When I was pregnant and a living insomniac, I came across A Little Bundle on a late-night Instagram rabbit hole. For those that don’t know, A Little Bundle, is a monthly curated subscription service
with gifts for the fashion-forward mama and baby. Brilliant, right? And also the best baby shower gift idea ever. Then I found out that the owner, Annie Lin Contino, not only lives in Austin but was also pregnant at the time I reached out. Naturally, I stalked her until she agreed to be featured. She has since had her baby, a sweet little girl named Indie Rey and despite being in the process of moving, let us shoot the fashionable duo at their house. Annie sat down with us at her home in Austin, Texas to discuss the inspiration behind starting A Little Bundle, how she’s adapting to being a stay at home mom and working from home, and how she incorporates her own art designs into each bundle. Photography by Katie Jameson
What was the inspiration behind starting A Little Bundle?
I was working in the Fashion world in NYC and wanted to get out of the industry, but still do what I love – design. I always loved the baby and kids industry and my friend just started Bark Box at the time. I was inspired by her subscription model idea and came up with A Little Bundle!
How did your business grow from being an idea to a real business? Any tips for our readers who want to their ideas to the next level?
I actually sat on this idea for almost a year and worked my corporate job while thinking about how to start the business. Then, one day I just whipped up the logo, got a website and started at it. It was a few months in when I realized I wanted to give it my all, even though income was not secure yet, but I knew if I wanted this to work I had to give my 110% not just after work hours. So, I jumped ship and took the risk. Luckily, it worked out in my favor, but I worked all day and night. It was so much work building the company and doing it all alone.
I think a good tip to getting to the next level or actually trying your idea is to stop thinking so hard about it and just do it. You’ll always run into obstacles or challenges but that’s the only way you’ll learn and grow.
How do you stay on top of baby trends and all the new products and designers that pop up?
Do you have a process for selecting the items that go in the bundles?
The process has changed so much as I learned from my mistakes and found a strategy that worked. Now, I curate mostly around one main item that I want to showcase for the month. For example, if i design a onesie with a dog on it, I’ll work around that theme 🙂
You are a one-woman show. Do you have any tips for managing your time? When and how do you work best?
My time management has changed since becoming full time stay at home mom and a full time working mom. I now work when Indie Rey is napping and I even work at night at 2am, 4am – you name it, I’ll make it work if my priorities calls for it. Luckily, my business has been set up by now and is running fluidly, but I couldn’t imagine building if from the beginning right now with a baby.
I also pick and choose what needs to be done based on priorities. I do the best I can and the most I can day by day but most importantly I try to be present with Indie Rey!
You recently had a baby girl, Indie Rey. Congrats! How has life changed since having a baby?
Thank you! It surprisingly hasn’t changed much since I kept working from the day I got back from the hospital. Being an entrepreneur, there are no maternity leave or even a break. Indie Rey transitioned into my life well and I was so lucky not to have trouble with breastfeeding. The only huge change for me was sleepless nights – which now that Indie Rey sleeps well through the night, I use the time to work.
Remember, you can’t do it all but you can try your best to do what you can. Don’t worry if you didn’t check off your entire to do list, there’s always tomorrow. And babies really DO grow up so fast, so try to be present when you’re with them – it’s worth every moment, even with all the crying and frustrating sleepless nights 🙂 (Trust me, some nights I think I can’t do it, but I remind myself this is all temporary!)
You are also a designer as seen on a onsie I received in my last monthly bundle. Was including your art always a part of the plan or did it happen naturally?
Yes! I graduated from Parsons and worked and breathe fashion in NYC for 8 years. I had a fashion line with my sister for 3 years and worked with designers creating their runway collection pieces years after that. 🙂 Including my own designs, sharing different artists and sharing small business brands I loved was always a part of the plan.
You have an amazing sense of style and like me, gravitate towards vintage. Where are your favorite places to shop in Austin and other cities?
Aw thanks! Since becoming a mom, online shopping has been a life savor! I love shopping in New York, of course, Barneys, Aritzia, Double R L, Coclico, All Saints, Muji, Rachel Comey, Marni, Housing works… I could go on and on. Now I miss New York! Ha!
What’s next for A Little Bundle?
Well, a lot has changed since the beginning of the year and during my pregnancy. I’ve been finding different routes to preparing my new life working full time and being a mom full time. I started social media consulting – UnicornandRainbows.com. It’s been so rewarding and fun to help these small business brands build! As for A Little Bundle, I’m pivoting my concept very soon – so stay tuned! The fun part about owning your own business is you get to roll with the punches, change it up when you feel you need to and let it transform with you and your life :).