Rhode Island is home to a number of great shops geared towards moms-to-be, new moms, and moms with young children. Most of them have opened within the last few years by moms who had grown tired of the bland Babies-R-Us choices and the non-customer-service typical of the Big Box stores. These independently owned and operated stores have spaces that reflect a unique style and community while addressing the needs of new parents across the board — everything from stylish maternity clothes, nursery decor, lead-free toys made in America, children’s clothes void of Disney motifs, personalized customer service, classes, and a place to meet other new moms.
16 South Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906
Nearby Bonus: Conveniently located in Providence’s Wayland Square near Books on the Square and The Edge coffee shop and two blocks from the Baby Park (corner of Humboldt & Elton).
ModMama is a modern, urban shop for kids and their parents. Rachel, the owner, is a mom of Enzo and Milo, ages 4 and 2, who are lucky to test many of the items for sale at the shop for fun and durability! ModMama was awarded Best Kid’s Clothing Store in 2007 form the editors of Rhode Island Monthly because of their hip clothes collection from newborn through 6 years old. Signature lines include Zutano, Appaman, and Daily Tea. Although the store is small, Rachel packs in a lot. Find strollers, baby carriers, slings, and diaper bags from brands such as Stokke Xplory, Quinny Buzz, and Phil and Ted’s. Shoes and accessories from See Kai Run, Pediped, MP tights, and a selection of wooden and soft toys from eco-friendly companies. Items for the nursery include cribs, rockers, high chairs, changing tables, mobiles, pillows, and lamps – everything to satisfy your modern design sensibility (right up my alley). Rachel recently designed an exclusive line of cool graphic tees, layette sets, and dresses under the Rocket 10 label. And if you can’t find it in the store —many items may be special-ordered or found online at modmama.com.
The ModMama store is more than just a place to shop; it is also a place to connect with other moms. There are floor model toys for kids to play with, space for moms to nurse or change a diaper, and the store hosts a New Mom’s group, an 8-week Pregnancy support class, regular Mom’s night out, tea parties for little ones, and other special events.
Rachel was born in NYC and she definitely brings a bit of her Manhattan vibe to the shop. She believes in great service for her customers – sling fittings, baby registry, nursery design and consultation, at-home delivery, free assembly, easy returns, and gift-wrapping–just a few of the many reasons that make ModMama special.
1 Waseca Avenue (corner of Rt. 114), Barrington, RI
Nearby Bonus: Madre Bella has plenty of parking out front and is conveniently located diagonally across from Bagels Express and a short walk form the Barrington Public Library and the new fabulous Kids’ Kove Playground (behind the library and Town Hall).
This stylish store, opened in the fall of 2005, was designed and created by Barrington mom Becky Freitas, the mother of Hunter (almost 2). Awarded the 2007 Best of Rhode Island Award for Maternity Clothes because of lines like Citizens for Humanity, Michael Stars T’s, and Habitual, which will make any mom look good and feel hip while baby is on board. Becky stocks the popular must-have for all pregnant moms–a belly band for $26–that turns all your regular pants into temporary maternity pants (I wish I had this when I was pregnant!). In addition, you can find baby clothes and accessories including Robeez and Pediped shoes, Trumpette socks, nursing bras, and diaper bags by Skip Hop and Petunia.
Becky supports many local businesses including handmade diaper bags and jewelry by Linda Demers of A la Mode; stationery, invitations, birth announcements, and thank-you cards by Barrington mom Roxanne Bryant of J is for Jane; a lovely line of kid’s clothes called Tiny Bubbles, designed by Barrington mom Barbara Guglielmo; Ella Bella clips by Barrington mom Maya Birely; and barretts, clips, and headbands by Amie Cunha of Clippies for Ava. I love starting a child’s art collection at an early age, and The Alphabet Series, limited edition prints by Kira Cortese make a great gift for a new baby. Madre Bella also creates a community for local moms by providing a small play space in the store to entertain young kids while mom shops.
(Irregular hours – best to call first)
365D Main Street (A block away and upstairs from their old location), Wakefield, RI 02879
Nearby Bonus: Myopic Books is a fab used bookstore (other location is in Wayland Square, Providence) and the Alternative Food Cooperative has a kids day every other week (call for schedule; 789-2240).
Nonchalant Mom was started in 2004 by Corina Schott (also originally from New York), the mother of Sander, age 6, and Franny, age 2. Nonchalant Mom is another 2007 Best of Rhode Island award winner. Until February, Nonchalant Mom was located down the street, sharing space with Orange Lola. Corina moved into the upstairs location to allow her to better balance her work and family life. She recently launched her own line of children’s clothes, nonchalant kids, with simple lines and bold graphic patterns. Corina’s clean, fresh style is evident in everything she does; from her line of kid’s clothing to the Nonchalant shop in Wakefield, and online at nonchalantmom.com.
Corina created the Nonchalant Mom store online and off for parents who live and thinks differently, as she does. Nonchalant Mom carries things for kids up to age 6 to 8, including modern colorful and unisex clothing for kids that is simple and never fussy. Brands are a smattering of collections from NYC, California, Denmark, Sweden, France, and Japan. She also carries special items for moms from Virginia Johnson, Kragh Rosenberg, Lucky Fish, and jewelry by Margaret Solow. Corina believes in simple well-made toys and carries a small selection of brio and Plan wood toys. She shares her philosophy and suggestions for parenting in a more healthy way through her blog – find healing remedies with food, simple ideas for playing creatively at home, and fun things to make your life at home more enjoyable and colorful.
Peak into Corina’s house and see how she beautifully blends home, family and work in the June/July, 2008 issue of Domino magazine.
1276 Bald Hill Road, Warwick, RI 02886
Nearby Bonus: Located conveniently among all the big-box stores (e.g. Target and HomeGoods) on Rte. 2 in Warwick in case you have other shopping to do. Plenty of parking out front.
This all-inclusive education and support center was founded in 2006 by two Rhode Island moms, Shannon Giorgio (mother of a five- and three-year old) and Kelly LaChance-Guertin (mother of a six- and four-year-old and a newborn). They developed Bellani as a resource for families navigating the unexpected challenges of pregnancy and parenting and craving a place to relax and connect with other moms. Bellani offers a comprehensive curriculum of parenting workshops and classes, along with fun activities for families such as playgroups. Breastfeeding support includes lactation consults on-site, pump rentals (with free delivery), nursing bras, and accessories. The online retail boutique and on-site store features Hotslings, Beco, and Ergo Baby carriers, Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bags, strollers, maternity fashion, furniture like the Svan high chair, quality toys from trusted manufacturers like Haba, Manhattan Toy, and Plan, books, gifts, and more.
The seed for Bellani was planted in a preschool parking lot while Shannon and Kelly waited for their children to finish school. The conversations continued at playgrounds, and in living rooms and coffee shops throughout Rhode Island. A doula and certified childbirth educator, Kelly saw the need for a central location for the state’s great offerings available to expecting and new parents. She and Shannon drew on their backgrounds in education, business, and motherhood to create Bellani as a one-stop pregnancy and parenting resource.
251 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903
Nearby Bonus: Located up the street from the Cable Car Cinema and CafÃ© and a few blocks from the RISD Museum.
Bambini prides itself in helping customers design a nursery from soup to nuts. Marie Di Simone, a mom with grown children who bought the business in 2006, will gladly help you design a nursery that will complement your dÃ©cor and personal taste. She will make house calls (how nice is that?) or you can visit her at the shop to plan the room, pick out the crib, the rocker, bedding, etc. Bambini’s style is a bit more traditional than ModMama and Madre Bella. Marie carries lovely bedding from Bellanotte Linens, Lulla Smith, and Serena & Lilly. Clothing for newborn to toddler includes Room Seven, Petit Bateau, and Kissy Kissy, and one of my favorite local companies, Tiny Bubbles. Toddler shoes from Petit Bet and See Kai Run and toys from Haba and Eboo. This is another shop that excels at delivering personalized customer service and hosts a mom’s night out three times a year.
Support your local mom shops and tell them you’re a Kidoinfo reader…