Today we have a giveaway from TLB sponsor A Mother’s Boutique. Read on for details on this opportunity and an interview with boutique owner, Judy Masucci. I recently reviewed two maternity/breastfeeding tops Judy carries in her store, you can read that review here. I hope you take the time to get to know this company that faithfully supports The Leaky Boob.
TLB: What made you decide to have both a brick and mortar shop and an online store?
Judy: I started my business out of my home in 2007. For me it was the “lowest risk” way to start. I had no overhead – so the only costs that I had were my inventory and whatever money that I spent on marketing and on my website. My original idea was that I would go visit local moms in their homes – so that they didn’t have to venture out with a brand new baby. And that I would provide moms with great resources online. I did quite a few home visits in the early days. But as the number of items that I carried grew, it became less and less practical for me to bring my store to the moms – so I started inviting local moms to come to my home to shop. I did this until 2010 when I literally “out-grew” my home. I had taken over my entire basement with boxes of inventory, my front foyer and my entire dining nook in my kitchen. My house was overrun with boxes and inventory. I also found that many moms didn’t want to come to my house to shop – so I wasn’t able to serve local moms as well as I would have liked. So in January of 2010, I moved out of my home and into a retail space. This enabled me to do two things: 1) Have a warehouse for my growing inventory and 2) Have a retail store where I could better service local moms. I have been in my retail location for just over 2 years now and I already wish that I had more space!
TLB: How do you select the items your store carries? What do you look for in choosing your inventory?
Judy: I always looks for items that I think will helps moms be able to breastfeed their babies. I started the business because of the clothing, I lived in nursing clothing when my son was little and I wanted to bring together the cutest, most fashionable and best value items for other moms. It can be difficult to find good quality items so I make sure that I bring in brands that I trust and I always try to have something for every budget. Most of the styles that I carry can be worn both during pregnancy and beyond for easy breastfeeding so mom doesn’t have to purchase items that she will only wear during her pregnancy. The items that she gets from me will last her throughout her pregnancy, during her breastfeeding years and beyond. I still wear nursing tops and I am no longer nursing, but the styles are so cute and innovative that you can’t even tell they are a nursing top unless someone tells you.
I have also become somewhat of a “bra guru” and now carry over 50 different styles of nursing bras in every size from 32-48 band and A to M cups. I am always looking to add new bra styles to my boutique to better service moms of every shape and size. A bra is something that you wear every day so it needs to fit properly and be comfortable and fit and comfort are different for every woman. I even offer Virtual Bra Fittings TM for moms who aren’t local! I also try to satisfy every budget with bras ranging in price from $16 to $78. With bras, no matter what the price range, I always try to find items that are high quality. I don’t want them to fall apart after a few months of wear and I want them to be comfortable for lots of moms. It is a huge investment for me to bring in a new bra line, so I always try out a sample in my own size first to see how the line fits and how it wears before I decide to bring it into my store.
Some moms want function, some want something pretty so I try to have something for every one. Whether it is a dress to wear to a wedding, a bra to sleep in or a PJ set to make those middle-of-the night feedings easier, I try to have something for every need. If it makes mom more comfortable breastfeeding and enables her to meet her personal breastfeeding goals, then I am all for it! I never judge and I am always happy to help with advice or a referral.
TLB: What is your favorite part of your job?
Judy: My favorite part of my job is when I get to make a difference in a mom’s life. I have gotten so many nice notes from moms who have shopped with me, both online and in person, it makes everything worthwhile when I am able to help out a mom. Whether it is helping her find a great nursing bra or helping to find answers to her breastfeeding questions, when I can make a difference in someone else’s life it is very rewarding. That is the reason that everyone who shops in my store (in person and online) gets breastfeeding tips articles from me. I wrote them and I give them out to everyone hoping that something that I have learned along the way will resonate with another mom and will help her along her own breastfeeding journey.
TLB: You just celebrated your birthday, what’s your favorite kind of cake and how do you like to celebrate?
Judy: I am a leap-year baby so I actually had a real birthday this year!! Whenever I get a real birthday I always have a big party on my day. Since it only comes once every 4 years I like to make it special. I am a traditional buttercream icing kind-of girl. And I have a cake lady who does a FABULOUS job at making cakes (and cookies!). I found her when my son was 2 years old and she has made every cake for us since then. You can see her on facebook here.
This giveaway is for any item up to $110 value from the Annee Matthew line Judy carries in her shop. I reviewed 2 tops from this line (you can see the review and pictures here). Anne Matthew is a manufacturer based out of Singapore, and like many moms in this business, she was inspired by her own breastfeeding experiences with her children to make clothing for moms that would enable them to easily breastfeed their babies. Mom turned designer, her garnets are fashionable, high quality, and most can be worth through pregnancy and beyond.
Additionally, 3 runners up will be selected for a $15 gift certificate to A Mother’s Boutique. Please be sure to stop by A Mother’s Boutique on Facebook and thank them for their support of TLB and this opportunity. The giveaway is open from March 6, 2012 to March 12, 2012 and is available only to USA and Canadian entrants.
Good luck to everyone! Please use the widget below to be entered and have fun browsing Judy’s shop. A big thanks to Judy for her support of TLB and all breastfeeding women.