I had the chance to talk to the lovely Amanda, owner of Belly Beautiful Maternity Inc :
1. What made you want to open a maternity store in Saint John?
I have a three year old son, and when I was pregnant - there was nowhere to shop locally for maternity clothes. I ended up traveling to Bangor for a weekend to pick-up some clothes (which obviously adds significant cost), purchased a few things online - however was never satisfied as you really need to try clothes on...ESPECIALLY when pregnant, and I bought some second hand items. I remember alot of days where I just woke up feeling not so great - and would have LOVED to be able to go out and pick up a new shirt or outfit to lift my spirits.
So, after leaving IBM (whom I was with for 12 years) last year, I knew I wanted to be my own boss. My sister mentioned opening a maternity store in Saint John as she had just had her baby a couple of months before that. That was all it took! I started working on my business plan and connected with a fantastic manufacturer who makes my clothes for me - and this allows me to keep everything at a very reasonable price!
Saint John is a very vibrant city - Prince William street almost feels like a little New York now, and as many of the moms-to-be who have been into the store have said "It's about time we had a maternity store in this city"! Uptown Saint John is in my opinion, the best place to have a business in the city. Everyone is so supportive of each other, and John Law Corporation who owns the building I am in made it so easy to put it all together!
2. How did you come up with the name Belly Beautiful Maternity Inc?
I just started writing! I started writing words that I positively associated with pregnancy and after a short time came up with the name. I loved it instantly and was very happy when I learned that the name was not owned by someone else! I think it invokes all of the right images and feelings about pregnancy when you hear it and especially when you see the logo. I had the logo pictured in my head almost instantly after I decided on the name.
3. What are some the maternity essentials that your store carries?
I personally think a good pair of jeans and a few tops that you love are so essential. You can dress them up, or dress them down and I know I found that jeans just made me feel 'normal'. I have a large selection of tops, dress pants and casual pants, and jeans that are all priced very reasonably. I think it is so important to have a few key pieces that make you feel good - when you feel good you look good, and we all want to look good, especially when our bodies are changing almost daily during pregnancy. We also carry belly bands in black and white, and nursing bras - including the YOU! Signature Lingerie collection which will be arriving soon!
One of my favorites from the shop
4. In your opinion, what is the one essential item that every pregnant woman/new mom should have?
If I had to pick just one, I will veer towards the 'new mom' and say that they should all have a nursing pillow if they intend to breast feed. It really makes it SO much easier, and anything to make those first few weeks easier is a must (and you will love it so much you will use it for the entire time you are nursing). We have the 'My Brest Friend' style nursing pillows in stock. Why not put it on a registry for your baby shower?!
5. Can you give us some details about your grand opening on Jan 28th?
Amanda also carries a lovely selection of jewellery, hair accessories and scarfs in her store, so this really is one stop shopping! Get an outfit complete with accessories. Not expecting a bundle of joy? Stop by and check out her gorgeous accessories and maybe pick up a little something for that friend/famaily member that is pregnant.
These gorgeous flower hair clips caught my eye
4. Share this giveaway on any form of social media (facebook, twitter, etc) and be sure to leave me the link. (be sure to let me know you did this in a separate comment so I can add your extra entries.)
This giveaway is open to local readers (Saint John and area - if you can get to Belly Beautiful Maternity uptown you can enter!) and will run until 11:00 PM (AST) on February 1st and the randomly chosen winner will be announced on February 2nd. Good luck!