Oct
22

Boss Talk with Mimi Tsang of hello shiso

Posted in Boss Talk

Boss Talk is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’S site where we get personal and professional with the people behind the beautiful brands we carry.

Boss Talk with Mimi Tsang of hello shiso (pictured with her children, Otis and Bee)

BOSS: Mimi Tsang
BRAND: hello shiso
YEAR FOUNDED: 2011
BASED IN: Berkeley, CA
WHAT WE CARRY: her adorable and stylish hair clips designed for all personalities and seasons

Inspiration comes when I am being consistently creative, and not letting myself get too focused just on the everyday business matters. I’ve found that my creativity is a muscle and it needs constant exercise or else it gets flabby.

The most exciting part of this job is when an idea that I’ve been working and working on finally comes together.

The most challenging part of this job is promoting myself and my business. It is so hard and makes me sweat each and every time, though it’s such an important part of my business.

A goal we hope to accomplish in the near future is move out of my beloved backyard studio and into a larger studio space. The dream would be to be closer to a community of makers and businesspeople.

A great compliment our line has received was every time I see an order come through and I can remember hand-writing that customer’s address in the earliest days of my business. I have several of these customers, and I feel happy and grateful each time I see their name.

Before launching hello shiso, I was teaching in museums.

The last great book I read was A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

The music I listen to when I have to knock out work is the only music being played in my house right now, which is the Hamilton soundtrack!

After work, I most enjoy eating a leisurely home-cooked dinner (with wine!) with my family and friends.

Best parenting advice I’ve received so far is “Pick your battles.” I’ll let you know how it works if I can ever make it happen consistently!

My job would probably go smoother if I delegated work more.

On a rough day, I tell myself “Take a break, and come back to it later, when I feel refreshed.”

I’d like to give a shout out to Baby Jives because the founder Jahje has been really smart about how she uses social media and has built a really great community of customers and makers. She’s so inclusive, and I wish I were able to do more of what she does.

My philosophy of business growth, in a nutshell, is be conservative and make choices that feel true to yourself, though I wish I were more of a risk taker!

The most difficult part about getting this line started was figuring out production that had the quality I was looking for, using business practices that I felt good about.

My advice to anyone looking to start a business is find a way to consistently be positive. It’s so easy to get discouraged by NOs, unanswered emails or the perceived success of other businesses, and you have to just try to stay on track and keep working at it. Success never happens overnight, just keep working away!

Sep
16

Pop-Up in Oxford, MS!

Posted in Events

POP-UP // We are thrilled to be heading to my hometown of Oxford, MS to set up shop in one of the most adorable shops in the U.S! Join us next Friday, September 23 at Amelia located right off the Oxford Square in The Lyric Theatre building. Hotty Toddy!

Amelia
1006 Van Buren Avenue
Oxford, MS 38655

Scout Baby Pop-Up at Amelia in Oxford, MS | September 23, 2016

Aug
31

Pop-Up in East Nashville!

Posted in Events

POP-UP // We’re headed to East Nashville’s finest and coolest general store, Hey Rooster, September 9–10. We’ll be hanging from 11 am to 6 pm each day. Come out and join us!

Hey Rooster General Store
1106 Gallatin Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Nashville baby shop SCOUT pop-up at Hey Rooster General Store in East Nashville

Aug
15

Pop-Up in Nashville!

Posted in Events

POP-UP // We are so excited to be heading back to Cadeau this weekend! Come see the new fall arrivals from Rylee + Cru before they’re available at scout-baby.com. Plus, new goodies from The Little Biting Tree, Oeuf, Hello Shiso and more!

FRI, AUGUST 19 + SAT, AUGUST 20 // 10 AM — 6 PM
2308 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204

See you there!

Nashville baby shop SCOUT pop-up at Cadeau in 12South

Jul
08

Boss Talk with Ilana Scheinker of The Little Biting Tree

Posted in Boss Talk

Boss Talk is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’S site where we get personal and professional with the people behind the beautiful brands we carry.

Ilana Scheinker, owner of The Little Biting Tree | teething necklacesBOSS: Ilana Scheinker
BRAND:
The Little Biting Tree
YEAR FOUNDED:
2015

BASED IN: Phoenix, AZ
WHAT WE CARRY: All natural, stylish teething and nursing necklaces

Inspiration comes when I notice trends with color combinations and jewelry styles. I’m always on the lookout for different kinds of wood and reading about various woods’ and seeds’ medicinal properties and holistic uses.

The most exciting part of this job is hearing from mamas who have fallen in love with our teething necklaces. They share the most beautiful photos of their littles gnawing on their necklaces!

The most challenging part of this job is finding a balance between being a full time mama, a wife, and a momtrepreneur.

A goal we hope to accomplish in the near future is bringing our necklaces to more small shops. Our goal has always remained the same: to provide mamas with a natural teething alternative.

A great compliment our line has received was one of my Little Biting Tree mamas recently told me that our necklaces are “magical.”

The music I listen to when I have to knock out work: I usually work during nap time and I revel in its silence.

A book/movie/tv show I really enjoy: That’s a toss up between “Game of Thrones” and “Orange Is The New Black.”

After work, I most enjoy post nap cuddles with my little one. It’s the best reward!

My favorite vacation was when my family went to Santa Barbara for a few days around Christmas last year and it was just the best. My son had just started walking and his world had become that much more exciting. He loved exploring and interacting and we loved watching his fascination.

Best parenting advice I’ve received so far: Oh, my mama tribe’s mantra of “This too shall pass!” has been a life saver!

An exciting trend in the baby/toddler clothing and/or accessories market I’ve noticed is a major shift towards natural and organic alternatives.

I’d like to give a shout out to Living On The Veg Tees, another small mama business that is unique, creative, and vegetable inspired.

My job would probably go smoother if there were two of me and if I got a full nights sleep.

On a rough day, I tell myself tomorrow is a new day and it will be bright.

My philosophy of business growth, in a nutshell: Growth is important to evolve and continue moving forward. To focus on positive growth that keeps with your mission and enhances your business. Grow within your limits to ensure quality work.

The most difficult part about getting this line started was Knowing where to start. My background is in education, not business, so figuring out how to begin took a lot of research. Everything has been a learning experience. 

My advice to anyone who is considering starting a business: Prepare to give it your all. Even on your busiest day, your business is essential and you will find time for it. Have a passion for your business and believe in yourself, even on tough days when you feel like quitting. Set short and long term goals—ask yourself what you hope to achieve this month, this year, even just on this day.

Jun
11

A Gift Guide for (New) Dads

Posted in Small Discoveries

We’ve rounded up some boss gift ideas for the new dads out there who “can’t stop, won’t stop.” Some he’ll love to share with his mini, and a few are just for him!

a gift guide for new dads - father's day 2016

1. Jonas Claesson’s The Surfing Animals Alphabet book: Teach the ABCs while dreaming about sun, sand, and swells—we love it more and more with each read.

2. Tosan’s POP + TOT tees: Coordinated tees to wear the love out loud. Go team!

3. SoYoung Charlie bag: A rugged and super stylish bag that dad won’t mind shouldering. So versatile my husband refers to ours as the BIZ bag. Gets it done. Efficiently equipped with a changing pad, insulated pockets, and an overall smart design.

4. Eli Mason Old Fashioned Cocktail Mixer: Daddy needs a drink, but no time to fuss over multi-ingredient cocktails? Eli Mason saves you the hassle without sacrificing quality or flavor. Just add your favorite spirit! We’ve chosen the old fashioned—because it’s Father’s Day :-) —but you can’t go wrong with any of these small batch mixers made in Nashville, Tennessee.

5. Love Virginia Ruth’s handkerchief: Naturally dyed and sure to become a wardrobe staple. A dapper pocket square for date night or useful handkerchief for clean ups and to wipe away baby’s tears.

6.* William Tyler’s Modern Country: A non-lullaby gorgeous instrumental album that’s perfect for winding down for a nap or bedtime. Also, the expansive orchestration gives dad a mental break when necessary.

7. Jittery Joe’s x Drive-By Truckers Trucker Speed coffee blend: Drive-By Truckers fan? Either way, if dad is sleep deprived and appreciates good coffee (and kickass illustration), then order a can or two from Athens, Georgia’s beloved coffee house and roaster JIttery Joe’s. Enjoy and then use the can for the baddest pencil holder in the office or a mini snare drum for your little rocker.

8.* Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth: If you’ve been living in the fog of new parenthood and haven’t heard already, Sturgill’s album is full of sweet and wise fatherly reflections. This one, as the album jacket advises, is to be played at maximum volume. Get rhythm, baby!

*Support your local record stores! Special shout-out to Oxford, Mississippi’s The End of All Music‘s Record of the Month Club that will keep dad in the loop and jamming all year long.

Dads, we love you. Happy Father’s Day!

 

Apr
16

Chubby Bunny Baby Food

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

We’re excited to introduce you to this month’s guest contributor, Jemina Boyd, owner of Chubby Bunny fresh frozen baby food. A local pioneer in the farm to high chair movement, Jem provides parents and caregivers healthy time-saving meal options for little ones and has been delighting tiny tastebuds all across the Nashville area since 2013.

This month: spring market madness + easy first foods that will make your baby squeal!

Jemina Boyd, owner of Nashville-based Chubby Bunny Baby Food

There’s something about a tiny flower in bloom and a tease of warm weather that can spur a frenzy of vacation and wardrobe planning and some slightly irresponsible sandal purchasing. All the sandals!

One more thing that’s sure to trigger spring fever: farmers’ markets! They’re sprouting up everywhere and in one location you can get fresh produce, local, allergy-fighting honey, ethically raised meat, eggs, fresh loaves of bread, and more, all from local businesses, wherever you may be. By shopping at farmers’ markets, you’re not only ensuring that your family is getting seasonal and fresh produce, you’re also sustaining the local economy. Your dollars make a yuuge difference to these vendors. It’s wonderful to see families going to markets together and learning about the fresh produce that they’re going to cook for dinner that night. Want your kid to love veggies? Get them to pick out their own—a proven mama Jedi mind trick.

If you’re just starting out making your own baby food, try orange veggies like carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potato, which have a similar sweetness to breast milk or formula, and very low incidences of allergic reactions. Steam veggies until soft (when they’re easily pierced with a fork), then puree them with breast milk, formula, or the water they were steamed with until smooth and creamy. Sit back and enjoy your baby’s expressions of amazement when they try something so fresh and delicious for the first time!

Chubby Bunny also got its start at farmers’ markets, and remains committed to buying as much of our produce locally as possible. We wouldn’t have our premium and delicious organic baby food pouches (to toot our own horn!) without farms like Beaverdam Creek, Bloomsbury, or Delvin FarmsWe fresh-freeze our pouches to truly give you what is on the label and nothing else. No preservatives, acids. Nada. When our products are pouched and frozen, the nutrients and flavor of those organic fruits and veggies stay fresh for up to a year. Simply take it out of the freezer and let it thaw by lunchtime, or place them under warm running water if you’re short on time. Easy peasy.

If you make your own baby food, high five! We have always said fresh is best. The products and services we provide could just serve as a supplement for parents who don’t have the time or inclination to make their own fresh food and now provide options.  And aren’t new options one of the best parts about being an adult?  But, seriously, all the sandals.

xoxo,
Jem

p.s.
For more great tips on introducing new foods, click here.

If you’d like to try the Chubby Bunny subscription delivery program, enter code: ChubbyBunny20 for 20% off your first month!

Chubby Bunny Baby Food | Nashville, TennesseePhotographs by Dottie Beasley Photography

Feb
27

Our First Steps

Posted in Uncategorized

Two years old. Still a tot, but weve got our legs, made lots of friends on the playground, and are living a lifelong dream of running a small business. I doubt I’m alone in saying that as a small shop owner operating in the digital ecosystem, Im not always certain how business and personal life should intersect. Being a relatively private person and wary of the unknown privacy vulnerabilities in this digi-verse, its just not something that has come totally natural. Especially when, with a baby girl of our own, were part of our own target demographic. We’re sometimes asked why our daughter doesn’t model our shop’s wares more often. My husbands go-to dodge is,There are child labor laws.As this anniversary approached, those first weeks of getting started have been on my mind. I want to say up front that this post is personal and was not easy to write, but ultimately something that I think is worth sharing.

Around the time I started to fine tune the business plan, my husband and I found out that we were expecting. So many good things happening. Were going for it! But then tragically and with no prior warning of complications during this pregnancy, we lost our baby at 16 weeks. It wasn’t our first miscarriage either, but it was the most advanced. The unspeakable pain of those dark days reverberates, and the loss is something well never truly get over. Despite the oft-recited stages of grieving, in our experience, theres just no set playbook for getting through it. What picked us up off the floor were prayers, the love of family and friends, and watchfulness for another door to open door when one closed. The week of our miscarriage was also the week SCOUT was scheduled to open for business.

Desperate for something to throw myself into, I stubbornly pushed to open the shop two weeks later. Even though being completely immersed in all things baby after our loss was difficult at times, it was a window out of the darkness. Two years later, we’re celebrating the second year of business and coming up on our daughter’s first birthday, so this milestone is extra special. We couldand arewriting pages and pages about the joys and challenges she brings every day, and how shes redefined life and love for us. Well save that for the book.

But back to February 2014. We had just begun to tell friends that we were expecting, so the follow-up calls a couple of weeks later were tough and felt surreal—Are these words really coming out of our mouths? We were surprised to hear about how many of our friends, or friends of friends, had suffered miscarriages. You learn the statistics. Its not comforting, but what did help was that we heard so many different kinds of stories of couples who went on to start families after miscarriages. Thats why I decided to share our story, too. There’s been a sea change with opening up about the various struggles. Due in part to some public figures speaking out, it feels that the stigma has softened and is somewhat easier to reckon with. But we certainly didnt know how to react in public. Its not something you just casually bring up at a backyard barbecue. We never gave up hope on having a child, but at the same time, we began to wonder if it just wasn’t in the cards for us and that we might need to adjust our road map. Nothing is for certain and life can get messy, despite the highlight reel tendencies of social media.

So, why share all this now? Well, even though this is a business, it’s a very personal one completely integrated with our daily lives. It’s our anniversary, one that is tied to peaks and valleys. From day one, I was adamant that no matter how big of an operation SCOUT would become, we would be as personable, and mom-and-pop as an online shop could possibly be. Its an uphill battle to subvert negative preconceptions of e-commerce that exist largely because of a handful of hyper-competitive international behemoths. But few things about this job bring me greater joy than receiving positive feedback about our customer service and attention to detail. Weve deliberately started small, make the local deliveries ourselves, get out to do as many pop-ups in our region as possible, and have consistently opted towards organic growth over getting ahead of ourselves.

It’s a big, beautiful privilege to help you find just the right gifts and prepare them, and we’re so fortunate to play a small part in such special times in people’s lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting our little shop these past two years! We’re excited about what’s on the horizon. We have lots of great new finds on the way and a growing list of events on our calendar. We always love to hear from you and hope to see you soon!

Much love and a big hug,
Jen