Beego Beginnings and Evolutions
Hi there! We are so glad you're here! Just like all good things (we think, haha!), Beego has grown and evolved in fits and starts, and has had plenty of awkward in betweens. Beego, in it's first iteration, began in 2013 as a handmade stationary hobby, when Adriaan found herself unable to find a teaching job after a big move with her husband from El Paso, TX, to Washington, DC. She opened the Etsy shop with a handful of handmade washi tape collage cards, and sold not a single thing! Adriaan soon got a teaching job and Beego moved to the back burner. After moving to Richmond, VA and the birth of her first daughter in 2015, the drive to continue with some sort of handmade business resurfaced, as Adriaan hoped to find a way to bring in money for her family while also staying home with her daughter.
Beego was reborn in 2016 as a hodgepodge collection of cards, framed art, pillows, refurbished lamps, and eventually zipper pouches. As Adriaan's daughter grew, and her family continued on a journey of trying to create less waste, her business focus gradually shifted to creating high quality items that can replace single use ones.
Many of our current products were born out of dissatisfaction with the available offerings on the market - our snack bags were developed after using reusable snack bags from other places for a couple of years and feeling frustrated with the low quality and poor functionality. Our wet bags were born when Adriaan started cloth diapering and felt frustrated with the quality (and asthetics!) of what was already out there. All of our items come from seeing a demonstrated need for a high quality, rigorously tested, beautiful products. We use them every day, too!
After it being just Adriaan working out of a desk in her tiny living room for 2 years, Beego finally moved into a small studio (a single room with no bathroom!) in April of 2019, and soon after 3 new part-time employees (Alex, Spruse, and Mimi!) joined the Beego family. It felt so monumental and exciting to make that step. And were so thrilled to move into our current, beautiful, slightly larger studio, in March of 2020! Timing was not on our side though, and because of the pandemic, we were only able to work in our new studio for about a month before all shifting to working from home. We are making it work, just like we are all trying our best to do these days, and are excited to see what 2021 will bring.
Thanks to support from friends, family, and our endlessly amazing customers, Beego continues to grow and evolve is such exciting ways. We have SO many big dreams and ideas for our future, and can't wait to share them with you. Thank you for being here, and supporting our dream of helping make the world a better place to live.
A little piece of Beego trivia for you: The word Beego comes from the combination of Adriaan's maiden name (Follansbee) and married name (Gomez).
Our mission is to provide you with beautiful, thoughtfully designed, carefully crafted pieces that can be used again and again. We strive to provide products that help you on your path to a more sustainable lifestyle. Our aim is to make sustainable options more accessible, easy, and fun. Even the smallest of changes can add up to a big impact, and we love that we get to help you in making those small, yet deeply impactful changes.
Ethically & Sustainably Made Products
All Beego goodies are handmade in Richmond, Virginia by a very small team of employees who are compensated fairly for their time and skills (and find great joy in each other and their work!). Our products are handmade with care in small batches, and quality controlled for longevity and durability. We want to be sure that each item that we create for you will last as long as possible! Pushing products on you that you don't need, or that lack durability just to get more sales is not a part of our culture here. We want to make you a product that you love, that lasts for years. We won't be mad if you love them so much that you want to buy some for all of your friends and family though :)
Products that we have the joy of stocking from other vendors are also ethically made, and come from businesses that share our values.
Sustainability in Production and Shipping
All of our packaging is made from recycled material, and is either recyclable, reusable, or compostable. We practice a low-waste lifestyle within the production of our products as well. We don't use paper products or single-use items when creating your products (or in the studio at all), and we make sure to salvage as much scrap fabric as we can. Many of our one-off items are made from scraps of fabric that would have otherwise been discarded. Our earrings and coin purses were also developed as a way to use our tiniest of scraps! Scraps that we can't make things out of get hoarded in big bags in our closet - we know they can be used for something. If you or someone you know can make use of mass quantities of tiny fabric scraps (100% cotton), please contact us!
Uplifting Marginalized Groups
We are inclusive in all business dealings including hiring, materials sourcing, and community contributions. We do not tolerate racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, or ableism, and only collaborate with other businesses that share this value. We believe that all lived experiences and identities are valid and worth celebrating.
We are registered with Equality Virginia's Equality Means Business directory. Check the directory out here to find more businesses that pledge to create safe and welcoming environments for LGBTQ+ folx.
We make regular contributions to local grassroots organizations that work to promote equity and social justice in our local and national community. Examples of past (and continuing) contribution recipients include Side By Side VA, RVA Bail Fund, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief Richmond, Black Lives Matter Global, Raices Texas, and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center. These are all wonderful organizations doing important work in the community, we hope you'll take a look and maybe support them as well!
Supporting Small Businesses
We know how valuable a purchase can be for a small business and to the community that they are a part of, so we like to shop small as a business as well. This means sourcing the majority of the things we need to make our items from other small businesses. We strive to partner with other small businesses that share our values and enthusiasm for serving their customers.