#startupmom: Grace Berios

#startupmom Grace Berios founder of Little Bird Vintage Design

You have am amazing business, fill us in, mama! 

Little Bird Vintage Designs is a Purpose Based business specializing in hand-painted appliquéd items which feature one of our five trademarked designs, (one for each of my five children) and our Eco-Friendly Direct to Garment Print Line, which is a non-toxic, water-based, sustainable printing process.

For each item sold, there is a Give attached to it—part of our Buy Love, Give Love program.

When and how did you launch LBVD?

In January of 2007, when Ava, my first, was six months old, our first mommy/baby friend, Anastacia Postema moved to Portland, OR. Her farewell gift to Ava was the original Ava Bird Lovie! It was love at first sight! I knew right then, we needed to reproduce this idea and start a business together that would keep us connected forever! Eight and a half years and four more animals later, it’s still going strong!

Little Bird Vintage Design 15% off

Shop 15% off at Little Bird Vintage Designs through September 30th with coupon code: #Babies4Babies.

What inspires you and your work?

My fledglings! I love that they see first hand that a person can build a career around having a family and give back all while making a living. I’m a firm believer in "Living and loving out loud." I think they will benefit greatly from our family business and the impact we are making.

Tell us about your "fledglings" aka kiddos!

I have five! We at one time had four under four and then were blessed with an unexpected surprise gift of our Theodore "Teddy" Orian. 

What kind of mom are you?

Flexible, go with the flow—yet regimented, if that makes any sense whatsoever. I worked very hard at developing a routine with all 5 of mine, from the start, thus enabling me to have a bit of control and flexibility when it came to raising my family and keeping my sanity, my marital bliss and my full time job.

What’s your most recent brag-able accomplishment?

Being spotlighted in Whole Foods Market—the Flagship location in Austin, TX! They gave me a 9’x9’ section in the center of the Whole Body section to highlight my entire product lines from accessories to blankets and pillows on Easter weekend! Toms Shoes and other nationally recognized products got their start from this location! It was such an honor. I now have an end cap (a prized location in any store) highlighting our product line.

What was a time you felt like you were doing this mom thing really well?

Summer of 2014 when we took the kids to Greece for a month to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We thought our family was "closed" and it was such a fun and freeing trip together... the next month we found out we were expecting...might have been too freeing of a trip!

What's the thing you never leave behind?

A notebook, I like to jot down ideas as they come and I’m a big believer in the written versus typed. And I journal.

How did you find your mom friends?

My first mom friend I stalked and pretended to be just walking the same route as her each day at the same time. We thankfully became friends—she’s the designer of the original Ava Bird and Teddy’s Animal. 

What do you do for “me time”?

Work on Little Bird Vintage Designs, my favorite pastime, (all aspects of the business). I live for long walks, and FACIALS—I LOVE getting facials!

Little Bird Vintage Designs Buy Love Give Love ProgramWhat is the best advice you ever received from another mom?

I have three: 1. BabyWise—an ER Doc suggested it to me via my husband, I read it the week before my first baby was born and implemented it with all five!  2. Montessori—my mother, a former Montessori teacher, expressed the importance and value in a Montessori education the first six years of life. I value their independent nature and self direction the most and find these attributes extremely helpful in raising five under the age of nine—including one newborn! 3. AND sending kids to bed in the clothes they’ll be wearing the next day rather than pj’s. They’re bathed right before bed, so it just makes sense, saves a ton of laundry and time in the morning! (Thanks for that Fran McClowskey—former favorite neighbor.)

Is there a typical day in your world?

I try to keep to some routines, mornings are the easiest. These mornings I start out breastfeeding while I down my 16 ozs of hot water with lemon and honey—my secret weapon against illness and fatigue. Weekdays I get the kids up and ready for school, these summer days warrant a much more relaxed flow. Either way, I have to really make the most of each hour, whether it’s parenting or working, or playing. I try to fill each role to the fullest and know that I have the rest of my life to do Little Bird Vintage Designs, I don’t have the rest of my life to truly embrace this time I have with each of my five children and this age. I have to remind myself of that daily. 

When and where do you get most of your work done?

My home studio when my kids are in school between 9am and 2pm.

Did you take time off or scale back when you had your babies?

Yes, when I had my first four I had to, but this time around, I have outsourced more work to my locally sourced employees that have been with me for the past two years.

Little Bird Vintage Designs our flock What’s the hardest part about being a #startupmom?

Feeling torn between downtime and family time and work time. Sometimes I’m jealous of my husband’s set work schedule and time off. I think being a #startupmom is super challenging because of that super woman desire and need we all feel. I have a hard time relinquishing control and letting things go. AND it’s really hard to rest and enjoy downtime in your own home when it also doubles as your place of business.

What do you love most about being a #startupmom?

The fact that I don’t have a set work schedule and I can be as flexible as I need to be at any given time. The impact I’m making on my children just from leading by example. Keeps me on my toes!

Who keeps you going? 

My husband. When he married me he knew I’d have some sort of business eventually since I did major in Entrepreneurship, but to truly support day in and day out someone starting up something from scratch in addition to all that comes with having children, it takes a very special love and devotion. So thankful for my Johns…and of course my five inspirations, Ava, Leo, Maximus, Kalliope and Teddy!

Your family in three words:

Love, warmth, happiness.

Parting advice on first time motherhood/entrepreneurship?

You have more energy and time than you think! Just go for it!

Grace is a boss and you should follow her #startupmom story on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. She also has a Vlog and a Blog

1 Comment


August 25, 2015

<3 <3 <3!!!

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