Student Small Business Spotlight: Beanie Babe

Freshman Ellie McIntyre brings her business, Beanie Babe, to campus and has become a huge success. Photo courtesy of Ellie McIntyre

By Lauren Holcomb | Reporter

Combining her love for creating art with her career goals of becoming an entrepreneur, Raleigh, N.C., freshman Ellie McIntyre brought her small business Beanie Babe all the way to Waco. McIntyre’s goal was to spread positivity, indicated by her signature rainbow, through every product she designs.

McIntyre says she has always had a knack for creativity and creating art. Even before starting Beanie Babe, she would paint pictures to sell to her friends. When she did decide to turn her passion into something bigger, the support mainly spewed from her friends and people she knew.

Coming from out of state, moving her business was something McIntyre was unsure of at first. After thinking it over, she decided she could not leave it behind after working so hard at it since quarantine of 2020. McIntyre was able to “throw everything in bags” while also purchasing new supplies in her new home. However, her new living situation made for quite the workspace.

“It’s been kind of crazy working from my dorm room,” McIntyre said. “My bed is lofted, and I have my desk under there. So that’s mostly where I work, just at my desk under my bed, which is very minimal space, but I try to make it work. And I have supplies all around my room, all stuffed in my drawers and my dresser.”

As a perfectionist, McIntyre runs Beanie Babe all on her own. She says it can be hard at times, especially while maintaining her status as a full-time student, but full creative control is something she enjoys.

“I’m pretty independent, and slightly picky, almost,” McIntyre said. “I also feel like I am so, like, particular about how I want things made and how I want things to look. So, even if I was to teach one of my friends like, ‘oh, here’s how you make like this rainbow,’ it would be like slightly different than the way I make it. It can be a little overwhelming sometimes, but it’s pretty fun.”

Although she works alone, McIntyre’s friends are quick to show support, from pop-up shops to modeling for the business’ Instagram profile.

Austin freshman Karina Howard said she loves seeing the behind-the-scenes work that goes into McIntyre’s business from the perspective of a friend and supportive customer.

“It’s a really fun experience, supporting a small business on campus, especially someone that’s my friend as well,” Howard said. “I know where that money is going. I know that I enjoy the products, and I’m not just buying it because I’m her friend. I’m buying it because I actually enjoy it. Seeing her room, you can see how passionate she is about her products and how much time she spends on it.”

Beanie Babe has also given McIntyre the opportunity to form community with other small business owners. Coming to Baylor, McIntyre says she had no clue how many other people also had businesses and used them as creative outlets too.

“Everybody I met would say, ‘oh, do you know this person? They also have a business,’ I’m like, ‘oh my gosh, no way,’” McIntyre said. “Last semester, I did one of the pop ups at Common Grounds, and I met so many cool people. It was just really cool to see how many other people have like the same aspirations as I do and how supportive everyone has been.”

The small business market can be competitive, but McIntyre’s artistic take to her work is something she strives to continue pursuing. Constantly inspired by her everyday surroundings, she enjoys combining her entrepreneurial goals for the future with her creative side.

“I took a ceramics class last semester, and I was like, this is totally something I can see myself doing in the future, having those kinds of products,” McIntyre said. “Art is definitely something that I enjoy doing. Regardless of how many customers I get, I would still continue to do this. It’s very fun for me.”