Welcome to Bubby and Bean

Welcome to Bubby and Bean!  My name is Melissa Baswell Williams, and I'm a sustainable fashion designer, art print/card designer, blogger, traveler, dog lover, and fun seeker.  I live in Chicago with my husband Robbie and baby girl Essley.

Bubby and Bean: Living Creatively
is a lifestyle + design blog, born in late 2010, that focuses on what I like to call 'all of the wonderful things.'  For me, these include design, fashion,
home decor, DIY projects and crafts, travel, music, photography, and food + drink, along with the occasional musings about life, love, and learning.  What began as a companion blog to my businesses has blossomed into one of my favorite projects of all time.  Think of it as a little online magazine/journal that encompasses many aspects of living an inspired, creative life.
Named after my trusty sidekick of nearly 16 years (a Lab/Chow mix nick-named Bubby*), 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. (*We had to say goodbye to Bubby dog on December 22, 2011. He continues to be my muse.)

Bubby and Bean has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Lucky Magazine (also here, here and here), Redbook Magazine, Country Living Magazine, Design*Sponge, Refinery29, Pottery Barn's Official Blog, Minnetonka Moccasin's Official Blog, DIY Magazine, Pinterest's Official Blog, Buzzfeed (here and here) Entrepreneur Magazine, Mashable, 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 were also selected to be part of Lucky Magazine's Lucky Style Collective, and as an ambassador for Adobe.

I am a diehard fan of animals, live music, summertime, margaritas, minimalist design, avocados, spontaneous, last-minute adventures, and all things lemon.  I studied Theater and French at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, which continues to be one of my favorite cities.  I've been a vegetarian for almost 25 years.  I've lived in 9 states in the last 12 years (from Colorado to Oregon to Florida to here in Chicago), 3 of which were spent living and volunteering at a Tibetan Buddhist Center in Indiana.  Several summers in my 20s consisted of traveling the country in a 1978 Southwind RV, which created life-long memories but involved way too many hours broken down on desolate roads.  My husband, Robbie, is the Stage Manager for a band that tours the country (and world) for over half the year.  We got hitched on October 1, 2011 in a casual, nearly 100% D.I.Y. wedding at a local nature center.  On December 28, 2013, our daughter, Essley Morgan, was born.  I consider myself to be a very political person but I very rarely mention politics on this blog.  I can't whistle (trust me, I've tried).  When I was a baby, I lived on a hippie commune in Wisconsin.  My first word was 'moon.' My mom named me Melissa after the herb Melissa Officinalis, aka lemon balm.  Maybe that's why I love all things lemon. 

I am also a contributor to Lucky Magazine online, and my design work has been featured in Women's Wear Daily, Business Week, Boho Magazine, Zooey Magazine, Sierra Club Magazine, Ecosalon, Second City Style, Discovery Channel's TreeHugger.com, on NBC and ABC television, and at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.


I am incredibly grateful for my readers.  I mean this sincerely.  I read every single one of your comments, and I truly enjoy hearing your thoughts and getting feedback from you guys.  If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop me a line any time right here.  Sometimes it may take a few days, but I will always respond.

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