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BUSINESS Tiny Bee Creates Buzz With Book-Giving By Sarah Bennett

People Newspapers Amy Bean knows that her kids are growing up in a privileged world. As Park Cities residents, she sees her children and their friends receive countless gifts for birthdays and other holidays. She also knows there’s something she can do to help share that wealth. “I was just surprised at the amount of stuff that kids accumulate,” she said. “For a lot of kids, they don’t really need all that extra stuff. I kept thinking, ‘well, surely there’s a better way to do this, or a different way to celebrate kids.’” That’s why she started Tiny Bee Gift Company, an online bookshop that donates a book to a school library for every book purchased. “I became interested in the idea of social enterprise in graduate school,” she said. “That was before there were a few really big, successful social enterprises, so now people are familiar with the idea.” With a background in nonprofit work and three kids of her own at home, Bean launched Tiny Bee in October 2014. Parents, grandparents, and friends can order books online that are then delivered to their home or the gift recipient’s home. A book of equal value is then donated to a school library of the purchaser’s choice, or Bean can help select a school in need. “It’s a great idea, especially for my kids’ age — they are toddlers, and they don’t recognize how much they’re given,” repeat customer Kerri McCulloch said. Bean runs the whole operation from her home, ordering books wholesale and choosing her inventory based off popular choices and age groups.

Fan favorites

H A P P Y B I R T H D AY ATTENDING: If you’re heading to a birthday party, pay a flat rate of $20 to give a book as a gift. HOSTING: Give Tiny Bee books as party favors to your child’s guests for $5 each.


Register your party for free, and a link is then sent to attendees.

Amy Bean stores her book copies away in a store room and packages them up. “I picked a lot of classics and things that are bestsellers,” Bean said. Each book is packaged in a Tiny Bee gift bag, marked with a sticker, and finally embellished with a library-card style note on the inside cover to commemorate the gift. Bean has now expanded to what she calls the “birthday party package,”

where parents can ask that gifts be made through Tiny Bee, or Tiny Bee books can be given as party favors. “People that I have given it to reacted positively. They love the fact that the kids receive it in the mail, and it stood out from rest of the gifts,” McCulloch source said. “Plus, there’s the convenience factor.”

Bean and her kids keep a map in her workroom with pins to note where orders have originated across the country. As for the company name, she wanted something simple but inspirational. “I wanted the logo to be cute, and I came across the idea of bees,” Bean said. “It’s a fun way to think about it: small in size, but doing big things.”

HPHS Students Will Have Luxurious New Neighbors By Todd Jorgenson

People Newspapers Another luxury apartment project is coming to the Park Cities, but this one is a little unique in terms of location and design. Lang Partners is developing 52 units just west of Highland Park High School, on two lots stretching from Lovers Lane to Grassmere Street. The three-acre complex includes multi-level apartments with surface garage parking, bisected by a pair of alleys. The two lots are on either side of Hyer Street. It will replace the former Park Lane Apartments, with the Corrigan family retaining ownership of the land and leasing it long-


Lang Partners plans to start construction later this spring on 52 units near Lovers Lane and Preston Road in University Park. term to Lang after the two parties reached an agreement to redevelop the property. “It’s been under-utilized for a

long time. It’s a very old property that really needed to be updated,” said Lang Partners president Dirik Oudt. “The Park Cities is sorely

lacking for quality rentals.” The units will have more of a townhome appearance, with three stories at an average of about 2,200 square feet, thereby reducing the density by about 40 percent from the Park Lane complex. The developer also plans to widen the existing alleys and preserve several older trees on the site. “It’s kind of a timeless design that’s got something for everybody,” Oudt said. “The mass of the project is much more in tune with the neighborhood. It’s going to be a much more intimate living experience than what you usually see.” Despite some concerns about parking and public rights-of-way,

the University Park City Council approved the site plan in April. With the previous apartments already razed, construction should start this spring. “I like the project very much,” said UP council member Taylor Armstrong. “I think it would be an asset for the neighborhood.” Oudt said that although the complex is essentially across the street from the high school, the target market is more retirees looking to downsize than families with schoolchildren. “I think we’re going to have a lot of empty-nesters and people who want to stay in the neighborhood but get free from their homes,” he said. “So many people want to get out from under the burden of maintaining a house.”

Park Cities People — May 2015  

Park Cities People is a monthly publication of People Newspapers, an affiliate of DMagazine, in Dallas, Texas.

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