November 09, 2012
Maternity Shopping: A Mother's Boutique
When I became pregnant, one of the first things I did was try to figure out what local shopping options were available to me for maternity clothing. It might sound silly but I knew that the process of building a work-friendly wardrobe that suited my third trimester needs would be both nerve-wracking and potentially very fun. And it has been precisely both! Although I fretted over what would fit me and what was worth spending a bit more to have, I accumulated a number of pieces that I really love that make me feel good while my body transitions and prepares for birth as well as postpartum.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting one of the greater Pittsburgh area's most trusted boutiques for moms and moms-to-be. But this boutique doesn't just serve Pittsburghers. It has a booming online retail business, wholesale lines, and popular social media outlets that are a part of the brand.
A Mother's Boutique, you are greeted by high ceilings, organized displays, and warm voices. It's proprietor, Judy is as much an entrepreneur as she is a useful, dedicated resource for women. Located just north of the city in Wexford and with a significant online retail and resource presence, this store specializes in maternity and postpartum clothing, accessories, and merchandise, all of which is nursing-friendly. To help carry forth various aspects of her growing business including its social media strategy, Judy has assembled a team of women who share her tenacity and passion for helping customers become the moms to which they aspire. They have a Facebook, Twitter, and Blog that correspond with the boutique's website, offering materials that serve informative, educational, and conversation-stimulating purposes to a large audience of followers.
The brick and mortar store corresponds closely with the retail website, carrying carefully curated designer maternity and nursing brands. In addition to tops, pants, skirts, and dresses, the store carries a vast range of bras and nursing tanks in both straight and extended sizes. Because a significant portion of A Mother's Boutique's clientèle are online, Judy offers bra fit guidance to women locally and around the country. Buying a bra without trying it on can be risky. But with input from a questionnaire developed by Judy, she can conduct a virtual bra fitting with clients from near or far. The information produced in the process is incredibly helpful and detailed. And Judy said that even local patrons utilize this option, as their busy lives don't always offer the potential to shop in person. The store also carries pajamas and nightgowns, belly binders, baby carriers, organic and reusable nursing pads, as well as other odds and ends for mom and baby. The greater Pittsburgh area is truly lucky to have such a place in its own backyard!
The maternity clothing selection in the store is particularly impressive. Judy chose the brands she carries carefully to bring consumers high-quality pieces that are stylish and functional. All the the items that can be worn during pregnancy can also be worn into nursing and postpartum times. This "wear now and later" strategy is smart because (as I've written on this blog many times) it can feel frustrating to dedicate a budget to what is essentially a short-term, temporary wardrobe. The pieces that are able to be worn after birth alleviate some of the financial stress of executing a stylish, professional pregnancy by helping bring down the cost per wear calculus.
A Mother's Boutique's website is as comprehensive and well stocked as the store. And as mentioned above, the affiliated blog, twitter, and Facebook pages include helpful information for nursing moms. What stood out most for me when I visited the store and met with Judy was the way in which A Mother's Boutique merges consumer services with education. It isn't just about sales. Judy runs this business with integrity and respect for her customers.
During my visit, I was lucky to get to try on a bunch of pieces from brands with which I was previously unfamiliar. So I will be reviewing the lines here on Consume or Consumed and offering some fit guidance to those who might want to build their maternity and motherhood wardrobes.
Thank you to A Mother's Boutique for the opportunity to visit, shop, and chat!