FEBRUARY 2021 Mommy of the Month

FEBRUARY 2021 Mommy of the Month

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Meet Tina - Our February Mommy of the Month !

Tina is the proud owner of one of our favorite brands that we carry in our shop, Buddha Babe. Buddha babe is a Philadelphia-based luxury design studio focusing on accessories for babies, toddlers and the home. Not only is Tina an inspirational business women but also a mother to two handsome sons that inspired her to start her own business.

Tina Buddha Babe

What inspired Tina to create Buddha Babe Co ...

I started Buddha Babe as an e-commerce business in 2014 after I couldn't find cool bibs and clothes for my son, Baron, who is now seven years old.  The business began at my dining room table, then expanded to a small studio in Germantown, before settling into my new workshop and boutique that opened on Small Business Saturday, 2020.

Tina Buddha Babe Store Opening Tina Buddha Babe Front Desk

I found the choices for clothes and bibs on the market at the time way too babyish and sweet. As a “big drooler” from four months on, Baron required bibs. Baron was a cool kid from day one, and the duckies and pastel polka dots on all of the bibs out there just didn’t look like him. As a further issue, most bibs irritated his sensitive skin—and I just couldn’t find what I was searching for. I imagined a larger bib that looked more like a scarf that would be soft enough to prevent irritation. I bought a sewing machine and taught myself how to sew by watching YouTube.

Tina Buddha Babe Bibs

My version of the bib has a cotton surface and absorbent bamboo-fiber interior, and stylishly solved the problem for Baron. I was employed at the time as an Executive Assistant to a CEO, and found myself well prepared for the creativity, organization and vision required for success as the owner of a new business; and as a maker. I decided to launch Buddha Babe as a business, originally called Buddha Bibs and sold online. The name was chosen for both it’s peaceful implications of fairness and kindness, and because Baron looked like a tiny, happy Buddha when he laughed.  The business grew, the product lines grew, I signed wholesale accounts nationwide, and Buddha Bibs became Buddha Babe.

Buddha Babe Tina Bags

How Tina balances motherhood and running her own business ...

Buddha Babe’s product line grew based on what Baron needed as he grew. What began as a company that just made bibs and baby accessories expanded to include clothing, home goods and wellness products.  Now in first grade, Baron is truly a part of the Buddha Babe team. He helps choose prints, advises of fit adjustments, helps with inventory, models, and serves as a one-man market research firm for the business.  The young entrepreneur shares office space with his mom, in a back office stocked with crafting and virtual learning supplies. He is a part of all of it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tina Buddha Babe and Son 

Tina's conversations with her children about race ...

Fortunately, my younger son attends a pretty incredible Friends School. His teachers and the administrators have been wonderfully adept at helping parents communicate with our kids about race. The school preaches what I preach—be true to yourself, love everyone, spread kindness and protect peace. My older son, in his mid-twenties, is succeeding in ways I never could have dreamed of…my kids know that looking different can be a problem for us when people have hate in their hearts, and they know to surround themselves with the goodness of people who have love in their hearts. I’ve taught them to have pride in who they are, where they come from and their personal journey—and to never let anything stop them in the pursuit of their dreams. I’ve also taught them that they must always stand up for what is right, and work to fight against prejudice and hate whenever and however they can.

Buddha Babe Tina & Son

Tina's advice to give non-Black parents about how to raise anti-racists and Black allies ...

Kindness first. We are all human. Teach your kids to see color, acknowledge that each of us travels a different path, to not make assumptions about race but that we are all here on earth to love...I grew up in a time when my allies were taught to NOT see color. Now, it’s commonplace that ally-ship is attained through seeing color. I’m still going to articulate that we are humans first…some of the rules to correct institutionalized racism do not need to spill over to personal human relationships where racism is not an issue—there are relationships that exist that are simply positive connections between humans—that’s what I have built my world around, and that’s the core of the advice. That said, my advice to all who will listen is to walk swiftly away from those who are racists, freeze them out, and punish them for their hurtful and uneducated views. I am not so naïve to think that all racism can be cured through education.

Tina Buddha Babe Store

Tina's lessons learned while opening a business during a pandemic ...

Keep moving forward. Don’t let the fear in. Babies and the grown ups who love them still need my product. I also learned to stick to my core business, despite the lucrative response to my masks…

Tina Buddha Babe Business Owner Tina Buddha Babe Store

Tina's take on the importance of opening her brick and mortar in the culturally divers Mt Airy neighborhood ...

Mount Airy is an incredibly special neighborhood. There are many places where Buddha Babe could have landed, but as soon as I saw this corner—shining in the sunlight, I knew this was it. My customer gets it…they appreciate the quality, the thoughtfulness in sourcing, the specialness of being made by artists on the premises, the whole ethos of Buddha Babe. Mount Airy has diversity in every area, and that is something that helps this business thrive. I live in this neighborhood and chose it for the neighbors who celebrate my diversity (being a Black, Jewish mompreneur) and support all aspects of my life. I love knowing the business community members, knowing that I am part of Philadelphia’s economic development. Lastly I love being close enough that my suburban friends can be here in a moment.

Tina Buddha Babe Store front

Tina Buddha Babe Store

Other Black business Tina would like to shine a light on ...

Kalilah Wright, the Owner of Mess/Mess In A Bottle—I sell her “A Black Woman Created This” and “Born into This Mess” Onesies

Renee Hill, founder and designer of Harx 4, and known for her participation in Project Runway. We are collaborating on a line of childrenswear soon to launch.

Buddha Babe Store Front

Buddha Babe Store Clothing

Tina Buddha Babe Head Shot

Shop all of our Buddha Babe Products HERE

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