Who are the people in your neighborhood?
Spotlight on: Caribou Baby
Owner: Adriane StareCaribou Baby is an independently-owned baby boutique with a strong emphasis on babywearing and natural parenting products in a beautiful space designed to make any customer feel relaxed and at ease. We love learning about the people behind the scenes at our favorite babywearing boutiques, and we thought you might find it interesting too. And so, with that in mind, we interviewed Adriane to find out more about Caribou Baby; about its history and the people who make it tick.
- What motivated you to start your own business?
After I had my first baby, I was astonished at how few resources there were in Brooklyn for new parents! I was hungry for babywearing education, for a local store where I could learn about and buy natural baby and postpartum products, and for a space to connect with other moms. I was so empowered and inspired by the other new parents I had begun to meet, and wanted to give that same type support back to the community. Caribou Baby was born from these desires, and it was also a big plus that owning my own shop so close to home meant I got to touch base with my son throughout the day.
- What makes your business different, special or unique?
Caribou Baby has quickly earned a reputation for providing outstanding customer care and service. We care for every person in the store, customers or otherwise, with the sensitivity and warmth that a postpartum doula might care for a mother after a birth. Our shop is relaxed, the lighting is low, the music is mellow. We will offer you a glass of water if you are nursing. We will check in with you often and make sure you are comfortable. Our staff are pleasant and positive and will smile at you and remind you what a great job you are doing. We will help you with any baby carrier or cloth diaper you have, regardless whether or not it was purchased at our store. We will respond to all of your questions sincerely and without judgement. I think all of our customers, but particularly new parents who are really needing some extra attention and care, really respond to this type of experience. People continue to shop with us and spend time in our store because they genuinely appreciate their interactions with our staff and like our vibe (or lack thereof).
- Do you bring your child(ren) to work with you, or did you when they were younger? Do you/did you wear them at work?
Absolutely! What kind of geeky babywearing store would we be without the owner strapping a baby on her back?? Both of my boys have basically grown up in the shop. My youngest son has spent the better part of his first year in the store, being worn on either me or one of my staff. We like to pass him around for babywearing practice, but now that he’s walking he’s more like the “store cat” that cruises around and systematically destroys retail displays. (He’s lucky he’s cute!) There are also definitely times when it feels healthier to have them out of the shop so that we can give our full, undivided attention to customers.
- Do you host babywearing classes or groups?
Yes! We host babywearing classes every weekend, and try to do a monthly advanced wrapping class. We also host our local Babywearing International Chapter twice a month during the week.
- What are you passionate about when it comes to your business?
I am passionate about the way people are treated and cared for in our store. I strongly believe that if you go out of your way to treat someone with compassion and respect and offer them all the information you can, then they will come back to you. We make sure that we give every person what it is they are needing, even if that means referring them to other local stores that carry a certain product that we do not have. In the haze of new parenthood, when everything can feel impossible and like it’s all going wrong, we want people to leave our shop feeling like something finally went right. Whether you were courageous and tried to learn how to use a new new baby carrier, or you signed up for a breastfeeding support class, we want to remind you that you are not alone and we are open every day of the week to keep supporting you on your journey.
- What qualities do you look for in the products you carry in your store?
Products in our store are carefully curated. They should be organic where possible, or otherwise made of natural fibers and healthy for you and your family. They should be safe, well-designed, high quality, and last through multiple kids. Once you look beyond the racks of fluffy woolens and adorable tiny things for tiny people, Caribou is really stocking the basics. Our motto is “less is more”, and we focus on only the essential items that a family living in a small NYC apartment might need to raise a baby through the first years. Being a expert babywearing shop, we focus primarily on teaching folks how to use and choose carriers, and consider our selection and knowledge in this department to be some of the finest we’ve seen.
- Is there anything else you’d like the Onya Baby fans, followers and blog readers to know about you and your store?
We love to hear from our customers! If you’ve had an experience with our store or our products, your feedback is invaluable and helps us better serve everyone. Please share your stories with us! We love to troubleshoot babywearing questions and urge everyone to take advantage of our knowledgeable and friendly staff and lightning-fast shipping for online and phone orders (free with orders over $100).