RETAIL PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
Room for 2 Maternity & Baby
Lorena Battistel, Founder & Co-owner
1) What inspired you to open Room for 2 and when did you launch?
In 1983 I was a young mom with two children under the age of four. I was teaching prenatal classes and was a labour and birth doula. While pregnant with my 3rd, who was a winter arrival, I was looking for gently used maternity clothing, as my first two children had arrived in the summer. I had difficulty finding good quality used maternity clothing, so decided to open my own consignment maternity store. Room for 2 was opened in February 1984 as a sole proprietorship (in what must have been a post-partum haze, as now I had three children under the age of four!) and began with gently used consignment maternity and nursing clothing. In 1989, my mother joined me as a business partner and throughout the years we have morphed into a baby and nursing store, with a tiny bit of maternity. We also discontinued selling used products.
2) Do you have a company mission/vision?
We have been on Commercial Drive for 27 years now, and our mission is to hear and respond to the needs and desires of the parents in our local community. The other part of our vision is to offer every nursing mother the products and knowledge that she needs to make breastfeeding, which is such an important part of new parenting, successful and easier. To provide this, we focus on breastfeeding bras, pumps, clothing, accessories, advice and support. The mission of our business is to be able to pay the bills, employ some people and provide a job for the owners. Our vision is to do this with fair and honest business practices by treating customers with respect and integrity.
3) What was the biggest challenge that you faced during your journey opening the Room for 2?
Being an entrepreneur is so exciting because of the challenges it offers and the opportunity it gives us to grow. The biggest challenge that I have encountered has been to ensure that the staff that I’ve hired share the same vision for Room for 2 as I do. It’s a difficult and demanding job to learn all the benefits and important features of every product that we carry, and requires months of dedication to learning. I feel blessed that I have been able to find who I think are the most wonderful staff imaginable. I credit them with the reason that we have been in business for so long, as people vote with their wallets.
4) What is the best part of what you do as the owner of Room for 2? What part could you live without?
I love researching and searching out new products to offer to our clientele. I could do without increasing rents, taxes, and failing economies!
5) How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have 4 adult children, aged 31, 29, 27 and 21.
6) What is the best part of what you do as a mom? What part could you live without?
I have loved every stage of parenting, each having its own challenges and joys. Currently, I am loving being the parent of adult children, which has such a different dynamic than parenting when children are younger. Being able to discuss the world and its events and philosophical questions and being on more of an equal basis as adults is fun and interesting. The best part is the realization for both parents and children, that no matter what age our children are, they will always be our children and we will always be there to offer support and encouragement.
7) What has been the most helpful product that you have encountered?
The most helpful products that our customers tell us they’ve encountered are less common bra sizes that larger stores do not stock, breast pumps that really work efficiently and with ease, PumpEase, amazing baby carriers, comforting swaddle blankets, cotton diapers, bamboo diapers, silicone teething toys, stainless steel baby bottles, toys made of sustainable fabrications and the list goes on.
8) Do you have any inspiring stories to tell us about someone you have met or something that has happened since starting Room for 2?
Yes, but there are too many to list!
9) What is the “next big thing” for Room for 2?
The next big thing for Room for 2 is to get all of our stock on the computer, update our website, get more familiar with social media and its role in business, and set up an e-commerce website. But… doors open tomorrow, and the priority is serving our customers!
Lorena has generously offered our readers 25% off regular priced merchandise when shopping in-store at Room for 2 for the whole month of April. Simply mention this Retail Partner Spotlight and be sure to “like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Limit one transaction per customer.