Meet Buddha Babe, Mount Airy’s New Boutique for Gorgeous Handmade Baby Goods

Owner Tina Dixon Spence takes us inside her process for creating luxurious bibs, blankets, and baby clothes — and pivoting to face masks amid the pandemic.

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Buddha Babe owner Tina Dixon Spence. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Tina Dixon Spence speaks on her children’s line, Buddha Babe, and opening a storefront in the middle of the pandemic.

What I make: “Bibs, blankets and apparel for babies and toddlers — luxury items, handmade in Philly.”

How I got started: “In 2014, when my son Baron was four months old, I couldn’t find any bibs that I liked. Everything was ugly and made him break out. I went down a rabbit hole of research and taught myself how to sew by watching YouTube videos. The rest is history. It was my side hustle for years, but I left my job as an administrative assistant in 2017 to work on it full-time.”

Best-sellers: “The blankets, which are weighted but feel like a cloud. And anything with the Philly ‘LOVE’ and Philly skyline prints.”

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The Philly “LOVE” is one of the shop’s most popular prints. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

About my prints: “Most are from Spoonflower, a collaborative of independent artists. I painstakingly select patterns every season. I want something cheerful but don’t go for things that scream ‘baby.’ That’s what people love about the blankets — it’s a home good, so it should be something you don’t mind being thrown over a couch.”

Pivoting to face masks: “When the pandemic hit, everyone started asking me to make them. We’ve easily donated more than 10,000 masks to CHOP and local schools, too. It kept my stitchers with steady work.”

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Onsies at Buddha Babe. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Why I wanted an actual shop: “I got my storefront in Mount Airy in July. It’s part studio, part retail. We’re going to host classes and birthday parties. It’s so much more than a workshop. I’m looking forward to growing roots in that community and being a place where people can learn and interact and celebrate.”

Published as “New Kid on the Block” in the April 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.