For a new or expecting mother, walking into Happy Bambino on Atwood Avenue is like stepping into paradise.
Owners Alison Dodge and Lea Wolf (who is leaving the business shortly to pursue doula work) are committed to creating a space that acts as both a retail establishment and a resource center for mothers. Theirs is a progressive business model, integrating used mother/baby items into racks called the Eco-Boutique, selling only the trendiest baby products and accessories, and offering many locally made products by and for mamas, too.
Bambino is laid out in a series of rooms. There's the main retail area; the furniture room, where parents can test drive high-ticket items before taking the plunge; and the classroom, site of courses ranging from breastfeeding tips to mom and tot dance classes.
As a girl sans-enfant, I was a little overwhelmed by the place (it was, after all, my first encounter with a Breast Pump Wall). Luckily, I had dragged my older sister and her two-month-old, Olivia, along for the ride, and together they gave me the tour of a lifetime.
I was charmed by Baby Moon, a local company offering skin-care products such as labor massage oil ($8.75) and Moon Belly Balm ($10.75). But Olivia gravitated more toward the Bluemchen hats ($12), snug and colorful caps made out of recycled fabrics. Mama couldn't get enough of the local mama-made cloth diapers ($6/newborns, $7/regular), and all three of us were tickled by the "try before you buy" stroller section.
There's something for everyone at Bambino. And I'll be the first to attest that you don't need to be a mom to enjoy it.