At the age of 22 Michele Stevens created My Bambino and opened a retail store in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Michele’s wish was to merge her two passions: art and living at the beach. Having attended The Art Institute of Philadelphia and The American College of Art in London, England, creativity came easy for Michele. The store opened in the spring of 1992 with a handful of products that could be hand painted and personalized. Michele recalls that her first day of sales was only $52.
Since then Michele has simultaneously expanded her business globally and locally. In 1998 Michele developed an online site to replace her hand-drawn catalogue that she gave to her customers so they could order once they returned home from the beach area. In 2006 My Bambino moved to Milford and set up a full-sized facility complete with a team of talented artists.
“The Rehoboth store was only a small boutique and we just keep outgrowing the area. I just had a hunch that Milford was the place where I could find enough room and enjoy a competitive workforce,” commented Michele.
My Bambino has created personal furniture, clothing and piggybanks for many celebrities including Julia Roberts, Donald Trump, Alicia Keys, Shaquille O’neal and even President William Clinton. Michele admits that her big break came when Oprah featured her business in the famous “O Magazine”. The feature described a hand-painted rocking chair accompanied by the caption “This Chair Rocks – Choose one of 90 designs, from ladybugs to choo-choo trains, to have hand painted on this classic baby gift.” My Bambino has also been featured in national magazines such as Parenting and Home Furnishings.
With a staff of between 11-25, depending on the season, a majority of the workers at the Milford locations are artists who create the personalized touch that each customer receives. The most popular items at My Bambino are hand crafted piggybanks, rocking chairs and jewelry boxes. They also offer baby furniture, home décor, pet products and seasonal gifts.
My Bambino is set to launch a new line of hand painted apparel for children and a whole line of food safe products for pets. Michele is also looking at the possibility of opening a showroom to feature her unique products. Although just in the stages of contemplation she commented “I always did retail and would love to offer a showroom in our facility.”
The 300 plus products and more than 95 designs can be found at http://www.mybambino.com/. Although there is no showroom yet Michele urges customers to stop by the location at 973 East Masten Circle Milford , DE 19963 to see what My Bambino is all about. Products can also be purchased online and picked up at the store to avoid shipping costs. My Bambino can be reached by phone at (800) 927-0707.