Mina Loves Bows: Entrepreneur Interview & Product Review

minalovesbows

Every month we interview an entrepreneur and introduce you to what they do.

We love getting to know these small business owners; get a glimpse of their lives; and get tips and advice for those looking to start a business of their own. Last month we interviewed Little Kate Designs, and  our interview before that was with Cravings, Alisha’s Cupcakes. This month we had the privilege of interviewing Anna Rice from Mina Loves Bows! Sorry for doing two bow shops in a row, but we couldn’t help ourselves!

I started following Anna on Instagram (@minalovesbows), and just fell in love with her personality and her style. She is super sweet, and I am so glad I got to try out her product to do a review for you guys, and interview her about her shop.

 

Interview:

Tell us a little about what you do:
I make bows! I also am branching out and have started making necklaces, collars and belts. I enjoy working with fabric and leather primarily.
When did you start your business?
I started making bows for my daughter Mina last spring. I posted a few for sale on Instagram and somehow what seems like overnight I turned into a bow making business. I look back and honestly don’t understand how it took off so quickly.
How did you get started?
I bought a few supplies online and from a local shop and just started playing around with them until it became a passion. I really only planned to make them for Mina. After having 3 older boys, I became obsessed with buying bows for my girl. And then decided to take a shot at making them myself for fun.
Walk us through a typical day for you:
Oh wow… Wake up at 6am with Mina, and then shortly after the boys start to wake up for school. My youngest son is in Kindergarten but only goes in the afternoon so we spend the mornings doing homework, playing board games or whatever random idea my 6yo comes up with. After he goes to school, Mina and have a few hours together. If she’s awake, we play – or I chase her around and keep her from eating dog food. When she naps, I can sometimes work. And again after the boys come home, I can sometimes make room for bow making. But evenings are usually spent dedicated to family – homework, eating, playing, going for a walk and cleaning whenever I can fit it in. I usually stay up most nights until 1am or later making bows. After the kids go to bed, that’s my quiet work time and I enjoy it.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
Mina is obviously my inspiration. I’m biased but I think she’s adorable and honestly really enjoys wearing bows, although when I first named my shop “minalovesbows” she only wanted to eat them. Most of what I make are things that I want to put on her. I’m also inspired by other moms and their babies on Instagram – friends that I’ve gotten to know since I started. My design style I think is pretty simple and understated. But I also enjoy finding fun and colorful Japanese fabrics to make things a little more interesting.
Do you have a favorite hair bow or headband or collar?
I love anything with cats. I end up making leather cat stuff all the time and can’t stop buying cat fabric whenever I come across it. I recently started making belts and they’re so fun to make and I love seeing them on little girls. The pom collars are probably my favorites too. I love putting together fun color combos and I think they’re really whimsical – perfect for a little girl playing make believe and dress up.
What sets you apart?
Good question… I don’t know that I am set apart necessarily. I like to feel like I’m a part of a large but closely knit community who all collaborates and supports each other. I do like to stay ahead of the curve whenever I can so that I feel like I’m putting out something new and unique, but wearable. And it’s important to me to keep my prices fair so that pretty much everyone can afford to put pretty little bows on their babies. I’m not trying to start a million dollar business or exclude anyone with high prices. I just make what I like to make.
How do you balance running a business and family?
My husband. I owe it to him. He’s 100% supportive in anything I choose to do with my life. And he’s helpful with the kids and home so that if I need to take extra time on the weekends or during the day for special orders, I can. I also am honest with myself that sometimes I don’t balance it right so I try to take a step back and refocus whenever I can.
Where can our readers find your shop and products?
I am on Instagram at @minalovesbows and on etsy.com/shop/minalovesbows as well. I would love to do more wholesale to other shops, but as it is I can barely keep up with my own shop. But I do what I can because I love it. I really have an amazing group of people that continue to buy from me and help spread the word when their babies wear my products, and it means so much to me that they enjoy what I do as much as me.
What advice would you offer newbies or those looking to start an etsy shop?
I started on Instagram first. It’s really a unique community and allowed me to get to know people as friends who became loyal customers. I like to contribute to auctions and giveaways as much as I can. And I love to support other handmade shops. I think if you invest in people – in life in general – you can be a success at just about anything. Love what you do – believe in what you do – and engage with those around you. I’m not just a shop. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a klutz, a writer, a goofball AND a bow maker. Don’t take yourself too seriously – there has to be love and fun behind what you do. So just have fun!
Isn’t she just the best???? I loved her answers, and felt like her genuine personality shone through. Go check her out, she is too fun. She hosts bow swaps, where you can make bows and swap with another maker. She offers fun products, bow packs, and all kinds of great stuff. Check her out! Go now!

Product Review

I was lucky enough to get to try a few of Anna’s fun products out, and let me tell you, we loved them. I know, I know, so far every review I have done has been a rave review, but with good reason, so far we have only worked with amazing products! And MinaLovesBows is no different. Her stuff is fun, infused with her personality, high quality, and just too cute.

Braided leather belt:

The first thing I opened was the braided leather belt. I had seen them in her shop and thought, “Hmm, cute!” and that was about it. Then I got one!  It is soft leather, braided beautifully, and has a wooden bead on one end, and a pom on the other.

The belt is well constructed, and goes with everything! Plus it is fun. My daughter loves playing with the pom, and brings me the belt every day to put on with whatever she is wearing. I totally recommend buying one, and Anna has agreed to offer you guys a coupon code on this product because of how much I love it. So check back in about a week for an exclusive Travel Parent Eat discount on this amazing belt. You will want one!

Headbands:

Anna sent me 3 headbands. They are pretty typical of what you would expect, made with a nice elastic band that stays in place, and is comfortable on the head, and topped with bows. What really sets them apart is the fun fabric choices and color combos.

One of the headbands we received was red mushrooms. Even my husband loved it, he said it reminded him of Mario. Another was a whimsical floral, I just loved, and the third a leather bow. All were very cute.

The construction is nice, while you can see a little bit of the glue, they are well made, and won’t fall apart on you. And, a big plus, they sit close to the head. I always hate headbands with so much glue that the bow sits well over an inch off the head. These were perfect!

Bows:

The bows come on alligator clips. They are sewn well, with no visible seams or stitching. One of the things I was most impressed with was the consistency. These are handmade, but every bow was the same size, same design, and they all looked great. And again…the fabrics! Her choices are so fun, bold, and cute, but they work. One of the bows she sent was a cat printed fabric, which my daughter went gaga for. It was so cute, and such a good color palette that it went with just about everything.

 

To sum it up: If you are looking for affordable quality that is fun and personality infused you can’t go wrong with MinaLovesBows. And, Anna is a joy to work with. Take a minute to head to her shop, and follow her on Instagram.

Signature-Rachael

 

About Rachael

I am Rachael, I have a passion for all things travel. I have an incurable wanderlust, and a need to see and do. I have four littles that call me "mom" and I am currently wading through the ever changing tides of parenting. I am figuring out what works, and what doesn't. And, I have a passion for food. In fact, I have an entire website dedicated to food www.eazypeazymealz.com. I love to eat, cook, and try new things.

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