Over the next months, I will be featuring local mom run businesses throughout Boston and the surrounding suburbs. So you can find the cutest and sweetest shops for you and your family.
To kick us of is Coco Baby….a children’s boutique shop in the South End neighborhood. Nicole, the owner, carries stunning clothing lines and rare products that you may not be able to find anywhere else in Boston.
Introducing…Nicole-mama and new business owner of Coco Baby in the South End.
How and when did Coco Baby begin?
Nicole: I took the keys of the Kiwi Baby shop on July 1, 2011. I live three blocks away from Kiwi Baby and was shopping there one day when I learned that the owners of Kiwi Baby had moved and were running the store from a distance. The store wasn’t on the market, but I asked to meet and chat for a few hours with the owners. It was then that they handed me their “baby” and I began to rescue and bring back what is today Coco Baby (a children’s boutique store).
What inspired you to become a small business owner?
Nicole: Ten years ago, I started a fashion accessory business in Australia. I found that I didn’t like the production process of the business and was more interested in fashion and the opening of a boutique shop, a shop focused on clothing and gifts…since those are my two favorite things to buy and give.
When I took the keys from Kiwi Baby, I didn’t think it would be a life-changing career decision. Two months later, I left my corporate job and devoted myself full time to my family and the store.
What makes coco baby unique?
Nicole: It’s things like Pale Cloud, a stunning line of clothing that is brand new to Boston and only available in our store. The pieces are made of silk and leather and are just beautiful. We are not a one stop shop; here you will find something special and unique – a piece or product that was very carefully selected for customers that are looking for something gorgeous and rare.
Beside bringing in unique clothing lines from around the world, we also support local artists. We carry hair clips, custom-made tutus, and artwork made by artists in the Boston area.
Coco Baby is more than a boutique clothing store. We offer products and classes that help parents raise smart and healthy children. For example,we sell nutritious snacks, musical instruments, toys geared toward developing skills at appropriate ages, and we will be offering a variety of classes from My Gym, to Spanish, to music, creative movement, mommy-centered classes and many more.
What items are you really excited about?
Nicole: In addition to the exquisite items mentioned above, I love the Jonathan Adler junior ceramic lamp and night lights; they are just adorable and are one of our best-selling gifts. We have personalized wall hanging prints from Preppy Personals, and we were the first store in New England to carry the unbelievable limited edition NurseryWorks Vetro crib – a 100% recycled acrylic crib – it is crystal clear all the way around.
Any new lines or products coming this Spring?
Nicole: We are getting in Cate and Levi, a Canadian line of backpacks (children always look so cute with backpacks on), wall storage pieces, puppets and toys which are made out of recycled wool.
Maileg toys just arrived, InnoBaby snack wares, and for clothing, Je Suis en CP, a delightful French-inspired line from Canada – flowy tops for boys and darling dresses for girls.
What inspires the choice of clothing lines, products, classes etc.?
Nicole: I am inspired through traveling and my own personal shopping pursuits as well as boutique industry events. I want to give families in Boston the opportunity to dress their children in beautiful rare clothing pieces without traveling overseas to get them.
I hear that you have some special events at Coco Baby?
Nicole: We have had some really exciting events this year: We had a baby animal farm at our store, three local authors come and read aloud and then signed their books, one event of which was sponsored with yummy treats from our neighbor Code 10, we have a famous silhouette artist come to our store twice a year, and create one-of-a-kind events with artists and musicians… Stay tuned, we have so many special events coming this year!
How did you choose the name Coco Baby?
Nicole: I named the store after my first daughter, Coco.
How many children do you have?
Nicole: I have one little girl and one on the way!
What has it been like balancing family and business?
Nicole: On one hand, fabulous because I have a lot of time to spend with my daughter, Coco. My work is related to her and involves her in so many ways. Yet, on the other hand it is difficult to balance running a business with a family. I want to give my daughter all the things that Coco Baby’s products and classes offer families, but to do that, I often wear myself out bringing Coco to classes and making the store all that I want it to be. While my heart wants to help all the parents in the neighborhood raise and enjoy the most wonderful children, enjoying and loving Coco comes first.
Any advice or encouragement for moms with similar dreams?
-Ask for help, don’t be afraid to ask for help
-Prioritize your time,
-You can make it be so much, but you have to surround yourself in a supportive environment
-There is a huge network of people exactly like you.
I know that you are a huge supporter of local businesses. Can you tell us some of your favorite places?
Hudson for home furnishings
Skoah– just treated myself to a facial
Gracie Finn at union park- gift store
Wholy Grain– their almond croissants & spinach and feta roll are delicious
Flour– I go to flour at least twice a day.
Does Coco have a favorite place to go within Boston?
My Gym classes @ Coco Baby
Ballet classes @ Coco Baby
South End library
Titus Sparrow Park
The Upper Crust– her favorite is pepperoni pizza
Location: 1636 WASHINGTON STREET | BOSTON, MA 02118 |