Mother’s Haven sells cloth diapers, nursing bras and other practical items for new mothers and their babies, with the aim of helping local women make a smooth transition from pregnancy to parenthood.
The cozy shop has been a retail fixture in Coeur d’Alene for 17 years. But Mother’s Haven will close its doors after Sept. 30 and move to online sales.
Owner Becky Orchard said it was a hard decision to shutter the store, which offered classes and support groups for new parents, along with merchandise.
But, “sales are down,” she said this week. “It’s the way of the world. People shop online.”
Orchard bought the store last year from its founder, Margaret Hildahl. Hildahl, an infant massage therapist, said she started the store to address some of needs she heard voiced by new parents.
“I kept hearing the mommies say, ‘I don’t know where to get a nursing bra that fits. I need a breast milk pump. I’m lonely,’ ” Hildahl said.
Mother’s Haven started in a small space in Coeur d’Alene’s midtown and later expanded into an old farm house on Government Way with a picket fence. The store offered classes in infant CPR, a certified lactation consultant and other classes and support groups for new moms and dads.
Even the retail side had a strong “how to” component, Orchard said. Parents, or grandparents, could try different styles of cloth diapers on infant baby dolls and get tutorials on safely carrying their children in baby wraps and packs.
“It’s a safe place to get questions answered,” Orchard said.
Aleia Warren, of Rathdrum, was shopping at Mother’s Haven on Thursday with her 2-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son.
“I love it,” she said of the store. “I like being able to touch and feel things and see how they work.”
Mother’s Haven targets women ages 22 to 35. That’s a demographic that grew up with computers. “The way they shop is very different than how their parents shopped,” Orchard said.
Even when they’re in the store, they’re on their phones, comparing prices with other retailers, she said.
Orchard’s new website – mamanook.com – has a magazine-style format. She wants to continue offering educational content and helpful advice to shoppers, along with merchandise for babies and mothers.
“Our hope is that we can compete with the big players online,” Orchard said. “We also hope our local community will continue to look to us as experts and providers of educational resources for parents.”
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