put together patterns and color schemes! It always gets the creative ideas flowing.”
***READ TO THE END for a chance to get a 1/2 OFF credit towards one of these NEW RELEASES!***
Me: “How has your business grown and changed?”
Kristen: “HBBC had had a steady growth since we began! It has taken a lot of hard work, late nights, and plain ol’ hustle, but I am proud to say that we are thriving. HBBC is adapting, changing, and learning as I go.”
Me: “All businesses start out small; where do you see it growing in the next 10 years?”
Kristen: “In 10 years, I would love to have made an impact in contributions to the charities we donate to. 10% of the profits from a segment of the clothing line is donated to specific charities in place to help children all over the world.”
Me: “It seems like you really do make this a family affair with your mom, did that inspire you to look for that small business in El Salvador to help produce orders?”
Kristen: “With my mom and grandmother being my primary inspiration, this business is about family. We were so humbled and honestly, surprised, at the feedback we were getting when we showed off our first designs! The demand quickly grew to a point where we could not keep up and I wanted as many mommas and little girls to have the designs they wanted, so I knew we needed to expand our team at that point. After lots of searching, I found the kindest little family sewing business in El Salvador and decided to give them a try. It was months and months of communicating and trials before I put my full trust in them to sew that HBBC tag in! Now, 10% of the profits from these pieces is donated back to children’s charities in El Salvador. About half of the released designs are still sewn by my mom and one other seamstress in the U.S., but those designs are more limited in quantities.”
Me: “How did you find the charity you chose to give back even further with your business?”
Kristen: “Global Giving is the charity organization I chose after lots of research and talking with actual team members from their company. I love the fact that I can choose specific causes to donate to- I.e. projects that benefit children!”
Me: “Okay, since you’ve got such a fun personality I know you have some fun facts about yourself and your business!”
Kristen: “Here are 4 things!
1) I love to run! It is my stress relief. My favorites are 5ks, half marathons, and obstacle courses. I ran 3 miles the day before each of my kiddos were born!
2) I grew up on a produce farm- strawberries, blackberries, peaches, oranges, plums, peppers, and more!
3) I get lost everywhere. If I didn’t have GPS or landmarks, I would never make it anywhere that wasn’t off the main road.
4) Being a native Texan, I could live on Mexican food and tacos (if I could still fit in my jeans after a couple of weeks)! My favorite snack is fresh fruit sprinkled with way too much Lucus and chili powder.
Fun facts about my business: Every single bow is hand crafted by me only! I do not contract any help with bows. While I do the majority of running this business on my own, I do have the most incredible rep team supporting me every step of the way. They help me promote, talk to customers, run contests, make graphics, social media, and much more…including moral support!
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Melissa is a Florida based Personal Brand photographer who has helped hundreds of women in business create cohesive online brands with polished photos that feel authentic to them. You’ll find her traveling to cities across the United States, photographing highly motivated women ready to elevate their website, socials, and other marketing.
Melissa saw a need to further educate the busy professionals she photographed. She created The Intuitive Brand Course through this journey where she goes deeper than knowing what photos to have on your website. This education has needle moving messaging strategies that helps you stand out in today’s market. This can all be done in an intuitive way that doesn’t feel salesy.