We are so happy to introduce you to Erin & Gretchen of Bip & Bop! We first discovered Bip & Bop at a holiday party we were throwing last December. One of our best friends was wearing this beautiful gold layered necklace, the design was so simple yet chic and I had to get one for myself! I asked where it was from and it was from Bip & Bop, the Erin Layered Necklace. Since then, we have had the chance to get to know the two lovely ladies behind Bip & Bop and are excited to have you get to know them as well! Read their interview below to learn more about Erin & Gretchen.
Tell us a little about yourself, your brand/company and how it started?
Hi! We are Gretchen & Erin, co-owners of Bip & Bop. We design and create hand stamped jewelry that is personalized just for our customers. We have both always had a passion for design, details and creating just about anything. When our mutual friend Nicole started the business in 2011 she brought us on to help her as the business began to grow. In the beginning we were helping her by filling orders, assembling necklaces. That quickly led to stamping and creating designs of our own as the company just kept growing. This past fall Nicole made the difficult decision that she was ready for a career change and we took over the business!
We are also neighbors! We live two blocks from one another which makes working out of our own homes much simpler. This business was born from the desire to be home with our children while feeding our passion and contributing to our families, so working out of our homes is crucial.
What advice can you give for starting your own business or turning your passion into a career?
We think it’s so important to be passionate about your craft to turn it into a business. Running a small business gives you flexibility but you also never “clock out”. You are filling orders, answering emails, and helping customers all throughout the day (and nights too sometimes!) so loving what you do is so important to keep driving the business forward & to continue growing
What drives/motivates/inspires you?
First, our families. As we mentioned, being home with our children was very important to all three of us in the beginning. We are driven to be successful in what we do because it is allowing us pay for Little League or special trips to Disneyland, all while being able to attend field trips, help with homework or drop everything when their school calls and they need their moms.
Coming up with new design ideas.....nothing is more fulfilling than dreaming up a design, turning it into a reality, and then seeing customers love it as much as we do
Being a part of special memories…we are asked to create some very important pieces for our customers and it can be extremely humbling to be trusted to create something that has so much meaning. When they reach out afterward, via email or social media, and express how much they love something….it is an amazing feeling!
What are you most proud of/ biggest accomplishment?
Going to Santa’s Secret Workshop in 2015 was one of the most fun weekends ever. It was a ton of hard work to get there, but it was so rewarding getting to meet celebrities & see them love & wear our jewelry & then become repeat customers. It was an amazing experience
What was biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
Taking over the business and having the dynamic go from 3 of us working together to just two has been a challenge. We have had to venture outside our comfort zones & learn how to grow the business through marketing, collaborating, and taking classes to learn new skills to create new pieces.
What is the best business advice you have received?
Be kind, work hard & help others succeed along the way. If we all work together there’s nothing we cannot do!
What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur?
Work hard & never give up. Follow that dream until you can turn it into a reality. There will be ups and downs along the way, learn from all of the experiences & find ways to make your business better. Be willing to try new things, approach things differently. We love making jewelry, but the business side of that takes so much time and patience….we are still learning and growing in that respect!
What is your ideal working environment?
A bright sunny office (we both stamp better in natural light). Erin loves to work with fun upbeat music playing, while Gretchen needs a sappy Hallmark movie or a crime drama on in the background!
What do you do in your spare time?
We both love spending time with our husbands, children (Gretchen has a son who is 11, Erin has a son who is 4 and a daughter who is 1), family, and friends. Gretchen is at the baseball field nearly every day of the week, whether it be for a game or just dropping off at practice, baseball is her son’s life, which makes it her life! Erin is so busy with Bip & Bop and caring for her little ones that spare time is hard to come by! In any spare time she can find she enjoys swimming in her pool and going to Barre + Cycle classes at The Dailey Method.
How do you maintain a healthy balance?
This one is tough thanks to technology! Our phones are always dinging with sales or emails and it can be tough not to answer during your child’s game or playdate. But then we remind ourselves that our kids are why we do this and we can get to that email in an hour.