Lynn Ross is coming up on the second year of a brick-and-mortar location for an on-line business she started during her first pregnancy. And like her two children, Mother & Earth Baby Boutique
continues to grow with every passing week.
While many of the changes for the retailer of eco-friendly merchandise for expectant moms, infants and toddlers involve new products, some also involve promoting fellow "mompreneurs" through her 1,000 square-foot store at 4601 W. Saginaw Highway.
"We just got to talking about how we both wanted to do more mom-to-mom sales," says Ross of her friend and fellow Lansing business owner Amy Mills. "I told her she could set up and bring her products in a couple times of month, and we decided we could both advertise and promote each other."
Beginning in early summer, Ross set aside "pop-up" space for Mills to display the gently used, up-scale clothing she vends through Molly & Oliver's
—an on-line resale business. It was a way, Ross says, that she could support another business-minded mom and continue to grow a network of entrepreneurs serving Greater Lansing families.
In addition to providing pop-up space for Molly & Oliver's, Ross also provides instructional space for low- or no-cost classes. Local professionals facilitate sessions on cloth diapering and the use of other eco-friendly products, while parenting groups occasionally reserve the space for meetings or events.
In keeping with her community focus, Ross is hosting a Family Fun Fest on Sunday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate the second anniversary of her storefront. It's also a chance, she says, to say thanks to her more than 2,000 customers, and to help promote other businesses and services through family-focused activities.
"I want to be a pillar in the community for natural items so people don't have to worry that what they get here could be a problem for them," says Ross. "Coming in here is definitely not like walking into a big box store."
Ross owns and operates Mother & Earth Baby Boutique with her sister-in-law Tammy Ross.
Source: Lynn Ross, Owner, Mother & Earth Baby Boutique
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor