Active Baby's New Beginning: geared towards growing your family + a new location!

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with my son back in 2008, my newest obsession became pretty clear:  I couldn’t get enough of boutique baby stores.  Back then, it was slowly becoming a trend – moms wanted stylish products for their babies and companies were noticing.  Then came the baby boutiques that were unlike the usual big name baby stores.  Every single item seemed specialized, not to mention extremely trendy – think nursing covers, diaper bags that double as purses and modern cribs that rival your own bedroom set.
If you live on the North Shore in North Vancouver, you may be familiar with a local go-to store for families with active lifestyles:  Active Baby.  Co-founder and owner July and her husband Chen first opened Active Baby in 2009, and took a risk and set up shop in a low-traffic area of Capilano Mall.

Fast forward to five years later, after an extremely successful run in the mall, July and Chen grasped an opportunity to move Active Baby to the bustling area of Upper Lonsdale - also located in North Vancouver.  The space had once housed another popular children’s boutique and they had a vision to create an open concept storefront that would eventually be filled with everything and anything an active baby/family would ever need.

After extensive renovations, Active Baby finally opened its Upper Lonsdale location in December 2013 with an amazing collection of baby gear fit for the very active babies of the North Shore and beyond!  We chatted with July and discovered that not only was she chasing her dreams, but she was raising a family and taking classes at a local university.  Talk about being active!

Q:  What/who inspired you to start Active Baby?
A:  After our first daughter was born, I was an active mom and joined different mom groups geared towards outdoor activities such as stroller walking in the park, snowshoeing at Mount Seymour and hiking in Lynn Canyon with my baby on my back. While at these mom groups, one of the hottest topics always seemed to be where we could find great baby gear or trendy nursing products.  It also truly became one of my passions to visit different baby stores in search for these products.  At the time, there wasn’t a store on the North Shore that specialized in outdoor baby products. Parents had to make drive into Vancouver or surrounding cities to buy a stroller or a backpack carrier. Suddenly, an idea struck my husband and I:  why not open a baby store and bring all those outdoor baby brands under one roof, serving the active community we live in and catering towards active parents on the North Shore.  Active Baby was born and the rest is history!

Q:  We love boutique baby/kid stores and have seen a number of them pop up around the city over the years, including Active Baby. What do you feel makes Active Baby unique and why do you think it sets the store apart from others?
A:  We were very clear from the beginning that we didn't want to be another "big name" baby store.  Our store was born to fit in an ACTIVE lifestyle - one that many parents love and embrace on the North Shore, in Vancouver and across Canada.  A community-based lifestyle baby store is who we are and how we differentiate Active Baby from other boutique baby stores.  We carry a variety of nursery products and nursing essentials to meet demands from local moms, but feel that our unique collection of outdoor baby gear makes us a true destination store for families seeking these specific products.

Q:  You have two young children and are expecting your third in May - congrats!  Name one piece of advice you would give to up-and-coming mompreneurs.
A:  Prioritize the tasks on your (to-do) list.  You won’t be able to juggle everything, but that’s okay.  Be prepared to be overwhelmed, be patient and stick to your original goal.

Q:  We know how exciting (and overwhelming!) it is to be a first-time mom. Name your top three products at Active Baby that you would recommend to an expecting mama.
A:  First of all, I highly recommend a quality infant car seat which, preferably, should be (bought and installed in your car) at least two month prior to your due date.  You also want to make sure the infant car seat is compatible with your stroller.

Secondly, find a stroller that fits your lifestyle.  For instance, we wouldn’t recommend a stroller with small wheels if you love walking or jogging.  However, a comfortable lightweight stroller is the right choice if you travel a lot.  Remember that you'll be using your stroller A LOT, so it is important to find one that will make your life easier.

Thirdly, a child carrier is one of the must-have items for new moms.  Child carriers offer the closeness that moms and infants need, allow you to carry your baby to places where strollers do not have access to, and give the convenience (of hands-free use) either on shop trips or during long travels.  Again, there are many different types of child carriers available, so it's recommended to try them on for size and make sure it’s comfortable for both you and your child.

Q:  You recently moved your main location from Capilano Mall to the popular Upper Lonsdale area in North Vancouver.  What was the biggest challenge and what is your favourite part about Active Baby's new home?
A:  We have been in Capilano Mall for five years since we opened the store in Spring 2009, and it has definitely been a big change for us to relocate the store.  We love our new home because of its great visibility and accessibility, as well as our big, wide windows that we didn't have in the mall.  Also, being in Upper Lonsdale is considered a plus to our store branding.

The biggest challenge that we've faced in moving our store's location is probably the same for any store with a new location.  Although we have a large number of loyal customers, the move marked a new milestone and we feel we need to start fresh - as if we just opened a new business.

Along with a vast array of baby gear and products, Active Baby also hosts store events such as infant toddler & sleeping seminars, potty training seminars and free stroller tune-ups.

Visit Active Baby today at Capilano Mall until Spring 2014 and at their brand new store located at 1985 Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver.

{Celebrate with Active Baby!}

Active Baby will be hosting a grand re-opening and 5 year anniversary on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at their Upper Lonsdale location!  Be sure to join them in celebrating their milestone, and take part in promotions and giveaways exclusive to this event.  Follow Active Baby via Facebook and check their website for more exciting announcements leading up to the grand re-opening event!

Disclosure: The views expressed in this post are my own and do not represent the opinions or views of Active Baby. We received a form of compensation from Active Baby in order to conduct this post. 

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