Today we chat with Annie Lin, founder and owner of A Little Bundle–the cutest box subscription service to ever grace your doorstep. Operating out of an unknown, artless little town called Austin, TX since 2013, ALB was inspired by the Finland baby box concept and offers a monthly collection of carefully curated toys, clothing, and necessities for baby/toddler–plus a special surprise gift for mom. You can also purchase items à la carte, like this gorgeous, hand-knit Equality Blanket (which we just noticed is sold out–hound Annie enough and maybe she’ll get her partner artist to produce some more!). 😉 Be sure to enter promo code HELLO15 for 15% off your first order!
Annie, we hear you’re a mom-to-be–congrats! Tell us a little bit about yourself. How are you feeling about impending motherhood?
Prior to A Little Bundle, I was heavily immersed in fashion and lived in New York City for 8 years. I had a fashion line for 3 years with my sister and worked with big and small designers on their runway collection for 4 years after we decided to close our brand. I decided to make a career switch and jump into something I love: the kids’ world! When I launched ALB, I was not yet a mother and it definitely was an insecurity when I first shared ALB. Now that I am becoming a mother, I feel no different than how I was operating before. We all read what we want, receive advice from our trusted friends and family, and are all trying to do our best. 🙂
The experience of becoming pregnant and being pregnant is incredibly surreal. I don’t think people give women enough credit for the feats our bodies are capable of enduring to create life. I am so excited to meet my little girl, but I personally do not loooove being pregnant. I can’t wait to get back into shape, eat sushi, and share our life with our little love! But I do think the most important thing to remember during this huge life transition is to be able to laugh and roll with it.
Tell us a little bit about your business! How did you generate the idea for ALB? How does it compare to other baby box services? What questions do you ask yourself as you design and/or curate products?
For 75 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets, and toys that can even be used as a bed. Some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it’s designed to give all children in Finland, no matter their background, an equal start in life.
When I came up with this idea, I was still living in New York City and my friend had just launched BarkBox. I thought the concept of subscription services was brilliant and I wanted to find a way to utilize my passion and skill for design and fashion in the kids’ world. That’s how I came up with ALB!
ALB supports small business brands because I know what it’s like to be on the other end. It’s tough being able to get your brand noticed and featured, so I wanted ALB to be much like a marketing opportunity for strong, small brands. I also collaborate with different brands to create our own line of products in-house! I love this Mama Bear tote bag
and child-size apron
When I curate our monthly bundles, I usually get inspired by the latest trend, products that I discover through Instagram and Etsy, or simply my daily travels and experiences. That usually leads me to picking one item to highlight per bundle and curating around that item.
How do your soon-to-be-parenting and design philosophies align, or how does one inform the other?
As a designer and artist, I usually get inspired and let things happen organically. I’m a true believer that if you believe in what you do and stand by it, it usually unfolds how it should into the world. I’d like to think my parenting philosophy is very similar as I hope my daughter will be free in expressing her feelings and thoughts, fierce and strong in the way she views herself in society and her peers, and be able to do whatever she wants to as long as she’s true to herself.
Knowing that babies can lead to the accumulation of so much STUFF, how do you select items that are both beautiful and necessary? What are some examples?
This is a true struggle I am constantly trying to solve in the last 2 years of operating ALB. I just started introducing baby bath products in our bundles this year as I felt like it was a good way to include necessary items that may or may not work for all babies–but you would never know without trying. In every bundle, we include a clothing item because we know just how fast a baby grows from newborn to 2 years old. The need to buy fitted onesies and shirts are more frequent during this age range than it is from 4 years old and older. And of course, we curate our bundles to celebrate the beauty of gifting to a Mama and Baby and their journey into motherhood–so we always choose products that meet our standard of design, quality, and functionality.
Check out these additional promotions during the month of March!