There’s nothing cuter than tiny socks, smocks and all the garments in between—little reminders what we all started out small once, and always have room to grow. Perhaps that sentiment wasn’t too far away for Brooke Bourque when she decided to go big with her online children’s boutique, Sissy & Bean, where shoppers can scroll through stylish clothes, accessories and gifts for toddlers and young children.
To learn more about where the idea came from, as well as what people can expect to find there for their kiddos, we reached out to Bourque for all the dainty deets.
1. What’s the meaning behind the name?
While I was pregnant I referred to my oldest as Bean, and for some reason or another it’s always stuck around, to the point she thought it was her true middle name. Sissy is what my girls call each other. Layla started the trend with Lorelei (my middle daughter), then Lorelei caught on and started calling Layla the same and it’s continued now with Leighton. It’s really cute, like their own sister language. Since the boutique was inspired by them, I picked their nicknames for the store name.
2. What is a typical day like for you and your team?
Well, this one is tricky! I’m a one-woman team handling the day-to-day activities like customer service, website maintenance and social media accounts, so any combination of that and whatever else may come up—I’m on it!
3. What is your professional background? How did you get into the retail field?
I’m actually a surgical physician associate for a local hospital here in Baton Rouge.
I found myself escaping the demands of the job and winding down after my shifts by browsing the internet after my first daughter was born. I’ve always dreamed of opening up my own boutique, and Sissy & Bean allows me to support my creative side away from medicine. The brands you will find on the site are truly things I place my own children in on a day-to-day basis.
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4. What sets your store apart?
I strive to remain personable. Whether it’s a true close friend here in town or a customer from across the U.S., I want them to feel as though I am their friend. In an age of social media and text relationships, I know many emotions are left to translation. I personally respond to every message, comment or question. I love talking with the customers about a certain event, preparing sibling outfits for photos, or even curating the perfect gifts for a variety of occasions.
5. What is one thing you think customers should know about your store that they may not be aware of?
Sissy & Bean is more than just a website. I’m a mom of three girls, a wife, a local medical professional and a customer myself. Although I may not have a storefront, I still hope to create a great customer relationships.
6. How do you keep your store’s inventory fresh and up to date?
I love mixing local treasures with trendy pieces. You will find many brands designed right here in Louisiana, as I love the spirit and culture of our state. I attend a variety of gift and children’s markets over the given year in Dallas, as well as locally and virtually.
7. Can you share a hint about what shoppers will see in your store next season?
Fall is all about football! Items gravitate toward the purple, gold and black, but I also mix in pretty much all team colors. Even if it isn’t specific to a sport, to me “team colors” are as classic as denim: Perfect for year-round and pretty much any occasion.
We are bringing back all our favorite lines with exciting new items, plus a few new brands. I even have mommy-and-me matches from a customer-favorite local brand.
8. What was your reason for opening the store? How has the store changed through the years?
I opened Sissy & Bean three years ago this month as an escape from the demands of medicine and as a chance to feed my creative side as a mom of three girls. This couldn’t have been more true over the past year, given the pandemic. It has been vital to have a creative “escape” from the ongoings around the world.
I started off very small through a Facebook group and have since expanded to a website, shipping across the U.S. I actually keep a scratch-off map at my desk to celebrate each new state I’ve shipped an order to, and my goal is to have it completed in five years. I just scratched off Puerto Rico last week, so that’s exciting!
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9. What are a few must-have items this season?
To me, summer essentials are comfortable and multi-use outfits. I love having pieces that work for a play date at the park, birthday parties and even special occasions. I’m all about the saying, “buy to wear.”
10. What are some of your best-selling items?
Anything purple and gold. LSU is popular year-round, from newborns to adults.
The Louisiana/Southern brands sell really well, like Krewe, Velvet Fawn, La Luna and Properly Tied. Then you have the European-inspired brands like Me & Henry, Vignette and Bisby, which are some of my favorites.
To learn more and do some shopping of your own, visit sissyandbean.com.