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Missy Bocu

Missy Bocu is colorful, paper based, and plastic-free party supplies. They are eco-friendly, made by hand in Michigan and officially licensed by Grateful Dead.





Why we chose Missy Bocu

When I saw Missy Bocu's Grateful Dead Dancing Bear garlands a few years ago, I immediately thought of our Jingle Bears, so I reached out to Meghan to see if she'd like to make a Christmas banner with me. She shared my enthusiasm for the collaboration, so we rushed to get them approved by Grateful Dead in time for the 2020 holiday season to add some cheer to Covid Christmas. Not long after, someone sent us a message asking if we could make them a cake topper with our wedding bears, and I knew Meghan would be up for the challenge. We've been wanting to offer them for sale ever since then, so we're very excited to announce that they're here and ready to make your perfect Grateful Dead wedding that much sweeter!

-Taylor Swope, founder Little Hippie

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Created by Meghan Brown

Q&A with Meghan

What led you to start your business? When did you start it?

I first started Missy Bocu in 2014. My friends were getting engaged so I was going to a lot of bachelorette parties and wedding showers. I began to notice how much waste the party and wedding industries created and I wanted to start a business to change that. I was especially enraged at the metallic foil penis confetti that was being sprinkled around towns into sewers across the country- so I started off by making paper penis confetti for use as bachelorette favors. From there it grew.

Have you always loved making things? Did anyone teach you how to be crafty?

I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. My parents were always very supportive, enrolling me in all kinds of classes and entering me into contests. My mom is very crafty and I grew up working craft fairs with her. I have memories from when I was very young of her and my aunt crafting baskets in the basement, then as I got older the two of us made and sold swarovski bracelets. Which looking back, seems like a very early aughts craft show trend.

What did you do before you were an entrepreneur?
I majored in Film Studies and have always wanted to work within the film and television realm. I worked as a Production Assistant, Coordinator, PM, and Associate Producer for 8 years. I've worked on everything from $250 million blockbusters to local political ads. I love working in production but I felt as though I was going down a path that stifled my creativity. When Michigan lost the film tax incentive, jobs started getting fewer and further between. I started focusing more on my side hustle which eventually morphed into Missy Bocu.
Why did you decide to pursue Grateful Dead licensing? Can you imagine your business without it?

With my penis confetti business booming, I began to brainstorm other simple images I could cut into confetti. I saw an opening in the market for "alternative" party decorations. I added pot leaves and uteruses to my shop. At some point, that morphed into - what would the licensed goods aisle of Party City look like if it was aimed at adults? My college notebooks were covered in Dancing Bears and Stealies. I'd always doodled bears so it just made sense to me to start from there. I honestly don't know what my business would be without it. It definitely got me off the ground and helped me grow tremendously. It's also been one of those things that just being a part of sparks a lot of creativity.

What's your favorite part about working for yourself?

The best part of working for myself is the freedom - and in this sense, freedom means so many things. Freedom to determine my own schedule. Freedom to express my creativity. Freedom to be the main decision maker. It's very much a blessing.

What are the biggest challenges you've encountered since starting your business?

Getting my name out there/publicity. I am not a social media manager and as a small business owner you HAVE to be. It just adds so much more onto the workload, especially when you make a lot of products by hand. Finding a balance between the basic administrative tasks required in any business, developing new products, creating products, and then creating social content has been the biggest challenge and one I've yet to master.

What do you do to balance the demands of being a business owner? Are you able to find downtime, and if so, how do you like to spend it?

Like many small business owners, I tend to work myself to the point of burnout. I'm learning to identify the signs and take time for my mental health. I love playing frisbee with my husband Dan and our dog Charlie aka Cosmic Charlie aka Charlie Brown. Going on hikes. Gardening. Or, just sitting at my desk and creating something brand new that has nothing to do with my business. That's probably one of the most helpful things I do to maintain personal balance - create without intention to monetize.

What does the name Missy Bocu mean? (I always think of Merci Beaucoup)


Missy Bocu was a nickname my Great-Aunt Dora gave my mom. I always thought that was funny because my mom's name is Susan. So we don't know where it came from or what it meant to Aunt Dora, but it stuck. I never got to meet my aunt but she meant a lot to my entire family so it's kind of an ode to both her and my mother.