Three months into launching her first breast-feeding and maternity wear boutique Sarah LeMay-Kaplan thought her business would fail.
That was four years ago.
Today, LeMay-Kaplan, owner of Evymama Nursing and Maternity, is on the verge of celebrating the grand opening of her second location on Danforth Avenue, near Playter Boulevard.
Despite finding success, LeMay-Kaplan remembers clearly feelings of insecurity that can come with opening a store. When she first opened up the shop on Jane Street, LeMay-Kaplan was pregnant with her second child.
“We opened September 1 and things went well in the beginning and I had the grand opening that October and that was very busy and it was a big hit and then in November things got really quiet and I got very afraid,” she says. “I thought ‘oh my god, I’m going to fail before I’ve even started.”
She decided to focus on promotion and says providing specialty products helped because she knew the market she wanted to target.
“I promoted it with everything I had because I think that’s the key with small businesses, letting people know what you are and where you are,” she says.
Like the flagship Evymama, the new store features bras that range in cup size from A to M, lingerie and women’s fashions, including her own label June and Dane.
She says she will give away a $1,000 wardrobe shopping spree for the grand opening, which runs from October 14 to 16, as well as gift bags for the first 100 customers at both locations.
She hopes her pieces will make moms who are breast-feeding feel more put together and confident.
“This is a beautiful part of your life and it shouldn’t just be this foggy blur of sweatpants, it should be gorgeous,” she says.
As for her store, she hopes that moms who are awkward or shy about nursing in public will feel comfortable enough here to take the plunge.
“I like to think of it as a very soft place to land, like going to your friend’s house,” she says.
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