There was a lot the judges of this year’s Win This Space competition liked about the submission from Lovewell Birth Collective, and the business’s name was near the top.
“They loved it and so do we,” says co-owner Nicole Newman. “It just says so much.”
Newman and her business partners Carlie Pitka, Laura Batista and Stephany Borthwick placed first in the Win This Space contest and won a free storefront for a year. Win This Space is an initiative of the Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation.
Winning is a huge boost to a fledgling business and allowed Lovewell to open on July 24 at 188 Maxwell St. near Christina.
Pitka, Borthwick and Newman are certified doulas and Batista has a graphic design and marketing background. All are moms with 10 children between them.
Together, they offer a one-stop shop for pregnant moms to learn, shop, relax and heal.
“A doula mothers the mother,” explained Pitka. “She’s a birthcoach through the delivery, she supports her during the pregnancy, and helps her deal with any fears and anxieties before the birth.
“We work alongside the doctors or other professionals as part of the team and are attentive to the mother’s needs.”
Doula care includes post partum support and is available 24/7 for as long as a new mother needs it.
The three local doulas had an online presence previously as the “Well Rounded Doulas.”
Their new venture, Lovewell, incorporates several other services for new moms and dads, and has welcomed two more doulas into the collective.
Among Lovewell’s services is a new store filled with natural and locally made products ranging from Wondermama Baby Bum Balm ($12) to Jady Baby’s booties ($40). While not made locally, haakaa silicone breast pumps ($26.99) are proving one of the most popular store items.
“I take a lot of care with what we stock,” said Batista who does a lot of the ordering. “You only really need a few essentials to care for a baby.
“That’s why we take time in considering each item we bring into the shop… Is it natural? Is it necessary? Is it useful?”
Lovewell also has large, inflatable birthing tubs that rent for $200 for three weeks. One is displayed in a room adjacent to the shop where there’s space for numerous classes also offered by the collective.
The first, an infant massage class, is scheduled in August and filled up within two hours of advertising. A second class on Sept. 18 still has limited room. Upcoming classes include meditation, prenatal yoga and stroller fit.
Newman also plans to lead one-day and evening childbirth education classes. The first one-day class is Sept. 28 and evening classes begin Sept. 16 for four Mondays. Both options cost $150 per couple.
The women say the Win This Space contest offered them several storefront options and they chose 188 Maxwell St. because of its ample parking, accessibility and layout.
Lovewell Collective’s grand opening is on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Kids activities are planned and all doulas will be onsite.
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