Whether she was spending time with her two little boys, training for a half marathon or getting ready to open a new store, Adriane Stare has had quite the summer! However, like any driven entrepreneur, she did it all successfully. Yes, the boys are back in school, the finish line was crossed and the new store is officially open!
As one of the newest members of the Wild Was Mama team, I had the opportunity to steal Adriane away from her busy schedule to answer a few questions.
What made you decide to 100% commit to opening a new store? Take me through that thought process.
I thought that there was a need for many stores but that we would start with one and see how it went. We wanted a store in Park Slope for a while, but financially speaking, we weren’t sure what had to come first - a warehouse or a second store. We realized that it had to be simultaneous, which was the scary part. We had to expand really quickly. We’ve always wanted a store in Park Slope since we opened, but we didn’t start taking real steps to make that happen until about a year and a half ago.
What sort of trends have you noticed in the industry? What is there a demand for now compared to when you opened the first shop?
I don’t know if it's the fact that we’ve been open for four years, but there’s definitely more of a demand for maternity clothing than there was when we first opened. I think that's because people didn’t expect us to have maternity. They thought we were a baby store. As more people became familiar with our store - more pregnant people - I think the demand for maternity really increased.
There’s higher demand now for even more artisanal woolen pieces. I think that customers are appreciating quality and natural fibers, maybe more so than we thought at the beginning. And American made, too. There is also definitely more of a demand for carriers, but that’s just because we’ve expanded. Our carrier selection has expanded two-fold, at least. Offering customers a few different options within any different carrier category is important. More limited edition carriers, too.
More demand for education as well. We didn’t start out offering babywearing classes, and we didn’t start out offering cloth diapering classes because we were so helpful in a one-on-one environment that we preferred to do that, but there was so much demand for our education that we opened up classes to help streamline the amount of people needing our help and our ability to help them. Some people just prefer the class format.
How has your parenting style changed from Damien to Loren?
I parented both kids the same in terms of levels of attachment - carrying them both a lot and doing all the things we do to be responsive to them.
Damien as a very young child had a lot of anxiety. Raising him as a toddler was probably the most stressful experience of my life. He was a tough kid, and I feel that I was cultivating extreme amounts of patience, which I continue to do with both kids. I was not knowing how to set limits for a kid like Damien. He was so out of control with anxiety and panic that setting limits made it worse. We got amazing help from The Child Mind Institute here in New York. It’s an institution that teaches parents how to parent children with very specific needs; it’s not about meeting with the child and solving their problems. We’re now able to manage our two crazy boys without tears and without screaming at them all the time - well, most of the time - because we have tools that comply to things that are important to us as parents.
I feel like I’m much better at setting limits with our sons and that’s because of Damien getting older and having to really figure out what works best with his own personality. If you had asked me before I had kids if I’d be someone who would ever put their kid in a timeout, I would say no that is so cruel, so unusual, I could never do that, but limit setting has been really great for us in a lot of ways.
Who inspires you?
That is such a big question. My husband definitely inspires me. Pikachu does not inspire me. Greg inspires me because that guy has more patience and reason than any person I know. He’s a constant reminder of how I can take it down a notch and be more respectful. To see him deal with the kids is awesome because he doesn’t lose his cool the way I do, so he’s a really good model in terms of slowing down, taking things one step at a time and being respectful toward other people.
I will also say that I’m very inspired right now by other mothers who are also entrepreneurs or really any entrepreneurs right now. Just having tried to make this business from scratch, I am in awe of women who are able to have a major social media presence, manage their business and be great mothers. It’s so much stuff for one person to do. So I’m inspired by other people who are able to figure that out for themselves. I feel like I always have other peoples stories to learn from. It’s all about supporting other women rather than focusing on competition.
What is a goal you would like to accomplish within the next year both personally and within the realm of the business?
I would love to be doing more with web-based education around the products that we sell - webinars, finding ways to boost up our educational information and make it more accessible to people who are not able to make it into our store. I feel like there is a real need for that.
Personally, I would really like to keep running this whole year. I’ll keep training through the winter a little bit, but I want to run the whole year and not just run in the fall and in the spring. It’s tough in New York to exercise in the summer, and it’s tough to exercise in the winter. So I have some self care goals.
I would also like for Loren to be potty trained at night, which he is mostly but not all the time, so I cannot wait for that to happen. That’s definitely happening in a year - we’re like months away from that.
Come say hi at our new location - 464 Bergen St. Brooklyn!!