So when I was researching shops for this month’s featured post, I couldn’t help but choose Bush Babies Boutique in North Bay, Ontario. Take a peek at their Facebook page and you’ll find many customer interactions that almost sound familial…you can tell they treat their customers like family. Not only that, but customer queries are consistently answered in a speedy manner – no easy feat when there’s a storefront to run, inventory to be monitored, vendor relationships to be maintained and, oh yeah… four children to raise!
Owner Marianne Culham started Bush Babies six years ago when her first child was born. She ran it out of her home initially, offering mostly cloth diapers and diapering accessories because she couldn’t find what she wanted in the city and decided she might as well fill a need. The business has grown over the years, and Bush Babies now occupies a large storefront on a very popular and growing street in North Bay. But the store isn’t the only thing that’s grown… Marianne’s family has, too! She is mother to four children (aged 6 and under), so she relies on her wonderful staff – headed up by store manager Kara – to keep everything running smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
One of the reasons for the store’s consistent growth is the high quality, innovative selection of items they carry. Marianne chooses only quality, top-of-the-line products for the store, which has the best selection of safe, eco-friendly and locally made items in the area. Some of my favourite picks include the Mama’s Hands Natural Tummy Soother, SewFunky products (sun bonnets, slings and more), the Din Din Smart Stainless Divided Platter and the Weehuggers Wetbag(which smartly doubles as a purse when you’re done with diapers). As evidenced by the array of gorgeous, locally made fabric items they carry (and in the trendiest of prints, no less), North Bay is a hot spot for sewing talent. In turn, there’s no shortage of fun, chic handmade products – notably by UglyBunny, Little Miss P Inspired, Leelu B and Koodies (their stand-up snack bags are genius). And customers snap up these products so quickly that it’s difficult to keep them in stock.
Alongside all of the beautiful locally made items, you’ll also find products from some of the most loved brands in the baby world: Britax, Ergo, Medela, 4 Moms, Baby Jogger, JJ Cole, Jujube, Stonz, Skip Hop, Zoli, Boon, Bumbo, and Earth Mama Angel Baby, just to name a few. Some of my personal Canadian favourites that you’ll find at Bush Babies are Padraig Cottage handmade wool slippers, leather Mally Bibs, Wee Urban sleep sacks and Bravado nursing garments. They also carry a well-curated selection of breastfeeding accessories, in addition to the myriad baby items that will get you through the infant and toddler years with ease.
If you live in the North Bay area, Bush Babies promises to be your one-stop baby and toddler shop. If not, it’s no problem! Their wonderful products are available online too! So, the next time you need something special for the little one on your gift list, check them out!
555 Mckeown Ave, North Bay, ON CA P1B 9E4