Save the date... Camp Be YOU!

Our annual summer camp, Camp Be YOU, is back for another four days of non-stop fun and learning!


Camp Be YOU is for the tween that LOVES fashion and style! Enjoy a morning of fun fashion DIY's, crafts, and activities! But that's not all. The girls get to learn about healthy eating, tips on stress management, social media safety, and a behind the scenes look at how clothing goes from a design to hanging in their closet! We focus on letting girls be themselves and celebrate the things that make them special and unique! 



Stay tuned for more information on the daily activities of Camp Be YOU! 

Email us at beyou@cicibean.ca for your application package!



Bean there done that!


How to Tell You're a Grandma!

When I am dropping off, or picking up one of my Beans from their activities, it's often difficult to tell if the adults accompanying the other children are older mothers, or younger grandma's.  Sometimes the differences are subtle but I believe I have learned to tell the difference.  The Mom's often have a kind of deer in the headlights look, their minds racing ahead to what they still have to do.  The Grandma's have more of a peaceful look that says, "I get to drop off this little Munchkin later and then go out for a nice dinner with my friends."
I have made up a wee list of what I perceive are clues to tell the difference.

You know you're a grandma when:

  • Every night before you go to bed, you have to wash glitter out of your pores.  
  • You have a drawer in your house that holds nothing but glitter, glue, lace, buttons, pipe cleaners, scraps of pretty paper doilies and ribbon.  
  • You have to call a 10 year old to help you reset your iPad and teach you how to text.  
  • You often have breakfast for dinner.  
  • You can actually eat a cookie that a 4-year old made with grubby little fingers.  
  • You make "Fabulous Hot Buns."  (Thank you Miss Colbie Makena Costa.)  
  • You have stars and glue stuck on your T-shirt but you don't bother changing it to go to the store.  
  • When your grandchild does something you would never have let your child do, you just smile to yourself and say "Never Mind."  
  • You look into the mirror and Oh Lordy, a grandma is staring back at you.  
  • You find yourself saying things like Oh Lordy.  
  • You secretly smile when your child tells you their kids are driving him/her crazy.  
  • You get up out of a sick-bed because you promised a wee Bean a Nana/Granddaughter day.  
  • You are amazed at the stuff you used to think was so important.  
  • You get a tug at your heart when a 6-year old sings or dances badly in a play and you applaud like you have just attended a performance at the Met.  
  • Your Motto is "Never pass up an opportunity to just shut up."  
  • You climb into bed with a Grandpa every night, and you don't mind.  And your nightgown now contains more fabric than a backyard tent.  
  • When you are babysitting you have to call the kids to find out how to work the baby monitor.  
  • You plan every outing around where you can get a seniors discount.  
  • Your 3-year old granddaughter has to show you how to buckle up her car seat.  
  • You tell your toddler grandson French Fries are carrot sticks so it won't sound bad when he tells his Mom what Nana fed him while she was looking after him.   But what happens at Nana's stays at Nana's. (You just have to hope that they don't find a wayward fry in the child's clothing! Sorry Jan!)  
  • After you tell your 9-year old granddaughter that you are going to be out of town for Mother's Day, she says, "Please do NOT tell me that my Mom is not going to have a mother around on Mother's Day!!"
  • When your child arrives to pick up her Beans and the wee one's start behaving like Bohemians, you say "Funny, they were perfect angels all day."  Because they WERE!  
  • Sadly, you leak as much as the Grand-babies do!

There it is in a nutshell.  No more problems.  You're welcome.




A PLAYFUL long weekend promo!







Click HERE to shop On-Vine or purchase through your local Peekaboo Beans Play Stylist. 


When it comes to parenting, do we have it all backwards?


Originally posted May 7th, 2013 in the Huffington Post
by Christine Gross-Loh
Author, Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us


The eager new mom offering her insouciant toddler an array of carefully-arranged healthy snacks from an ice cube tray?
That was me.
The always-on-top-of-her-child's-play parent intervening during play dates at the first sign of discord?
That was me too.
We hold some basic truths as self-evident when it comes to good parenting. Our job is to keep our children safe, enable them to fulfill their potential and make sure they're healthy and happy and thriving.
The parent I used to be and the parent I am now both have the same goal: to raise self-reliant, self-assured, successful children. But 12 years of parenting, over five years of living on and off in Japan, two years of research, investigative trips to Europe and Asia and dozens of interviews with psychologists, child development experts, sociologists, educators, administrators and parents in Japan, Korea, China, Finland, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Brazil and elsewhere have taught me that though parents around the world have the same goals, American parents like me (despite our very best intentions) have gotten it all backwards.
Why?
We need to let 3-year-olds climb trees and 5-year-olds use knives.
Imagine my surprise when I came across a kindergartener in the German forest whittling away on a stick with a penknife. His teacher, Wolfgang, lightheartedly dismissed my concern: "No one's ever lost a finger!"
Similarly, Brittany, an American mom, was stunned when she moved her young family to Sweden and saw 3- and 4-year-olds with no adult supervision bicycling down the street, climbing the roofs of playhouses and scaling tall trees with no adult supervision. The first time she saw a 3-year-old high up in a tree at preschool, she started searching for the teacher to let her know. Then she saw another parent stop and chat with one of the little tree occupants, completely unfazed. It was clear that no one but Brittany was concerned.
"I think of myself as an open-minded parent," she confided to me, "and yet here I was, wanting to tell a child to come down from a tree."
Why it's better: Ellen Hansen Sandseter, a Norwegian researcher at Queen Maud University in Norway, has found in her research that the relaxed approach to risk-taking and safety actually keeps our children safer by honing their judgment about what they're capable of. Children are drawn to the things we parents fear: high places, water, wandering far away, dangerous sharp tools. Our instinct is to keep them safe by childproofing their lives. But "the most important safety protection you can give a child," Sandseter explained when we talked, "is to let them take... risks."
Consider the facts to back up her assertion: Sweden, where children are given this kind of ample freedom to explore (while at the same time benefitting from comprehensive laws that protect their rights and safety), has the lowest rates of child injury in the world.
Children can go hungry from time-to-time.

In Korea, eating is taught to children as a life skill and as in most cultures, children are taught it is important to wait out their hunger until it is time for the whole family to sit down together and eat. Koreans do not believe it's healthy to graze or eat alone, and they don't tend to excuse bad behavior (like I do) by blaming it on low blood sugar. Instead, children are taught that food is best enjoyed as a shared experience. All children eat the same things that adults do, just like they do in most countries in the world with robust food cultures. (Ever wonder why ethnic restaurants don't have kids' menus?). The result? Korean children are incredible eaters. They sit down to tables filled with vegetables of all sorts, broiled fish, meats, spicy pickled cabbage and healthy grains and soups at every meal.


The French, as well as many others, believe that routinely giving your child a chance to feel frustration gives him a chance to practice the art of waiting and developing self-control. Gilles, a French father of two young boys, told me that frustrating kids is good for them because it teaches them the value of delaying gratification and not always expecting (or worse, demanding) that their needs be met right now.


The French, as well as many others, believe that routinely giving your child a chance to feel frustration gives him a chance to practice the art of waiting and developing self-control. Gilles, a French father of two young boys, told me that frustrating kids is good for them because it teaches them the value of delaying gratification and not always expecting (or worse, demanding) that their needs be met right now.


Why it's better: Meret Keller, a professor at UC Irvine, agrees that there is an intriguing connection between co sleeping and independent behavior. "Many people throw the word "independence" around without thinking conceptually about what it actually means," she explained.


Why it's better: Meret Keller, a professor at UC Irvine, agrees that there is an intriguing connection between co sleeping and independent behavior. "Many people throw the word "independence" around without thinking conceptually about what it actually means," she explained.


Why it's better: In stark contrast to our growing child overweight/obesity levels, South Koreans enjoy the lowest obesity rates in the developed world. A closely similar-by-body index country in the world is Japan, where parents have a similar approach to food.
Instead of keeping children satisfied, we need to fuel their feelings of frustration.
Why it's better: Studies show that children who exhibit self-control and the ability to delay gratification enjoy greater future success. Anecdotally, we know that children who don't think they're the center of the universe are a pleasure to be around. Alice Sedar, Ph.D., a former journalist for Le Figaro and a professor of French Culture at Northeastern University, agrees. "Living in a group is a skill," she declares, and it's one that the French assiduously cultivate in their kids.
Children should spend less time in school.
Children in Finland go outside to play frequently all day long. "How can you teach when the children are going outside every 45 minutes?" a recent American Fulbright grant recipient in Finland, who was astonished by how little time the Finns were spending in school, inquired curiously of a teacher at one of the schools she visited. The teacher in turn was astonished by the question. "I could not teach unless the children went outside every 45 minutes!"
The Finnish model of education includes a late start to academics (children do not begin any formal academics until they are 7 years old), frequent breaks for outdoor time, shorter school hours and more variety of classes than in the US. Equity, not high achievement, is the guiding principle of the Finnish education system.
While we in America preach the mantra of early intervention, shave time off recess to teach more formal academics and cut funding to non-academic subjects like art and music, Finnish educators emphasize that learning art, music, home economics and life skills is essential.
Why it's better: American school children score in the middle of the heap on international measures of achievement, especially in science and mathematics. Finnish children, with their truncated time in school, frequently rank among the best in the world.
Thou shalt spoil thy baby.
Tomo, a 10-year-old boy in our neighborhood in Japan, was incredibly independent. He had walked to school on his own since he was 6 years old, just like all Japanese 6-year-olds do. He always took meticulous care of his belongings when he came to visit us, arranging his shoes just so when he took them off, and he taught my son how to ride the city bus. Tomo was so helpful and responsible that when he'd come over for dinner, he offered to run out to fetch ingredients I needed, helped make the salad and stir-fried noodles. Yet every night this competent, self-reliant child went home, took his bath and fell asleep next to his aunt, who was helping raise him.
In Japan, where co-sleeping with babies and kids is common, people are incredulous that there are countries where parents routinely put their newborns to sleep in a separate room. The Japanese respond to their babies immediately and hold them constantly.
While we think of this as spoiling, the Japanese think that when babies get their needs met and are loved unconditionally as infants, they more easily become independent and self-assured as they grow.
We're anxious for our babies to become independent and hurry them along, starting with independent sleep, but Keller's research has found that co-sleeping children later became more independent and self-reliant than solitary sleepers, dressing themselves or working out problems with their playmates on their own.
Children need to feel obligated.
In America, as our kids become adolescents, we believe it's time to start letting them go and giving them their freedom. We want to help them be out in the world more and we don't want to burden them with family responsibilities. In China, parents do the opposite: the older children get, the more parents remind them of their obligations.
Eva Pomerantz of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign has found through multiplestudies that in China, the cultural ideal of not letting adolescents go but of reminding them of their responsibility to the family and the expectation that their hard work in school is one way to pay back a little for all they have received, helps their motivation and their achievement.
Even more surprising: She's found that the same holds for Western students here in the US: adolescents who feel responsible to their families tend to do better in school.
The lesson for us: if you want to help your adolescent do well in school make them feel obligated.
I parent differently than I used to. I'm still an American mom -- we struggle with all-day snacking, and the kids could use more practice being patient. But 3-year-old Anna stands on a stool next to me in the kitchen using a knife to cut apples. I am not even in earshot when 6-year-old Mia scales as high in the beech in our yard as she feels comfortable. And I trust now that my boys (Daniel, 10, and Benjamin, 12) learn as much out of school as they do in the classroom.

Click HERE to read the original post. 

Choosing the right toys for healthy play.



Choosing Toys and their Role in Special Playtime

Children have an abundance of toys these days.  Have you ever wondered how your children ended up with so many toys that they never play with? Toy stores offer so many options that making decisions about what to purchase can be overwhelming. Often your children’s wishes or desires are developed based on clever marketing strategies rather than their true interests. But there is a guiding principal that can support parents in making decisions and it is simply this. Good toys help children to do the work of childhood, PLAY. Good toys support imaginative play, offer opportunities for practicing relationships and permit children to be themselves.

The toys of a special playtime kit are specifically chosen to facilitate a unique type of play that is nondirective and creates opportunity for children to communicate their thoughts, feelings and experiences. A toy kit for special playtime includes only toys that give children the ‘words’ they need to express a wide range of emotions. It is important that these toys are nondescript meaning that they are available to the child for whatever the child may wish to use them for. Characters from a popular television show or kits that are intended to be put together a certain way are highly suggestive and distract from a child’s imaginative play.

When putting together a toys kit for special play time I recommend that parents include toys from the following categories: expressive arts, family relationships, aggression and control, caretaking and nurturing, mastery, communication and transportation. A special playtime kit includes toys that allow children to explore relationships such as a doll house and family characters, a baby doll with blanket and bottle. A real life baby bottle with some water in it offers opportunities for regression within the context of play. A medical kit is an excellent opportunity for children to express the give and take of caretaking relationships. Toys such as army men, handcuffs, swords and aggressive animals allow children to explore any aggressive feelings and desire for control. Children can explore their feelings around food and mealtimes by using toy dishes and food. Creative expression can be found in some simple arts and crafts materials such as paper, scissors, tape, crayons, string and paper bags. Children can play ideas of connection between their different worlds or experiences through toy cars, trains, airplanes, etc. Having two phones in the toy kit encourages communication play and allows some great insight into how our children perceive the conversations they overhear us having. Mastery experiences are provided through building and connecting toys that are not suggesting any particular end product. Parents can be creative in how they put together the kit and can add items that will allow their child a specific type of communication that is unique to their experiences.  Your efforts in creating this unique toy kit will be rewarded when you hear the communication in your child’s play that allows you a glimpse into their inner world.

Happy Playing!! 






Visit www.achildssong.ca to find out more about Andrea and her services.

Creating a safe environment for our families within our community



As a parent we spend every ounce of our children's lives protecting them and guiding them, so they can make good, safe choices. Whether we are teaching them to not talk to strangers, about our private parts, or looking both ways before crossing the street, we want to make sure we are giving our children the tools to be successful in life. We are now living in a new generation of safety and awareness, via the internet and technology, but as parents in this new generation, we don't know what we don't know. 

 
Peekaboo Beans mission is to provide ingredients for a playful life. We believe that play is the backbone to learning and development. Playing teaches us about boundaries, it evolves our imagination, it connects us socially, it builds our bodies and expands our thinking. Peekaboo Beans is a stand for unstructured free play so children can learn and grow into happy healthy human-beans. But as technology becomes a driving force in our daily lives, it is sometimes difficult to manage.

When I heard Jesse speak, I hung onto every word, because as a parent in this new world, I want the tools to help my beans grow and flourish. His talk was enlightening and frightening all at the same time, but I felt like this provided me with the education and understanding that I needed to help me make good decisions for my family. Anything from how old should you be before you use a cell phone to how you manage social media in your tweens life - it all creates conversation.
 
I am so happy that Jesse is going to come and speak to our group of mindful parents and help provide ingredients for a playful life! Please DO NOT MISS this opportunity to learn and grow as a parent!
 
In love and play,






Click HERE to purchase your ticket On-Vine (listed under "Really Neat Things")
 
We are happy to support Playground Builders and will be donating the proceeds from this event to their wonderful organization as part of our Play It Forward Campaign.  
 


Playful Beans... talking about their Mommies



Ever wonder what the little Beans are really thinking about their MOMMIES? In their world, what is a Mommy for? Ever wonder? We certainly did, so... we asked our Beans. So we would like to share with you, straight from the mouths of the beautiful Beans of our Play Stylists and Playground staff, what Mommies mean to  them:


What do you love most about your Mommy? 

I love when I ask her to buy me something she will get if for me on a special occasion. She takes care of me and I love that she is with me and she loves me. - Kerlinda, age 7

Xbox. - Malique, age 7

Her hugs! - Logan, age 4 1/2

I like everything.  - Kieren, age 4

She always gives me a hug and kiss before bed.- Olivia, age 8

I love playing with my mom. - Cameron, age 6

I just love you Mama. - Raine, age 5

She's nice. - Malique, age 7

Hugging. - Jaedyn, age 4

She makes good cookies for me. - Julia, age 7

Hugging. - J'Nyiah, age 4

She buys me toys. - Ainsleigh, age 8

My mom is kind. - Jax, age 8

She buys me ice cream & slurpees. - Jasper, age 5

Love her kisses. - Peyton, age 4

That she does nice things for us. - Lily, age 7

She lets me snuggle with her. - Ethan, age 5

Hugs! - Ashley, age 4

She lets us do fun things & reads us books & gives nice stuff to u.s - Rachel, age 5



What is one thing your Mommy always says to you?

Put your plate on the counter. - Ashley, age 4

Brush your teeth & get ready for bed & it's time to wake up. - Rachel, age 5

Stop talking about American Girl Dolls!! & do your homework. - Lily, age 7

Be nice. - Ethan, age 5

No & maybe & after that she says I will think about it or u can get it from grandma. - Kerlinda, age 7

Yes! - Logan, age 4 1/2

I love you everyday. - Kieran, 4

No more TV today! - Olivia, age 8

I'm taking away your IPod. - Cameron, age 6

Listen, No whining and crying and no screaming. - Raine, age 5

"Please stop that" and "dont touch it". - Malique, age 7

Cook, go play .- Jaedyn, age 4

Cooking. - J'Nyiah, age 4

I love you. - Julia, age 7

I love you & I hope you have a good day. - Ainsleigh, age 8

I love you. - Jax, age 8

Watch out for cars when I go outside. - Jasper, age 5

I love you sweetie. - Peyton, age 4


What is your Mommy not very good at?

French! - Kerlinda, age 7

Throwing. - Logan, age 4 1/2

You are terrible at angry birds! - Kieran, age 4

Dancing. - Olivia, age 8

She's not very good at playing on my iPod. - Cameron, age 6
Not good at making robots. - Jaedyn, age 4

Hugging. - J'Nyiah, age 4

Patience! - Julia, age 7

That’s a hard one, She not very good at playing dolls. - Ainsleigh, age 8

Skateboarding. - Jax, age 8

Baking a cake! - Ashley, age 5

Saying French words. - Lily, age 7

Doing a front flip on trampolines. - Jasper, age 5

Working on her computer... she was crying about something. - Ethan, age 5

Cooking soup & chili. - Peyton, age 4

Drawing. - Rachel, age 5


How do you know your Mommy loves you? 

Because she always kisses me. - Ethan, age 5

She give us kisses. - Rachel, age 5

Because we are her children and she lets me have playdates and give me kisses, hugs and lets me come to her bed at night. - Lily, age 7

She gives me kisses. - Ashley, age 4

I can tell in my heart. She thinks about me every day. - Kerlinda, age 7

Her hugs and kisses!! - Logan, age 4 1/2

Because I do - you tell me every single day! - Kieran, age 4 

She gives me a hug and she lets me do what I want. - Olivia, age 8

She lets me play on my iPod. - Cameron, age 6

Momma gives me squeaks! (aka hugs) - Raine, age 5

She tells me. - Malique, age 7

Says I love you. - Jaedyn, age 4

Says I love you. - J'Nyiah, age 4

She always sleeps in my bed at night when I’m scared and lonely. - Julia, age 7

She always says it to me. - Ainsleigh, age 8

Because she cuddles me & says she loves me. - Jax, age 8

because she says she does. - Jasper, age 5

Because she just loves me. - Peyton, age 4



Happy Mothers Day to all you hard working, well deserving Moms!


Traci talks about CiCi Bean


Life has a weird way of working itself out. 

10 years ago (which feels like 2 years ago), I would have never believed that I would have two little beauties as my side-kicks. 

It took 5 years to get pregnant with Cailin and another 4 with Colbie.   First I never thought, I would be blessed with one.  Later, I never thought I would be blessed with a second.  But timing is strange, because even though I would not have planned it the way it is, I have thoroughly enjoyed the age gap.  Although 5 years apart we enjoyed every moment of Cailin until Colbie was born and then got to experience it all over again with Colbie.   

Now I have a CiCi Bean AND a Peekaboo Bean simultaneously.  As if it were planned that way.

With Peekaboo Beans, we can celebrate wee Beans, as they learn to find themselves through play.  With CiCi Bean we can celebrate the Awesomeness of girls, so they can always let their heart be their guides.  Why am I so passionate about both? Because our children are the future and I want to set them up for success.  These early years are the roots to their success in life as adults.  Learning to develop social skills through play, gaining confidence and independence through successful attempts at new opportunities.  Then to navigate the challenges of being a young impressionable girl, and not having to "follow" others to be accepted, but to be supported through independent thought and opinions. 

I notice with my CiCi how fragile this time can be - that is why CiCi Bean has become something I am VERY passionate about.  Who doesn't want their little girls to feel accepted, loved, cherished and supported.   CiCi Bean not only stands for something powerful, the clothing makes them feel great.  When you are young it often becomes natural to blame your body for the way clothes fit, this can spiral out of control with media being the way it is.  Striving for "perfection".  Dieting and eating disorders can quickly become a fixation.   CiCi Bean designs clothing so that it is comfortable and it fits with ease and casualness, but with its own personal flair.  There are a few other components to CiCi that I love, the sizing for example - we aren't a 8,10,12,14 - who wants to be defined by a number.  We are "eight is great", "ten out of ten", "totally awesome twelve" and "fabulous fourteen".  The other is we look age appropriate!!!!!  Fun, stylish, confident and full of personality, but without the skin and sassiness.  Lets keep our girls young. 

I recently read an article from a father of a 3 year old daughter.  He wrote a letter to Victoria Secret flabbergasted at the launch of a new Teen underwear collection the line will be called "Bright Young Things" and will feature " lace black cheeksters with the word "Wild" emblazoned on them, green and white polka-dot hipsters screen printed with "Feeling Lucky?" and a lace trim thong with the words, "Call me" on the front."  (You can read the letter HERE).  I think we have all seen those crazy commercials of "girls gone wild".  Okay, that just scares me to death!!!  I can't lie.

The over sexualization of girls is happening more than ever.  With CiCi Bean we want to be a stand for good healthy body image, starting from an early age. Young impressionable tween beans that needs to be celebrated.  We are here to do that....  Because they are awesome!

In love and play,








Click HERE to go to our CiCi Bean BlogLet Your Heart Be Your Guide, for more information and to view the current collection.




Purpose beyond profit - Traci's interview with Institute B.


PURPOSE BEYOND PROFIT: TRACI COSTA ON THINKING OUTSIDE THE SANDBOX
posted on May 1st by Institute B



institute B tagged Traci Costa, Director of Play at Peekaboo Beans to find out how this young growing company, that hasn’t been able to pay market rates to date, maintains such an incredible culture of employee loyalty. Out of the 29 people hired within the organization since it’s inception, only 2 have ever left.
Peekaboo Beans is a company passionate about Play that designs and manufactures Playwear for Children on-the-grow.  The inherent desire of children is to play and it has been proven to be more meaningful than most people imagine. Playing teaches us about boundaries, evolves our imagination, connects us socially, builds our bodies and expands our thinking.  Peekaboo Beans is a stand for unstructured, free play so children can learn and grow into  healthy human-beans.
institute B: What does a culture of generosity mean to you?
Traci Costa: It means treating people the way you would want to be treated.  It means fostering happy people, by fulfilling life goals and believing in dreams.  It means creating positive work environments, where change is embraced and goals are supported.
How would you define the company culture at Peekaboo Beans?
Peekaboo Beans is creating a new way to work, by blending life and work together, particularly for working mothers and families.  We foster a completely flexible work environment, so “no one misses a field trip”.  Our first core value is “Family First”.  We have an environment where children can be brought to work and play in our oodles of Play Space.  Where we can arrange for you have groceries delivered to your door.  Work at your desk, while getting your hair done, or have an in house massage to help manage the stress of working and being a mama!  My goal is to be a one-stop environment, focused on all things family.  In house play-care (work and then have lunch with your wee ones), meal preparation, work out facilities, yoga on the go, dry-cleaning, whatever you need to make life easier!  All while doing what you love and fuelling your passions.
How has this impacted your organization from a business perspective?
I work with highly skilled, motivated, self-starters, who are aligned with the Peekaboo Beans vision.  These amazing people come in to work happy, positive and work hard and play hard.  We have grown at rapid rates because we are all aligned with our vision to create possibilities for the future.
You stated you want to be a stand for creating the best working environments that fosters people, values, and gives back and is socially responsible. Why is this so important to you?
Because there is a new generation of working women.  We still want the old school “stay at home mom” qualities that our parents had, yet we have fostered educations and careers before our children were born.   It can be hard to change an organization that is already established, but we have the ability to be a grass roots brand that is a stand for the future and what working women (and families) need.  I have two girls, I want this for them when they go out into the workforce and one day possibly have families of their own.  I also believe that we need to support community because the world is only successful if we are impacting families other than our own.
It’s fair to say you don’t pay high wages, yet your employee retention rate is outstanding. How do you account for this?
We have been a young growing company, and haven’t had the ability to pay market rates to date.  Our retention rate is high because we value people and treat people well and value our core values of “family first”.  At the end of the day, money isn’t everything.  People wanted to be valued for their contributions and be honored for their values and treated well.
Is there a relationship between branding and culture? Do elements of your culture extend to how you communicate your brand?
I believe that branding and culture are married.  I believe this because when people talk about Peekaboo Beans, they are often not talking about our awesome product.  They are talking about how we are helping build playgrounds in war torn countries such as Afghanistan, through our “Play it forward” campaign with our Partner, Playground Builders.  Or how we have created the best work environment to help ground families.  Or that we have created a tribe of passionate mothers and an entrepreneurial opportunity, selling Peekaboo Beans under our direct sales platform.  Our product speaks for itself, and our sales have doubled every year, but it is also because our culture is what propels us into the future.
Finances and resources are tight for many entrepreneurs, especially if you’re a start up. Practically speaking, how can a young business afford to be generous?
Think outside the sandbox.  Recognition is important and key.  I may not have been able to pay someone a top wage, but I have the ability to send someone to the spa, or give them a little gift of thanks.  Our work environment can be very “touchy feely”.  Each of us has a secret admirer, and the requirement is to leave small tokens, or little gifts, and notes of appreciation (in secret).  Who doesn’t want to get a little treat!   We have recognition jars, that staff can write notes of acknowledgement to each other for hard work done, progress, or just to lift someone up, when they have something going on.  We have theme days, where we dress up and do fun activities and yes – we have tea time every day at 2 (with cookies, of course).  It doesn’t cost much, but makes for a great environment.  We are always laughing and having fun and we support each other when times get tough or challenging.  We allow everyone to have a voice.  We have learned to bring all our “background conversations” to the table, be heard, move forward and progress.  Everyone feels they have a voice and are supported in a safe environment of learning.
Can a business case (ROI) be made for companies thinking about adopting a culture of generosity?
My belief is that culture is created based on the values of the organization.  We post our values throughout the office. When people are rooted by their values, your return on investment is a natural bi-product because your people are self motivated, guided and work hard.  They get to fulfill their creative life passions, whether that be balancing a bank statement, designing a full collection, creating marketing initiatives or answering the phone in a fun playful way.  It all matters.  It all counts.  It all makes a difference.

Click HERE to read the original post on Institute B and find out more about this organization. 

Join our 31 Day PLAY Challenge in May!


Peekaboo Beans is on a mission to rescue children of today from a play deficit and help bring daily unstructured play back into their lives. A way we can help do this is by raising awareness of the importance of play and encourage parents to get their Beans playing outdoors and having fun. Children need this free time and free play in order to grow into happy healthy human beans! Play is not a option, it's a necessity!
 
So, we encourage you to join this months 31 Day PLAY Challenge with your family and embrace the opportunity to experience some creative outdoor activities and fun adventures during this last month of the Spring season.  Peekaboo Beans 31 Day PLAY Challenge is here to help bring fun back into your life and connect with your children through sharing time together, having fun with one another and PLAYING!  And with this new PLAY challenge we are encouraging the use of reusable & eco friendly items found around the home... since doesn't need to be FANCY to be EFFECTIVE!!  
 

Click HERE to download your printable 
31 Day PLAY Challenge and get playing!