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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Erin Reho Pelias of ‘ZukaBaby,’ a natural parenting boutique

Written by  IntheNOLA.com
UPDATE: Congratulations to the ZukaBaby team on the opening of their new location in Metairie (3248 Severn Ave.) in addition to their Uptown location (2122 Magazine St.)!

Let’s start at the beginning: what in the world is a ZukaBaby? It’s actually pretty easy…see “zuker” means sugar in German, but you know New Orleanians don’t have a need for ‘-er’ endings on words, so a ZukaBaby is just a sweet, New Orleans baby.
 
But ZukaBaby is not only one of those sweet babies you just wanna squeeze and kiss, it’s also an Uptown natural parenting boutique that “carries environmentally and socially responsible products and provides support to families seeking natural solutions to modern parenting” as well as “specializing in cloth diapers, baby wearing, breastfeeding, natural toys, and organic layettes.”
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Erin Reho Pelias of ‘ZukaBaby,’ a natural parenting boutique | IntheNOLA.com
ZukaBaby founder Erin Reho Pelias started the boutique after not being to find natural baby products for her eleven-month old daughter at many of the big box stores. To start, Erin used empty shelf space in another store for her cloth diapers and baby carriers. Four years later, however, ZukaBaby now has their own store and office on Magazine for all the like-minded mommies (and daddies) in New Orleans.
 
“At ZukaBaby, we specialize in cloth diapers, breastfeeding, and baby carriers,” said Erin. “ZukaBaby is also a space where a mom can come in, breast or bottle feed her child, change his or her diaper, and feel comfortable in doing all of those things. This is a place where it’s all ok.”
 
Encouraging cloth diapering is one of Erin’s main interests. “Part of my mission is to educate people about cloth diapers,” she explained. “Even though it’s coming back in fashion, many people have never seen these diapers that we’re using now. People are thinking pins and plastic pants, but that’s not what it is anymore. There are Velcro, snaps, adjustability, one size, and all-in-one. They go on the baby just like a disposable diaper in one piece and you can throw the whole thing in the washing machine. There are also some diapers that are part cloth and part disposable, so you can have a reusable cloth cover and then a disposable pad that are usually biodegradable and are flushable. They are more eco-friendly than the 100% disposable diapers.”
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Erin Reho Pelias of ‘ZukaBaby,’ a natural parenting boutique | IntheNOLA.com
She continued, “Cloth diapering has changed a lot since the days of our grandmothers. My grandmother has told me stories about cloth diapers and how she washed them by hand on a washboard. Nowadays, we have flushable liners, sprayers, and so much more.”
 
In addition to their wide range of cloth diapers and other natural products, ZukaBaby offers also various natural parenting classes. “We have La Leche League, which is a free breastfeeding support group that meets twice a month, infant CPR, cloth 101, and sign language classes. Right now, I’m also teaching nutrition for moms. We have a big impact on how our families eat, so the nutrition classes support these moms with the many challenges that comes with nutrition. Then we have local midwives who come and talk about homeopathy for kids, how to treat illnesses at home, and natural remedies, as well as natural birth classes happening now, and Bradley method and Hypno-birthing coming in May.” (Check out ZukaBaby’s Events Calendar to keep up with all the classes!)
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Erin Reho Pelias of ‘ZukaBaby,’ a natural parenting boutique | IntheNOLA.com
ZukaBaby certainly aims to support mommies and mommies-to-be on their journey through motherhood. “We’re very hands on with our products, so you can come, take stuff out of the packaging, try it on, try it out, and talk to people who know about the product. We really work with people to find the right stuff. We also do a lot of help with setting up gift registries, figuring out what you need and don’t need.”
 
With ZukaBaby at your side and service, there’s nothing to fear. And don’t tell anyone…but IntheNOLA will be shopping there more and more over the next couple months…but that’s just between you and me!
 
For more information about ZukaBaby, please visit their website, Facebook, Twitter, and store at 2122 Magazine St.
 
 
Last modified on Thursday, 23 October 2014
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