Babylicious Clothing from Little Figs
Lesbian couple Arrin Turnmire and Mary Robinett have created toddler couture for trendy tykes.
Photos by Amanda Williams
When Arrin Turnmire, 31, and Mary Robinett, 33, first met in a high school algebra class, it was because Mary passed Arrin a note suggesting that they should get together and “hang out.” At the time, neither of them had any idea that this friendly gesture would blossom into love, business and babies. Or perhaps Mary did: During soccer practice, she’d spied Arrin watching the team from the sidelines. “I knew I wanted to be with her, and she didn’t even know my name!”
Today, Arrin, a high school art teacher, and Mary, a process server, live in “a cozy brick ranch with a woodstove that burns all winter long, in the absolute middle of nowhere,” says Arrin. The middle of nowhere happens to be New Madison, Ohio, by the way, but their remote location didn’t stop them from pursuing their dreams, one of which was to have children together.
Arrin says that after months of trying unsuccessfully to conceive, she’d gotten tired of looking at negative results and handed her latest pregnancy test to Mary to read. “She looked at me with tears in her eyes and I knew it was positive! We went to the doctor for an ultrasound, and everyone said I looked really big for only being a few months along, so I asked the doctor, ‘Are there two?’ He said, ‘Give me a minute...well, there are two in there!’ Mary dropped to her knees, white as a ghost, my mom was crying tears of joy and so was Mary’s mom, and I said, ‘Okay, we can do this!’ Now we are the proud mommies of 2-year-old twin boys!”
The boys, Finn and Graham, keep their mommies on their toes and enchant them with their antics. “Those boys can light up a room, just like their mother!” says Mary. They also provided the lightbulb moment for their mommies’ clothing line, Little Figs. “We figured that life is short, so why not do what you love while being with the people that you love?” says Mary. (The name Little Figs is a combination of the boys’ names, Finn and Graham.) The mission of the label is to make quality children’s clothing that is both unique and affordable. The one-of-a-kind designs are manufactured in the USA, and most of the pieces are made of 100 percent organic cotton. “We care about the clothing being made here, we care about the environment, which is why use environmentally friendly inks, and we care about the lesbian-designed images we put on the one-pieces and T-shirts. We really take pride in our designs and the whole process,” says Mary.
Among the challenges they met in establishing the business was how to harmoniously combine home and work under one roof, which meant providing the boys with a safe place to play. “It is actually a real perk to have a slide and a train table in your studio—it really keeps the boys busy!” says Arrin.
For this couple, who are celebrating the 16th year of their storybook love, Little Figs represents more than just cute T-shirts for gaybies; it’s a story of family, created and chosen, and they’re grateful to the lesbian friends who’ve helped them along the way—offering everything from professional photography to the use of their precious offspring as models.
“At the beginning of our relationship, we had to endure very difficult circumstances to be together, just as many of your readers have,” Arrin tells me. “All we ever wanted to do was spend every second together, even if it meant sneaking out in the middle of the night. After years of soul-searching, random jobs, and college educations, we have settled into a simple yet very full life. We realize how lucky we are to have our families and friends as our biggest and best support system.”