We are very excited to announce a new blog series! Beginning this month, we will be posting profiles and interviews of our exclusive retail partners! We are so grateful for the stores, spas and medical offices that collaborate with us to provide moms and babies with the best in safe, luxurious skin and body care and we want to celebrate them and share what we love about them with you! We select our partners very carefully and it is our pleasure to provide a monthly profile as a little “show and tell”. You won’t want to miss this special series!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Granola Babies in Costa Mesa, California. Not only was this my first visit to Granola Babies, but I got to see their beautiful new store in the brand new SoCo shopping center! Giselle, the founder of Granola Babies and I had exchanged many emails since she began carrying Zoe Organics in 2010, but I finally had the pleasure of meeting her in person.
It was a gorgeous, sunny Saturday morning, and it was just my luck that I was visiting on the same day that Jean from Evolue was at Granola Babies for an Eco Beauty Soiree event! I had my 4 month old baby, Grace, with me so we took our time perusing all of the fantastic “green” goodies Giselle keeps stocked on the shelves. Every item is eco-conscious from cloth diapers, feeding supplies, toys, books, clothes, art supplies, skincare and baby carriers. I felt like my own kids when I take them to our local toy store. I didn’t want to leave! When we arrived, Giselle was teaching a cloth diapering class and I strained from where I was shopping to hear all of the expert advice she offered – from how to choose the right diapers to how to wash and care for them. The store has this beautiful area near the back with comfy white couches where many of the classes take place – and this couch also doubled as a great spot to hang out when Grace needed to breastfeed.
When I left, the eco beauty event was in full swing and lovely mamas were getting non-toxic makeovers by Jean of Evolue, happy moms and babies were roaming through the store, the sun was shining in and all was well at Granola Babies. I would have stayed all day had I not had another appointment to get to. But I didn’t leave without buying a few things; a couple of cloth diapers and a glass bottle for Grace.
I loved chatting with Giselle and had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her store and being a mompreneur. Here is what she shared:
Heather: What led you to start Granola Babies?
Giselle: I wanted to have a place where I could provide my favorite products for our own kids, but to everyone else.
Heather: Granola Babies has been open now for nearly 7 years, how has it evolved over the years?
Giselle: Granola Babies started as a small cloth diapering online store with just the basics, but has grown to become a place where parents can go for all the green and eco-friendly product needs, from cloth diapering to imaginative toys, in order to raise their babies green.
Heather: I love connecting with other “mompreneurs”. How do you balance being a mom with running your business?
Giselle: Most don’t realize how much of a challenge it can be to be a mompreneur, however, it can also be a very rewarding and fulfilling journey. As a busy homeschooling mom of three while also running an online store and active brick and mortar store, it definitely takes balance to be able to do it all. I’m very lucky to have an amazing team that works at Granola Babies, so I am able to be at home or out and about with my kids knowing that our staff is caring for our customers like I would as well.
Heather: What do you love most about your work?
Giselle: Interacting with my customers is the best part of what I do. I get to meet many of them while they are pregnant and then am lucky to be able to get to know their babies as they grow each month. Many of our customers become my friends and that’s also something I love.
Heather: What criteria must a product meet to be sold at Granola Babies?
Giselle: It has to be something I’d use with my kids or in my home and my criteria for that is pretty strict. We don’t do plastic in our feeding products, toys are also as natural as possible (wood and fabrics), bath and body products need to be toxic free and the ingredients so simple and natural that you can read them and know what each on is, and everything we add to the store needs to be green and eco-friendly.
Heather: I subscribe to your newsletter and see all of the fantastic events and classes you hold at the store. Please tell us more about them and why you offer them.
Giselle: Events are so much fun! It’s a great opportunity to gather other resources in the community and to connect them with our customers. It’s also a way to be a resource to our customers through workshops and exclusive classes. We’re known for being a community resource and we’re able to provide much of that through our events.
Heather: Where do you see Granola Babies in 5 years?
Giselle: There’s so much planned for Granola Babies. We’ll continue to provide green parenting products and we hope to be able to do that by opening an additional location in Southern California within the next 5 years.
Heather: What advice can you offer to parents who are trying to make more sustainable/eco-conscious choices for raising their children, but are overwhelmed by all the choices, greenwashing and the idea that being green has to be more expensive?
Giselle: Being green can actually be more affordable than not and so one thing we do at the store is to show parents how simple and easy it is to go green! We have a lot of experience through our own three kids and the store, so we’re able to easily guide parents to the choices that best meet their needs.
Heather: What are your green essentials or staples for new parents?
Giselle: Cloth diapers, natural bath and body, imaginative toys and a comfortable baby carrier.
Here are a few ways you can learn more about Granola Babies, and stay connected:
3315 Hyland Avenue, Suite B
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Giselle is generously offering 15% off Zoe Organics products online and in-store! Just use code: ZOE15 to receive your discount!
Thanks so much to Giselle and Granola Babies for being one of our exclusive retail partners. We wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous holiday season and 2012!