Living in one of Canada’s largest urban centres has its advantages. I rarely have to search further than my nearest local boutique or shopping mall to find a myriad of choices, of which I’m very thankful. Moms in other parts of the country aren’t as lucky, often lamenting the lack of selection when looking for maternity wear and baby gear. With all of the things new Moms need to do to prepare for baby, hunting high and low for the right products shouldn’t be added to their list! So, this month I’m shining a spotlight on a fab Newfoundland boutique that is filling the niche for unique, high quality, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly products in St. John’s.
Bellies and Bundles was born out of sheer need. No other store in the Newfoundland and Labrador area was meeting the needs of young families in the area, so friends Lesley Reid and Ashley Russell decided to open a store to cater to the growing family population. They have everything Moms need to take them through their pregnancy in style, as well as gear to get them through their baby’s toddler years.
For maternity clothes that are functional and fashionable, look no further than fashions from Ripe Maternity, Maternal America, Bravado! Designs nursing wear (which, by the way, I highly recommend) and a large number of lines from Canada – Dudate, Umame and Jules et Jim Maternity, to name a few.
Their selection of baby carriers is diverse – from the popular MobyWrap, Cybex, and ErgoBaby lines, to handmade slings by Canadian designers Sew Funky and Pippalily, and mei tai carriers from BabyHawk – so you’re sure to find the perfect one, with recommendations from their knowledgeable staff. They carry a good selection of cloth diapers as well, and are always happy to share their recommendations and personal experiences using various brands and styles.
But their extensive product lineup doesn’t end there. Their commitment to sourcing local products is something they’re very proud of, stocking everything from custom nursery art, baby hats and mobiles, to handcrafted wooden toys and teethers. They always seek out Canadian products first and love to support other mompreneurs, such as Parade Organics (organic cotton onesies and sleepers) and Toad in a Tree (clothing and accessories made with reclaimed and organic fabrics). And, since today’s parents are becoming more and more aware of the environmental impact and health risks that many everyday baby products may pose, Bellies and Bundles offers their customers alternatives that are otherwise hard to find. These include personal care products, cloth diapers, and local specialty items such as Little Twig nut, gluten, soy, phosphate, and paraben-free baby wash, bubble bath, baby powder and lotion; Mambino certified organic and vegan cloth diaper-friendly ointment, body wash, belly butter, and nursing balm for Moms; Dandelion toys made from organic cotton and feeding accessories made from corn; Canadian-made AMP Diapers, with a full selection of bamboo and hemp inserts to accompany their adorable and high-quality pocket and all-in-one diapers (another of my personal favourites).
Being eco-friendly in their buying practices also extends to the running of their store. They make a conscious effort to minimize their environmental impact, from limiting the use of paper (contacting customers through email and telephone and choosing electronic format for bills), to offering customers earth-friendly packaging options (100% recycled brown paper bags, or bundling goods with twill), and finding creative and new uses for old items (many items in the store have been refurbished rather than buying new). They encourage customers to bring reusable bags for their purchases, and to donate any gently used clothing, toys and accessories that they’ve outgrown and no longer need to appreciative families in the community. They consider their motto, For Birth For Earth, in everything they do.
Bellies and Bundles is active in their community, offering free cloth diapering workshops several times a year to all who are interested. And when owners Lesley and Ashley became new Moms, they reached out to new Moms and created a hiking group, Outdoor Mamas, for those who wanted to take their infants outdoors and experience nature. It was important for them to connect with other parents within the community, and it helped to build supportive relationships.
From their friendly staff and amazing product selection, to their commitment to the environment and the community, Bellies and Bundles is the destination for stylish Newfoundland Mamas!
286 Torbay Road (Coaker’s Meadow Plaza)
St. John’s, NL A1A 4L6
Phone: (306) 709-237-6262