by Sún Etheridge-Frazer
There are few things more confusing than navigating shopping for your baby. The internet is full of advice and purchasing options but how do you know what you actually need and what really works? You ask an experienced mum of course – and at the Infant Boutique you can ask a mum with her own successful shop!
Amber Grech was a new mum when she realised she wanted to combine her family with her career. Like so many first time mums she had spent a small fortune on equipping her daughter's nursery but she wasn't completely satisfied with any of the purchasing options available. "I was either buying products unseen online (and usually finding they didn't do what I needed) or wandering around big retailers who never had staff available to give advice," she said. "I realised this was the business niche I was looking for – great baby products at reasonable prices, tested by real families."
Adelaide baby emporium The Infant Boutique was looking for new owners and Amber took the plunge, taking ownership in 2012 when daughter Aubrey was only a few months old. "I guess you could say we went through teething at the same time," laughed Amber, "thankfully we all survived." They not just survived, they have thrived, and the Infant Boutique now operates out of a beautiful heritage building on Chapel Street, Norwood's premier shopping address.
Her mother and two small children ably assist Amber and the business is truly a family concern – you might find little Aubrey testing out the new toddler toys while her adorable baby brother Aleksander grins at you from his play mat. This creates a truly welcoming, family environment where customers feel comfortable in asking for honest advice and feedback on products.
Recently Amber has been putting a lot of energy into growing her selection of baby carriers. "As a business owner with two small kids and no nanny I have relied on baby wearing to combine parenting with the never ending business tasks," she said. Amber could only find a few baby carriers in shops, most of which she found uncomfortable as they couldn't be adjusted to fit as her baby grew. "Babywearing purchasing and education has been really internet focussed, which is odd as you really want to be able to try on carriers and learn how to use them properly," she said. "Some carriers can cost many hundreds of dollars and they are responsible for the safety of your baby so it makes sense to try them on first. Every baby is different too and will suit a different carrier so I realised my customers would appreciate a one stop babywearing shop in addition to all the other products we stock."
In order to be able to give the best advice possible Amber has recently completed training with the Babywearing School Australia, a training college affiliated with the German babywearing institute Trageschule Hamburg. "Babywearing has been huge in Europe for years, over there people just automatically book a babywearing consultant to learn how to wear their babies, just as you book to get your car seat installed by a professional. I was blown away by how much I learned during the course and am really excited to be able to share that knowledge with my customers," she enthused. The Infant Boutique currently stocks Ergobaby, Tula and LÍLLÉbaby carriers and has plans to extend their range and training options.
The Infant Boutique prides itself on providing a full service experience and they stock beautiful baby gifts, baby clothing, children's fashion, sleepwear and other practical items such as baby carriers, nursery decor, linen and blankets, nappy bags, sleeping bags, swaddles, books, toys and games. Their brands include Aden + Anais, Attipas, Belly Art, ErgoPouch, Ergobaby, Gaia, Janod, Lillebaby, Love to Dream, Nibbly Bits, Skip Hop, Tiger Tribe, Toshi, Tula Baby Carriers and much more! Don't worry if you don't live in Adelaide, you can still access all their products online at www.theinfantboutique.com.au or through their Facebook page. Online shoppers can take advantage of their flat rate $9.95 postage, or free postage for orders over $225 and Amber is happy to offer any advice you need by email. From the bedroom to the bathroom, and of course to that all important play-room, The Infant Boutique has searched Australia and afar to find the most gorgeous, creative and practical items for your child. Pop in to their store or online shop to benefit from their outstanding service today.