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As The Little Movement’s one-year anniversary approaches, sisters and co-owners Angelina Bowen and Keely Bowen chatted with me about all things entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and how running a business together keeps them close.
Name(s): Angelina Bowen & Keely Bowen Location: Fayetteville, AR Title: Owners Company:The Little Movement Shop What it is: Baby & Children’s Boutique Educational Background: B.A. in small business entrepreneurship from the Business College at The University of Arkansas – both of us!
What inspired you to start The Little Movement Shop?
Our little Teagan! She was born just three months before we started working on opening the shop. While shopping around, we realized that we just couldn’t find what we were looking for. Everything in baby retail was either blue with footballs all over for boys or bright pink with ruffles for girls. We couldn’t just find NORMAL comfy clothes for kids – so we set out hunting….Teagan is now the best-dressed child!
What’s it like working/running a business with your sister?
The best part is that we get to be together all the time. We’re just shy of two years apart so we grew up close. Life is busy, especially when siblings start having kids—we’re just so grateful for this opportunity that keeps us so involved in each other’s lives.
If you could have given yourselves advice when you started, what would that be?
Just to be patient. We get so excited all the time – with every new Shopify app that we find, it makes us think that this is going to be such a game changer! We have learned that there is no magical key to growing a business quickly other than hard work and staying focused.
Would you do anything differently?
Of course! But everything is a learning experience and that’s all we are doing, learning.
How do you define success?
A: I would define success as being less about money and more about finding enjoyment in your everyday life! I am so happy to have a wonderful family by my side and to have this opportunity to create a brand that allows my sister and me to focus on our creativity and spend time together. And I can honestly say I love every day of it!
K: Having people like what we do! Comments about how people love our shop, a certain product, or a review of a good ordering experience is what really encourages us. And beyond that, doing anything that could possibly inspire others to do what they love makes me feel successful.
What’s been the hardest part of starting your own business?
Navigating this first year of business has been super hard! There is no map to follow and we still have to constantly make decisions. Ultimately, we’re just figuring everything out one step at a time and trying really hard not to stress about each and every little decision because really we won’t know until we try it!
What’s been the most rewarding part of starting your own business?
The most rewarding part is watching a community of mamas and babies unfold. We also work with a lot of local makers and it has been incredible to encourage them to make products and to watch their businesses grow! Most of these makers are local mamas and empowering them on their startup journey is really wonderful!
How has social media helped shape your brand + get your products and your message out there?
Social media is a great way to reach a lot of new people and to really connect with your following. We use social media every single day to keep everyone in the loop on new arrivals, flash sales, blog posts, and to share pictures from our community.
How do you make sure you stand out on social media? How do you keep your audience/buyers engaged? I noticed that everything on The Little Movement Shop’s Facebook and Instagram feeds feel super personal.
Thank you! We try to make our social media personal. It is so easy to say “This top is available in-store & online” but we really try to take things a step further to build conversation. We are sisters running a business together – we think that’s cool! And we like to share about that. Our “voice” changes through different platforms, but right now we are really enjoying Instagram stories for sharing more about us and our daily lives working together.
What are your hobbies? What do you do when you’re not working?
A: I am obsessed with my dogs! I have a lab and a golden retriever and they love swimming and hiking. I love watching them in these moments so we try to do a lot of it. My husband and I also spend most of our evenings out on the front deck relaxing or walking around and checking on the progress of the garden. It’s the first year that I’ve really dived into the gardening process and it’s been my favorite thing.
K: We live out by the national park in Northwest Arkansas so I’m always out hiking with my little family. My hobbies other than that just include keeping up with Teagan. She’s always on the move!
How do you balance your work with your personal life?
A: When you’re working for yourself, work never feels like “work.” It’s easy to be taking a day off but doing little work-related things off and on all day. My husband and I are both entrepreneurs and it can be really consuming but we love it.
K: Being a baby shop owner, I’m privileged to be able to take my daughter to work with me so I never miss out!
What’s next for you?
We just want to keep growing the brand! We’re really focused on building up our social media community and keeping our website updated with new content all the time! This holiday season will also be our first full 4th quarter and we’ll be coming up on our one-year anniversary in December and we are so excited!!