We recently had the opportunity to visit with Laura McLean, owner of Laura Belle Boutique on Columbia Street in Downtown Farmington. The boutique is situated across the street from ColJac Cafe and features a brick front with gorgeous tin ceiling tiles inside.
Laura Belle is not your typical gift boutique. This shop focuses specifically on maternity clothes for special occasions or photo shoots, baby clothes, and children's toys. This is a great stop if you are needing a unique gift for baby showers, a child's birthday, or a special something for the mom/mom-to-be.
When Laura was pregnant with her first child, she realized the lack of cute, trendy, maternity clothing available. When her friends started announcing that they were expecting, the need for a quality shop offering maternity and baby items was glaring. She decided she would set out to fulfill that need.
The shop needed a name and "Laura Belle" was her first thought. It was a nickname that Laura's Grandpa gave her, and it seemed fitting. Family heritage is represented in the shop in the vintage furniture that she uses to display products; many of it has been in her family for years.
With her one year anniversary of being in business approaching on the 16th of May, Laura Belle has grown and evolved over the past 12 months. Adding Melissa & Doug toys to the floor has been great; customers like the uniqueness and quality of the toys for birthday presents.
They have also added a section for post-pregnancy Moms, that Laura called the 'hot mess mom' room; with fun workout clothes, belly butters for stretch marks and other natural skin care products. There are great items here to help inspire you as you work to lose that extra baby weight.
Another new feature is that they are now online! Check out Laura Belle Boutique's internet store and shop from anywhere you have an internet connection!
Some of the unexpected growing pains Laura has encountered is marketing and raising brand awareness. Even after a year, still, 50% of the customers who come through the door have never heard of the shop before!
In the future, you can expect to see a fully handicap accessible entrance in the rear of the shop. This will allow moms with strollers to come in easily instead of trying to haul the stroller up steps and through the heavy front door.
We asked Laura what she would want our local readers to know about her shop and she said that she'd want them to know, obviously, that they have maternity and baby items, as well as birthday and shower gifts.
"But what I really want them to know is that I'm not the only shop in downtown Farmington. I want people to know that you can get just about everything here; we've got chocolate, a couple restaurants, coffee, Southern Sins, Ophelia's, the new shop with bath bombs, entertainment, Christain Bookstore and more." Laura went on to share, "I want people to know that they can make their trip downtown into an afternoon, or a whole day event. Don't just come to Laura Belle, come and check out all the businesses here."
Make plans to go to downtown Farmington and check out all the great places and businesses that are there to be discovered.
2017 marks the eighth year for the annual Home Grown Farm Tour. On August 26th, enjoy the self-guided tour featuring eight venues highlighting the diversity of local farms and nearly 250 years of history in Washington County.
Read all about how this local non-profit is reaching families in our community to provide support and encouragement specifically to moms in need and how you can be a part!