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Featured O2O Member: Melissa Baswell Williams

Featured-O2O-Member-Melissa-B-WilliamsJoining us this week is Melissa Baswell Williams! Melissa is the founder/editor/creative director of Bubby and Bean, as well as the designer for Bubby and Bean Art. Until recently, she also worked as a sustainable fashion designer (for 15 years!). When she’s not working, she labels herself a traveler, a dog lover, a learning-as-she-goes mother to a toddler girl and baby boy, and an avid fun seeker. Her favorite things include live music, animals, avocados, summertime, margaritas, spontaneous adventures, spicy vegetarian food (she’s been a vegetarian for 25 years), and all things lemon. She studied Theater and French at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, neither of which she says she uses or regrets. After living coast to coast (in 9 states in a 12 year period; 3 of which were spent living and volunteering at a Tibetan Buddhist Center), Melissa established roots in the Chicago area, where she lives with her husband Robbie, daughter Essley, and son Emmett.

Favorite O2O Projects you’ve worked on:

The Calphalon and Graco review campaigns were fun!

How did you come to be a blogger?

Named after my trusty sidekick of nearly 16 years (a Lab/Chow mix nick-named Bubby, to whom we had to say goodbye in December 2011, but remains one of our greatest loves), Bubby and Bean came about as a positive force in the midst of an incredibly challenging time. During the summer of 2010, I lost one of the most important people in my life to suicide after years of struggling with him daily to prevent it. This tragic event forced me to take some time away from my workaholic lifestyle and reevaluate everything. I traveled for a few weeks, visited old friends, and spent some time away from the city exploring nature, staring at the stars, making art for fun, following my bliss, and re-learning how to be inspired in the everyday. When I returned, I was a different person. I had a newfound appreciation for the tiny details that make life so beautiful, which led directly to the creation of this space.

Who is another blogger you admire and why?

My friend Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant. She is a warrior and an incredible plant-based chef. She had me on her podcast last year and it felt like a counseling session in the best, most freeing of ways.

Is there a piece of advice, quote, or mantra that you live by?

Be present. As bloggers and social media influencers, it’s so easy to get caught in the trap of being constantly attached to our devices and feeling pressure to showcase a perfectly curated life. I try to consistently remind myself to actually live in and enjoy my “real life,” as it happens.

What is the best compliment you have ever received?

Being told I was a strong woman.

What was your last best meal?

My friend brought over the most incredible salad – a bed of spinach topped with quinoa and pine nuts, roasted sweet potato medallions, and homemade dressing. It was super healthy but you’d never know it by how satisfying it was! I can’t wait to make it myself.

Is there a song you can’t get enough of, listen to on repeat, know all the lyrics, obsessed with?

California by Joni Mitchell is my go-to chill out song, and has been since college.

What is the best thing to do where you live?

There are so many amazing street festivals in Chicago in the summer! But I also love exploring the many natural areas and forest preserves in the summer. (I’m a hippie at heart.)

Night owl or early bird?

Night owl

What is your favorite time of the year?

summer

Name three things you can’t live without (besides family/friends/faith).

Nonfat lattes. Music. Netflix.

Connect with Melissa!

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