If I could create a store that fulfilled all of my ethical and practical consumer needs, it would have to meet a few requirements: it must be owned by someone local who cares about local issues and supports local business; the owner(s) must care about the environment and the health of their consumers; the store would carry quality products and sell things I like — possibly things I didn't even know I needed; it would offer a support system for using those products; and, to top it all off, it would look good and have a place for my daughter to play while I shop.
Perhaps I expect too much from a store, but so does Wendi Lindsay, owner of B. Lime, A Green Store. Recently B. Lime revived its image and expanded its product list to include a variety of baby products, from cloth diapers (which they have always carried) to glass bottles, organic bedding, slings, and much, much more.
I'm about to have a baby, so this is perfect timing for me and I'm thrilled to support B. Lime and spread the word about such a gem of a store in our community. Curious about what motivated Wendi, I asked her a few questions about the store:
What made you decide to expand from a green store to a green baby store?
Wendi: My husband and I opened B. Lime in 2008 as a place for the community to shop for everyday items that were made sustainably. I became pregnant just six months later and naturally most of my focus shifted to our [then-smallish] baby department. We had always carried cloth diapers and core baby items, but they inhabited a tiny portion of the store. Ironically, when I opened in 2008, I joked that someday we might turn into a cloth diaper store because that's what so many inquiries were about (I didn't really believe it would happen). And now here we are ... the baby department continues to grow out of need for C-U parents to get hard-to-find items. Cloth diapers really aren't available anywhere else in town.
Cloth diapers are also what drew me to B. Lime. With my first child, I used strictly disposable diapers, mostly out of a desire to make my life as easy as possible. Cloth diapers were about as appealing to me as showing off my stretch marks in a bikini. But now I'm a little older, a little wiser (I hope), and a little more aware of the long-term, not just the here and now. As Wendi pointed out: "[C]loth diapers could save you thousands of dollars over time. It's estimated that disposable diapers cost $3,000 over the course [of time a child is in diapers]. Cloth diapering is around $450."
B. Lime updates a Facebook page daily. Through the page, Wendi spreads the word about upcoming events and expansions to their product line. I asked Wendi how a new mom, or a mom new to cloth diapering, might get started. She replied:
Cloth diapering doesn't have to be all or none; you can do it gradually, part-time ... perhaps just on weekends. I would also encourage everyone to rethink home cleaning and make safe choices. We are continuing to carry green cleaning and household items because it's the core of raising a baby green. And finally, think non-toxic. That means safe toys, nontoxic plastics in teethers, bottles, and such, and safe bedding, such as organic mattresses. We are very excited to be a source for the Nook Pebble Mattress. Next week we'll offer them on sale along with blankets, cribs sheets, and toddler pillows.
What new products are you offering?
Wendi: We are now offering cloth diapering trials so parents can try different brands out, and newborn diaper rentals that allow you to cloth diaper the tiniest little bums. More classes and events as well. We have cloth diaper club punch cards and laundry detergent punch cards so you can get rewards for buying more. Our play area will be available for rent for meetings or classes, perhaps for lactation educators or natural family groups. Beyond that, many new products will trickle in.
What goals do you have for B. Lime baby? Do you see it expanding and how?
Wendi: I would like to see B. Lime Baby be the go-to place for cloth diapers and natural baby products, as well as hard-to-find boutique accessories for babies and moms. I am also looking for a partner to help me run the business, and possibly grow into a second location someday.
I recently completed a B. Lime product registry for a baby shower and many of my guests who had never been to the store were thrilled to find a place that sold such practical green products.
New hours are:
Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00–4:00 p.m.
Closed on Mondays
You can now shop online anytime and have it shipped, or pick up at the store.
I just wish Wendi could offer a product that made labor pain-free and babies sleep through the night, or some sort of electrocution device that shocks someone every time he/she comments on my weight...