A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of going shopping with a dear, long-time friend of mine, Sara Larson. Sara is a beaming seven months pregnant and she has four babyshowers and a diaper kegger being thrown in her honor, yikes – talk about needing new clothes! Luckily for her, I knew the perfect place for this closet crisis, Bellies to Babies – a boutique for mom’s that has maternity wear, consignment, and kids clothing. Plus they event do rentals!
It’s a good thing to support local business, and it is a far greater thing to support a local business that gives consumers an alternative to the destructive world of fast fashion. And we were so lucky that the Twin Cities’ had this innovative couple Brad and Crystal with their brilliant insight about the clothing cycle of mothers and children. How Crystal Pollard and her husband made this dream a reality is really inspiring, the about page on the website does a really nice job of explaining the fine details. Buying consigned clothes for your pregnancy not only keeps perfectly good clothing in circulation and out of land fills, but shopping at BtoB you are also supporting a local, independent business. Bellies to Babies has grown from a weekend garage boutique to two thriving locations in Richfield and St.Paul.
What sticks out to me as being the cherry on top of this adorable store is their rental option. When an expecting mother is going to an event – she wants the perfect outfit to match her pregnancy glow, the problem is that you don’t want to buy a bunch of formal outfits that you aren’t going to be able to wear more than a few times. There are two day and four day rental options and don’t worry about washing because they take care of that too using a local chemical free dry cleaner. The staff at the shop all seem very knowledgable and were happy to teach Sara and I all about post-birth belly wraps while they rang us up. The store has a small section of things not fashion related, some books and other maternal products. The website has a helpful section called Local Mommy Resources. As we were leaving I even noticed an old fashion wooden crib where you can donate diapers that will go to the Diaper Drive and help families in need. Bellies to Babies really has really thought of everything.
“What a fabulous store! One thing I was having issues with through out my pregnancy was finding clothes to wear. I have always been a tiny girl and I was very worried when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, because I didn’t know what to expect with the weight gain or how to prepare for maternity clothes shopping. It immediately became very frustrating for me because I was too big to fit into my regular clothes, but too small to fit into a lot of different maternity clothes in regular stores. I had a hard time justifying buying a whole new wardrobe not knowing how long I would even be able to fit into each item. From Babies to Bellies gave me the opportunity to try on a vast variety of clothing that was priced a lot more reasonably than prices than generic stores because they are only going to fit for five months. They had everything to chose from, swimming suits, to dress pants, to dresses, and sleepwear. My favorite was having the ability to “borrow” outfits from the designer brand line. If you had an important event you needed to attend, but didn’t want to spend a whole lot on one outfit you would most likely only wear once or twice, you had the option of simply borrowing it for a couple days. My favorite dress was purchased at this store, and I almost wish I could stay pregnant longer so I could wear it around more! I would highly recommend this store to any mommy-to-be! The styles they offer along with the size range and the customer service made my experience wonderful and I will be sure to pass their information along to all pregnant women I know!”
I am so glad that Sara had such a positive experience and that we were able to create some fun memories shopping during such a special time in her life. Motherhood is the perfect time to start transitioning yourself towards sustainable and conscious fashion choices, there are so many benefits to shopping second hand for children. Please pass along the word about this fantastic shop to all of the soon to be mommies in your life!