THUNDER BAY -- Cumberland street is now home to a new business - Lullaby’s opened at the end of July last year.
“I’ve always wanted to have my own store of some sort,” says owner Natalie Carrier. “Then I got pregnant and fell in love with all things baby. I was like, ‘oh my god this stuff is the cutest!’”
Her parents lived in Alberta at the time and sent her lovely little gifts, all from a boutique store in Alberta. She also frequented the store while visiting her parents, and loved everything there. When Alberta’s economy slowed down, the storeowner decided to close the boutique and offered all the inventory and fixtures to Carrier, who had always talked about having a store of her own for baby things.
“I thought, well, I can’t turn this down; I put it out in the universe, and here it is, so I need to try,” she says.
The small shop carries baby and children’s clothes up to 8 years old (she will expand to teenagers in the future) and various accessories, from shoes and diaper bags to mobiles. There is also a small selection of quality maternity and nursing clothes.
Her clientele are mostly mothers in their 30s and “lots of grandmas” as well as people looking for a special gift. She hasn’t done much advertising, but word has spread and she has a good number of repeat customers.
As a small business, she tries to bring in things that none of the other retailers in town sell. Many of the brands she carries are Canadian, and she is constantly on the lookout for local artisans.
Beautifully crafted felt mobiles by Handmade by AnnaH hang from the ceiling and there are felt bows and flower crowns from Lila Baby Bowtique. For teething babies, there are handmade pacifier clips and accessories by another local vendor, Hanker Chews.
Boys’ and gender-neutral items sell very well, Carrier says, in part because most other stores carry fewer boys’ items and there is not as much choice. “I’m a boy mom, and I choose what I would buy for my son,” she explains.