Shop For A Cause - Bentley James Kids

During the week of September 12th, four shops have teamed up to promote the importance of shopping for a cause.  Not only is it important to support small business owners, but it's also important to support small business owners who give back a portion of your money to help others.

 

Each shop will be highlighted throughout the week sharing their story behind their shop, the cause they support and a few tips for fellow small shop owners.  Be sure to check out each shop and read the Q&A with our first shop, Bentley James Kids, below!

 

Bentley James Kids

Q: What inspired you to start your own business?

I have always loved fashion and knew from a very young age that I wanted to design clothes.  My mom actually taught me to sew when I was 7! I later went to college for fashion design and fell in love with sewing and pattern making.  I was inspired to start my own business when i started having children and a family.  I now am happily married and have 2 children, Bentley who is 5 and Emily who is 2.  

The inspiration behind my clothing line is my son Bentley and my husband James, hence the name Bentley James Kids.  Part of my testimony is as follows....

Bentley showed me that I was capable of loving unconditionally while James reminded me that I was unconditionally loved apart from the unwavering love from my family. These 2 people changed my life and truly opened my eyes.

A little over 6 1/2 years ago, I was lost and full of fear. Drugs and alcohol had a complete grip on my life, and I was consumed by addiction. I turned my back on the Lord and I was estranged from my family. Then something happened....I found out I was pregnant. This came as a shock and led me to feel overwhelmed, ashamed and angry. I felt that I was not fit to be a mother and that having an abortion was the only way out.

Here comes the happy ending and my inspiration...

Rather than have an abortion, I went to a local pregnancy center and was counseled by women who helped me to see other options. They helped me to remember that I was a child of God and, more importantly, to see that my baby was a child of God.

My son Bentley saved my life. He allowed me to feel purpose. He gave me hope.

My testimony of God's grace and my love for sewing and designing is the reason Bentley James Kids is successful and the reason I keep going no matter what.  

Q: What do you want readers to know about your brand?

Ultimately I want them to know that I love Jesus and that I give all the glory to Him.  I want them to know that when they support my brand, they are also supporting the unborn babies who need love.  They are supporting the single mom who is full of fear because she feels that abortion is the only way out.  I want them to know that my business is about being a ministry, not about being the biggest, most profitable shop out there.  I hope to always stay humble in my business and it's success.  I also think it is important for people to know that I am staying current with the trends and that my workmanship is very high quality.  I am a perfectionist and details are everything to me!

Q: What type of items do you sell in your shop?

I sell children's clothing (baby-youth) and some adult t-shirts.  Everything is handmade by me (except I do buy the tees, they are all American Apparel).  Currently I sell joggers, harem pants, leggings, shorts, rompers, headbands (various kinds), beanies, and screenprinted tees.  I am in the process of designing dresses and some woven tops.  I also have a home division called Bentley James Kids Cozy Crib where I sell graphic prints for kids rooms.  This next year I am going to expand on the Cozy Crib line and create bedding, screen printed pillows, and fun wall art!   

Q: Tell us more about the cause your shop supports and why this cause is important to you.

We support an organization called Preborn Friends.  They are a pro-life organization that ministers to women at all stages of pregnancy, even post birth or post abortion.  They share the gospel everyday to women who are hurting and women who feel like they have no way out and no support.  I used to be one of those women so they are very special to me.  If I wouldn’t have had women like them supporting me when I was pregnant with Bentley I may have aborted him.  They are changing lives and I want to be a part of it.  We donate 10% of every sale to their organization and we hope in the next year we can double our contributions.  These women are AMAZING!!!

Q: If you had to choose 3 reasons why people should support small businesses, what would they be?

  1. A lot of the small shops I know are made of mom’s who are trying to help support their family (me included!). A lot of the owners I have met have small children and their business is the reason they are able to stay home with their kids.  So when you shop small you are helping families!
  1. When you support small you are helping someone follow their dreams and passions.  You are also purchasing something that is most likely handmade and unique.  When I get orders, it's like someone telling me "I believe in you" and "you are so creative".  It's the ultimate form of flattery!
  1. You will get the best customer service when you shop small.  My customers are SO important to me and I go out of my way to make them feel special.  I know so many other shops that do too!

Q: What do you love most about being a small business owner?

I love the creative freedom and I love that I am able to make a difference.  I also work in the corporate world and so often I feel like just a number and I feel stifled with how creative I can be.  Having a small business allows me to follow my dreams while also standing up for Christ and the unborn babies that need saving!  I also love a good challenge and I have never been more challenged or pushed that I have this past year.  It has shown me that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was!  I thrive most when I am busy so being a small business owner is perfect for me!

Q: What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?

Allow yourself to make mistakes, don't take yourself too seriously, and HAVE FUN!!!  Also I think it is super important to not compare yourself with other people.  Their Instagram may be prettier, their website may look more professional, etc BUT at the end of the day you have to remember why you are running your business and never lose sight of that.  I have to constantly remind myself that I am a wife and mom first and if my small business starts bleeding into those relationships I need to do a priority shift.  Daily quiet time in the Word is a must and praying for God's will in your business not your own!  



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