Meet Bean’s Mom
Catherine Basson is unashamedly a ‘real mom’. Through her blog, she offers an up-close glimpse at fashion, décor and parenting techniques embraced by real moms everywhere.
The blog, Following the Bean, is the platform Catherine, or ‘mamma Cath’, uses to share cheeky ‘honestgrams’, product reviews and advice to moms around the world. She currently has more than 14000 followers on Instagram . . . and counting.
Catherine started her career overseas where she worked in PR and marketing for a fashion magazine based in London and the Middle East. During this time, she was snapped up by a high-end fashion boutique to do marketing and buying in the Middle East. This was also around the time that Catherine met her husband Rob. The couple settled in South Africa in early 2013, but Catherine continued to work, commuting between countries. She eventually resigned to follow her passion for photography. Her daughter Rebecca, who is affectionately known as ‘Bean’, was born in 2015.
Having always appreciated small start-up businesses, especially in the kids clothing and merchandise industry, Catherine decided to start her ‘micro blogging’ career on Facebook and Instagram. Not long afterward she created a full website, featuring her daughter, and promoting all the products she loved.
“I think it was a blend of my marketing background, my passion for being an honest human and my love for fashion that all miraculously came together, and Following the Bean was born,” says the 25-year-old.
Catherine has since also started her own online store called Beans.Boutique, which she developed as a result of her passion for finding exclusive, quality kids clothing pieces.
“You’re never too young to develop your own style and it’s something I’m excited to see Bean grow into as she finds her own way through the fashion world.”
With the aim of providing moms with fashionable, yet wearable, exclusively designed garments – without the outrageous price tag – Catherine has successfully released three ranges of exclusive pieces which are unique, affordable and practical.
From gorgeous blush pink lace rompers to genuine leather multipurpose diaper and backpack bags and, more recently, buttery soft, salmon-hued material dresses – all limited-edition pieces, which often sell out in a few days.
“Let’s have a real moment here. Nobody really wants to spend a fortune on kids clothing. Those little monsters mess them up the first chance they get when they go to school or play outside. That being said, I can still appreciate a stylish toddler with a better dress sense than me. So, it’s always been about finding that balance.”
A day in the life of mama Cath consists of sourcing fabric, creating content for social media, drinking a lot of coffee, finding time for the gym and of course photographing her daughter Bean.
“Photographing Bean is a complete nightmare! You don’t ‘work’ with toddlers. You enter into a hostage negotiation. I’ve actually heard that some people do toddler photography for a living. How?! Occasionally I’m lucky. If not, I just post photos of my screaming toddler and say, “sorry we’re having a real day…” Catherine says she loves creating honest content that’s not filtered or edited by a third party.
Loving the fact that she has met and made some really great business owners and moms through her work, Catherine says she only truly grasped the concept of ‘supporting local’ when Beans.Boutique opened.
“Before that, I didn’t think twice about where my or Bean’s clothing came from. Whilst I could appreciate the thought of buying something made by someone I knew, I never really saw or felt the importance until I walked that road myself. Turning yourself into a ‘conscious’ buyer is actually more difficult than one would expect, especially when it’s a market that is super price sensitive.”
What does the future hold for Following the Bean and Beans.Boutique? Catherine says she’d really like to expand. “Perhaps I’ll house other small businesses that manufacture clothing and products that align with our values of being really well made and affordable. Watch this space…”
Get in touch: www.followingthebean.com | www.beans.boutique
Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport
Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) March 2018