Welcome to Bubby and Bean

Welcome! My name is Melissa Baswell Williams, and I'm the founder and editor of Bubby and Bean, a lifestyle and design website focused on living a creative, inspired life.

Read on to find out more about the story behind this site, as well as a little about me and the other members of the Bubby and Bean team.

Bubby and Bean: Living Creatively is a lifestyle and design site, born in late 2010, that explores the beautiful details and simple joys of life. What began as a companion blog to my businesses has blossomed into one of my favorite projects of all time, and has grown into a small company of its own - creating inspired content for its readership, partnering with brands to present unique creative campaigns, and actively participating in the collective creative community, online and beyond. Our aesthetic is modern bohemian - a combination of free-spirited playfulness and minimalist simplicity. Our mindset is positive, progressive, and always in favor of spreading kindness. Think of this as a little online magazine that encompasses many aspects of living an inspired, colorful life.

Named after my trusty sidekick of nearly 16 years (a Lab/Chow mix nick-named Bubby, to whom we had to say goodbye in December 2011, but remains one of our greatest loves), Bubby and Bean came about as a positive force in the midst of an incredibly challenging time.  During the summer of 2010, I lost one of the most important people in my life to suicide after years of struggling with him daily to prevent it. This tragic event forced me to take some time away from my workaholic lifestyle and reevaluate everything. I traveled for a few weeks, visited old friends, and spent some time away from the city exploring nature, staring at the stars, making art for fun, following my bliss, and re-learning how to be inspired in the everyday. When I returned, I was a different person. I had a newfound appreciation for the tiny details that make life so beautiful, which led directly to the creation of this space.

Bubby and Bean has been featured in Better Homes and GardensRedbook Magazine, Lucky Magazine (also here, here and here), Country Living MagazineApartment Therapy (here and here), Design*Sponge, Refinery29, Pottery Barn's Official Blog, Minnetonka Moccasin's Official Blog, DIY Magazine, Pinterest's Official Blog, Buzzfeed (here and here), Architecture and DesignEntrepreneur Magazine, Mashable, Snapfish's Official Blog (also here), Poppytalk, How About Orange, Rock N' Roll Bride, Cut Out + Keep, Skinny Mom, College Fashion, Austin Wedding Blog, Kirtsy, Babble, CraftZine, Roadkill Rescue, Everything Etsy, and several other publications. We've also partnered with brands of all sizes, from Crate and Barrel, Adobe, the Gap, Target, West Elm, Coca-Cola, ScotchBlue, Marshalls, Bing, and Hyundai to independent designers and small businesses.

I am also a contributor to Lucky Magazine online, and my design work has been featured in Women's Wear DailyBusiness WeekBoho MagazineZooey MagazineSierra Club MagazineEcosalonSecond City StyleDiscovery Channel's TreeHugger.com, on NBC and ABC television, and at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.

I'm the founder/editor/creative director here at Bubby and Bean, as well as the designer for Bubby and Bean Art. Until recently, I also worked as a sustainable fashion designer (for 15 years; you can read more about that here). When I'm not working, I label myself a traveler, a dog lover, a learning-as-I-go mother to a toddler girl (with a baby boy due in early January), and an avid fun seeker. My favorite things include live music, animals, avocados, summertime, margaritas, spontaneous adventures, spicy food (I've been a vegetarian for 25 years, which I think makes me old), and all things lemon. I studied Theater and French at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, neither of which I use (or regret). After living coast to coast (in 9 states in a 12 year period; 3 of which were spent living and volunteering at a Tibetan Buddhist Center), I finally established roots here in the Chicago area with my husband Robbie and daughter Essley. In addition to here on the blog, you can also find me on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

Jen is a multi-media artist who works as a social marketer and graphic designer for various companies throughout the Northern California and Seattle regions. A DIY-er with everything from arts and crafts to construction work, she's tackled projects small and huge with the help of her partner Jeffy. Her passions include motorcycling and searching out the perfect flower pot made of a re-purposed toilet. Originally from Philadelphia, Jen has lived all over the the country, but established roots a few years ago in California's North Bay. The newest member of the Bubby and Bean team, she will be sharing everything from DIY projects to recipes as our Lifestyle Contributor. You can see more of her work on her website as well as Instagram and Twitter.

Paige is a designer and DIYer living in the Chicago suburbs. By day she is a blogger and small business owner who helps people transform their home into something they love. By night she works on her own house, enlisting the help of her husband to make their 1970's split-level into something more their style. Paige has a soft spot for reality TV, will never turn down a plate of nachos, and her favorite books are Harry Potter. In addition to writing for Bubby and Bean as our Home Contributor, Paige blogs over at Little Nostalgia and runs an Interior Design business called The Room Kit. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Sara is an event planner and "expert in indulgence" who has lived in the heart of Sonoma County California's wine country for 12 years. She plans unique, personalized getaways to and events in wine country for her hospitality business, Wine Country Goodness, and travels the country in search of the best places to stay, explore, eat, and drink. Her newest (and favorite) role is that of mother to her two year-old daughter, Piper. (She also has a baby boy on the way, due in March.) In addition to sharing her favorite foods and wines, recipes and more as Bubby and Bean's Food and Drink Contributor, Sara writes for several wine country publications, as well as her own blog. You can also find her on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and LinkedIn.

Morgan is a high school Psychology and Sociology teacher living in Indianapolis with her husband and 14 year old Shiba Inu/fur child Isis. In her free time, she can be found gardening, cooking (you can see some of her recipes here), drinking wine at pottery class, watching horror movies, or moonlighting as an amateur makeup artist. She has an art crush on Edward Gorey and appreciates a good Chicago (her home town) pizza. And if she had her way, everyday would be Halloween. Morgan shares her regular favorites, tips, and tutorials as Bubby and Bean's Beauty Contributor. You can also find her on Instagram.

As a transplanted girl from the Wild West, Kari spends her days finding beauty in the prairies of the Midwest (while pretending that she's really looking at mountains). She's a mom to two amazing humans and a variety of furry critters, wife of the man who brought her to the Midwest, and music, wine, bird and general nature lover. After years working as the Customer Service and Fulfillment Manager at Melissa's eco-clothing line Mountains of the Moon, she joined us here at Bubby and Bean in September 2014 as Melissa's Assistant/Jack of all Trades/Queen of Awesomeness. Kari helps with answering press and reader emails, assists with random blog projects, and helps with shipping and fulfillment over in the Bubby and Bean Art Shop.

We are incredibly grateful for our readers. We mean this sincerely. We read every single one of your comments, and we truly enjoy hearing your thoughts and getting feedback from you guys. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop us a line any time right here. Sometimes it may take a few days, but we will always respond. - The Bubby and Bean Team