The founder’s story that we have for you this week is one not to be missed! This week we have an amazing entrepreneur with a testimony to match her talent. Learn about how a history of sorrow was turned into an inspiring story of triumph. Meet Nina B., founder and designer of Beads by Bean.
I want to tip my hat and pay my respect. To a woman who has been in this game for 10 years. Still standing and doing great! How did Beans by Bean begin?
I try not to get too emotional when I talk about this. But back in 2010, I was going through it. Depression had taken its toll on me. And I got to a point where I felt like if I have to live through this much pain, then living on this side is not for me. I had planned it out and everything like how I was going to make my exit. And the one thing that stood with me was “Will my son be okay if I'm not here?” I admitted myself so that I can figure out how to navigate through life in pain, not even so I could be here for me, but because I need to still be here for my son. During that time, I was there for two weeks and I honestly, I unpacked a lot.
And the one thing that stood with me is when the therapist said, “Listen, don't be fool. You came here and initiated the help. When you go home, those people have not put in the work. So be prepared to stand firm on your boundaries, be prepared to stand firm on continuing the work.” So, the night before it was time for me to come home, I prayed and I said, “God, I don't think I'm ready to leave here. I don't think I'm ready. But what I ask of you is I need something that belongs to me.” All this love that I have is being Nina, being the daughter, the mother, the granddaughter, the sister, the cousin, the auntie, the coworker. Everybody pulls on me, but what about the strong people that don't have anywhere to pull on? What do we do when we're exhausted?
I was just like, “God, I need something that belongs to me. It doesn't belong to anybody else. I don't want it attached to a man that could be another divorce. I don't want it attached to a dog; the dog will die. My trigger has always been grief. I need something that belongs to me.” I don't even know if that exists. I don't know what it looks like, but in those moments where I feel like giving up and it's not worth it, I need something to pour all of me into. That I can get it back. That's not attached to somebody that will reject me or fail me. So, I went home, and I fell asleep and I woke up and Basketball Wives was on and I'm not really into reality TV, but the one thing that stood out is Shawna was sitting there. I immediately fixed in, on her wrist. . And I said to my son, “You see those bracelets? I know, you know, some little girl that can make those for me. My birthday is Friday." He reached out to her like three times, she didn't call back. So he said, “Ma just go by yourself.” When I woke up the morning of my birthday, I heard God say “No, you’re going to make them yourself. Not only are you going to make them but you’re going to sell them” I immediately knew what he was talking about.
Within an hour. I had my domain name, my email addresses. I had bookmarked a thousand bead pages just to get reference. There's a bead store at the end of the street, we went to the end of the street. I bought a few things. I'll never forget. Bonnie showed me how to seal them and do everything. And I made like five of them right there. I went home and I made about 30 of them. I was so nervous. A week later I got my very first sale, it was $532.19. She bought all of them. I went into praise mode because the number seven stood out to me as seven days of completion. And I have been running ever since.
That is beautiful. That is beautiful. It came naturally to you because God already gave you that gift. What I appreciate is that this story's going to help somebody. So, thank you for sharing that. Tell us more about your bracelets.
So, they're all handmade. They're all natural or genuine gemstones. All the pieces that I use, I actually pray over them. When I start creating, I have gospel music on so I can have God just bring me to peace.
Over the last 10 years I’ve had this bucket. The bucket is history of every bead that was left over. So, there may be like three or four that are left over from making the bracelets and I just dump them in the bucket. What happens is I dig my hand in and I scoop out. So, anyone that purchases, I call it An Organized Mess. This is the name of the bracelet, because I feel like that's what we all are.
That's where even mess is blessed. OK. Nina, thank you so much.