Bloume Baby in Manhattan Beach will keep baby blooming with natural and eco-friendly products
Onesies made of organic cotton, toys chiseled from sustainably-harvested wood and baby bottles free of the chemical bisphenol-A –- a growing number of parents are seeking out the purest products for their babies.
Annie Totten, a former merchandiser for Gap, Babystyle and Disney, has parlayed that burgeoning consumer interest into a successful e-tail site and, now, her first store. Bloume Baby in Manhattan Beach opened recently as a brick-and-mortar alternative to Totten’s 18-month-old online site. The 320-square-foot store, just minutes from the beach, is housed in a new retail and workspace development that Totten says, architecturally, meshed with the nature of her boutique.
“I loved the aesthetics of the building,” she said. “It fit in with our tagline -– pure and modern baby.”
Totten says she chose Manhattan Beach because it is where she lives with her husband and 2-year-old son, and because it is a family-friendly community. “It has the right vibe,” she said.
The layout of the store reflects that of the website: categories include Dress, Play, Eat, Sleep, Bathe and Travel. Some 25 to 30 brands are represented, each one chosen because it is earth-friendly and eco-consciously produced. Among them are L.A. brand Go Gently Baby, which makes baby clothes in sophisticated colors like dusky rose instead of conventional bubble gum pink, and Kicky Pants’ synthetic-fiber-free striped overalls made from bamboo. Peace pants made with low-impact dyes are folded neatly on shelves, next to ruffled bloomers and printed linen "bum covers" from Zebi Baby.
Toys, laid out at ground level, include Tegu wooden magnetic blocks whose purchase goes to support humanitarian efforts in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
The boutique is directed toward parents of newborns through 2-year-olds, and new mothers are catered to with natural Erbaviva body care products (stretch mark cream, back rub oil, bath salts and foot balm), BPA-free glass drinking bottles and ultra-stylish yoga bags. Even the slings are fashionable -- Totten carries the Serena & Lily Market Sling, an embroidered organic cotton creation seen on Camilla Alves and Ethan Hawke.
“It’s a growing category,” Totten says of the organic/natural baby products moment. “There is so much more awareness about the impurities and toxins in a lot of products that parents want to choose as much as they can that is natural, that don’t contain harmful chemicals and that support eco-friendly practices.”
Prices range from $12 for an organic knit teething rattle to several hundred dollars for some of the furniture, custom-made by Dwell Studio. Most of the clothing is in the $30 to $60 price range.
Bloume Baby, 1300 Highland Ave. #103, Manhattan Beach. (310) 802-8000.
-- Kavita Daswani
Photos, from top: Products from the Bloume Baby store in Manhattan Beach; interior of the Bloume Baby store; baby Maya in a dress available at the Bloume Baby store. Credit: Bloume Baby.