Much.Most.Darling.: Monday Introductions // Little Beasties: Quirky, Handmade Toys for Your Little Monster.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday Introductions // Little Beasties: Quirky, Handmade Toys for Your Little Monster.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, but does contain affiliate links

I am always on the hunt for battery and noise free things for H to play with to help him increase that big brain's knowledge, and to help make learning a little easier and a little more fun for both of us. Don't get me wrong, the dude loves his trucks, but sometimes mama needs some quiet play time with no sirens or rumbles or music blaring from a plastic toy. Especially now that he's almost two and a half, I'm really trying to work with him on intentional play to encourage his imagination and vocabulary. It's so much fun to carry on actual conversations with this tiny little human that just used to sit there and stare at me all day!

Little Beasties has been the perfect addition to our quiet time play, and I'm really excited to share Jess' shop with you today! Jess, the awesome mama behind the shop, is a 28 year old wife and mama living in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. She has a 3 year old son and is currently pregnant with baby number 2. Jess and I are actually due right around the same time, so it's been really fun to compare notes and connect through this very special commonality! Stay tuned until the end of this blog post to see how you can enter to win a $20 shop credit to Little Beastie's Etsy shop!

While Jess has always been a creative person, she had never really attempted sewing until two years ago - in fact, to be quite honest, she was a little terrified of her machine! In the fall of 2014, Jess got it in her head that she wanted to make all of her son's Christmas presents that year. He was almost 2, and she was full of ideas! Jess hand-stitched everything she made, and it was so time consuming but worth it in the end. After that, Jess decided to make his birthday presents too, and when all the party guests "ooh'd and aah'd" and told her she should open an Etsy shop, she listened, and Little Beasties was born!

Jess and her husband have called their son the "wee beastie" since he was a baby (it's even his hashtag on Instagram!). She knew she wanted the name to honor her son, but she also desired to keep some anonymity as she wanted to be respectful of his privacy online. Little Beasties seemed like the perfect way to pay homage to her son without using his actual name, and convey the target market for her products. After all - what kid isn't a little beastie now and then?!

H and I have been having so much fun playing with our Little Beasties Custom Magnetic Alphabet Set, and as an added bonus, it makes our kitchen look extra bright! There are four available options including plush or magnetic, and each and every single letter is beautifully handmade by Jess herself. We chose the magnetic uppercase letters in super fun colors and they have been a godsend for allowing me to make breakfast. While I'm cooking food over on the stove, H sits next to me on the floor and plays around with his letters. Sometimes I will make him words and we'll practice his alphabet skills, and while most letters are "H", "A", "R", "S", or "N", we're making progress everyday! One of H's favorite things to do is play our "find the ____ letter" game: I'll tell him that I would like to find a yellow letter, and then he'll help me find them all and we go "yay, woo hoo" at the end. It's a silly little way for me to keep him occupied, but it also keeps his growing brain working while I cook up our eggs and toast, and I'm all about the multi-tasking! 

Without question, Jess' children have 100% been her inspiration for starting her Etsy shop. She has known since she was very young that she was meant to be a mom, and I wanted to stay home with her kids like her mom did. Unfortunately in today's economy, that's just not an option for everyone. While Jess never thought she'd be a small business owner, it's been a way for her to contribute financially to her family while also staying home with her babies, so it's worth all the hard work.

During her very few minutes of downtime, Jess loves to read! She's a regular at the gym (but even then, you'll still find her reading!), and enjoys going on hikes with her family and tries to get outside as much as possible when the weather cooperates.

Jess' love of crafting hasn't always been so. She has tried many creative pursuits over the years, and has enjoyed trying new crafts, but her love of sewing, knitting and crocheting is a very recent development. It always seemed so intimidating to her, like something she couldn't do unless she had someone sitting next to her and telling her the steps each time. Jess is mostly self-taught (although she does call her grandma with questions pretty regularly), so it's definitely a learning process, but it's not as scary as she had built it up to be in her head!

The second Little Beasties goodie that has made its way into our home is the Custom Little Beasties Monster Plush, that has so cleverly been named Beastie by the little Mister. This might be one of my favorite of H's snuggles, because he was able to customize which monster he wanted as a buddy, and exactly which color he wanted and everything, so I knew it would be made exactly to his liking. Some of his current favorite pairs of PJs are his monster PJs, and one of my favorite books to read to him is Sandra Boynton's "Horns and Toes and In-between", so this Little Beastie monster guy was made for our family. Beastie is the perfect addition to our bedtime story time, because H likes to point to his monster's horns, eyes, teeth, etc, during the coordinating parts in the book. It sure doesn't hurt that Beastie is super soft and cushy, so he's a great nap-mate and great at snuggling for bedtime.

We are obsessed with our magnetic letters and custom little beastie monster, but Jess' favorite might have to be the Custom Little Beastie Hanky Toys. While Jess loves everything in the shop (otherwise what's the point of making it, right?), her grandma used to have an old baby wipes box full of fabric scraps that they were allowed to play with, and she remembers how it was so satisfying to pull out every single one and throw them all over the room. Jess' son was exactly the same as a toddler, and would happily destroy a box of wipes or tissues in five seconds flat.

She was surprised to discover that there was nothing like what she wanted on Etsy already, so she recreated a piece of her childhood! It's a really great toy for babies and toddlers, especially if you need to keep them occupied quietly on a plane or at the doctor's office. The hankies are all made of flannel or cotton, fully customizable, and can even be made with crinkle fabric inside, for babies who like a little extra sensory stimulation. By far, Jess considers these her my most "genius" idea!

While I'm over here with H, barely out of our PJs by noon, Jess is running her shop and being a fantastic mom to her 1.5 kiddos. However, even though I look to her as someone who has her stuff together, most days she feels like she doesn't have the balance thing down. Jess says that it's hard to balance mom life and work, especially when you can't physically leave to get work done. For a while, things were a little hectic in her home. She was new to the Etsy world, and was dedicating all of my free time to shop stuff - which meant that Jess had almost no time to spend with her husband, because the only times she could work were during naps and in the evening, and the time she was spending with my son wasn't fun, because she was stressing about all the work she wasn't getting done.

This spring, Jess made the decision to slow things way down, thanks to being pregnant and moving to a new house, and it really gave her the time to reevaluate how she wants to run Little Beasties shop. So, going forward, balance for Jess means that as soon as her son is down for his nap, she is working. Her phone is off, the internet is off, and she has about three hours to crank out toys/answer messages/photograph products/etc. As soon as he's awake, Jess is off the clock. She also bought a planner this year to keep track of what needs to be finished for the shop by the end of each week. Time will only tell how this plan works for her and her family, but Jess looking forward to more productivity and less stress!

Jess is just a mama, like many of us, who is making up this whole small-business-owner thing as she goes. She thinks that with enough determination, anyone can make it work for them if they're looking for a way to make a little extra money on the side (or a whole part/full-time income). Jess has been completely blown away by how wonderful small business shoppers really are. Even with having so many delays in the last few months with all of her big changes, she has only received messages of positivity and support. It really shows that things are changing in the way we all interact as consumers and makers, and it's so encouraging for her as a small business owner and entrepreneur.

Please make sure to show this creative mama some love! Find and favorite her Etsy Shop, Little Beasties here, follow her on Instagram @LittleBeastiesShop here, and follow Little Beasties on Facebook here! Wanna win $20 to help you stock up on some adorable handmade quiet play toys for your little one? Enter below!

What is your favorite quirky handmade toy from Little Beastie?

Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Etsy. Giveaway open worldwide, to entrants 18 years of age and older. 


  1. Love those custom made alphabet set, we as parents would really want our children to learn and have fun all at the same time. Even moms from love beasties handmade toys.


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