Interview by:Jen Bobby
Toronto’s baby boutique, This Little Piggy! Interview with boutique owner and mompreneur Faye Moxam
Nestled in Toronto’s eclectic Parkdale neighbourhood sits this gem, baby boutique, This Little Piggy. All of the items they carry are selected carefully with a mom’s eye, while being functional, high quality and affordable. Boutique owner Faye Moxam tells us more about This Little Piggy and why raising a family in Toronto is awesome!
What inspired you to open This little piggy?
I have always enjoyed working with people. Helping others, and seeing others happy has always inspired me in my career path. When I was on maternity leave, learning about the baby products on the market and understanding their function really intrigued me. I saw this as an opportunity to learn and help others in a way that really made a difference. I also knew I wanted to find a career that allowed me to balance work and life, and be with my kids, and this seemed to be the perfect fit.
What did you do before the retail world and how did it help you with your business?
I have been a jack of all trades in life. So I have learned many skills for business. From working with the Bank of Montreal, Microsoft and even online recruiting with Workopolis, there has always been an element of sales and business development in my roles. Nothing really prepares you for small business ownership. There is always a safety net when working with companies. Now I am manning all ships, from sales and marketing to finance and accounting, and I am juggling it all. I am getting better at it, but it was a lot of work at first.
Why did you pick the neighborhood of Parkdale and how are you involved with the community?
Parkdale is a wonderful community. There are so many people who are actively involved and ready to see this area become something great. It is a place where you see artists, young ones, new Canadians, families, dogs and small businesses all living under “one roof”. We all work together and we all add a different feel and vibe to the mix, which gives Parkdale a truly unique and eclectic feel. I have recently joined the Parkdale Business Improvement Associations Board, and I hope to really make a difference and see positive improvements in my community.
What brands do you carry and what are best sellers? Any personal faves?
We have so many interesting products in the store. I feel very passionate about finding great products that make sense to parents. I look for items that are going to work, and are simple and easy to use. For example, our Sakura Bloom slings are amazing. They are easy to wear, and are so simple to get your baby into. We have a great variety of teethers from Como Tomo, Zo-li and Teethease, and soothers by Natursutten and MAM. When your baby starts solids we have you covered as well with great brands like Beco Things and Skip Hop. I also carry Nooks and Stonz footwear which I absolutely love for their practicality and quality. My personal favourite product right now is Wee Can Too crayons, tempra paint and sculpting dough. All you do is mix with water, and you have paint and dough that is safe to eat. It’s Dairy-free and vegan friendly, so when your toddler decides to bite a big chunk to eat you don’t have to worry. Seriously!
What are some current baby and kids trends that you are seeing in Toronto?
In Parkdale the “baby diaper bag” is not what it used to be. I am seeing a lot of mothers wearing their babies and toddlers, so carrying a huge bag is not practical. Backpacks and small wet bag combos are becoming increasingly popular. Also, because parents are wearing their children, new products such as Bridge The Bump are becoming popular. It’s simply an insert you use in your everyday jacket to cover the bump or the baby. Also the “cute” look for baby is being reinvented. I am seeing new baby clothing lines happening daily, with companies such as Brikhouse and Minisouls pumping out great style options for babies and kids. No longer do we see fluffy animals and kittens on onesies, we are now seeing Grizzly Bears and Spectacles on leggings.
What’s next for This little piggy?
Right now This Little Piggy is getting a makeover. We are really focused on what has been working, and what needs improvement. We are polishing and cleaning up the bricks and mortar store, and making improvements to the website. We want to be ready and able to handle all baby registries for late winter, and know we can offer a quality service for anyone in Canada, as we ship Canada-wide.
I want This Little Piggy to be accessible, affordable, and stylish. I want to make sure our passion is still behind the products we carry, and look for new solutions where needed. We are always growing and improving for our customers.
What are some fun winter activities to do with your children in Toronto?
Toronto has so much for families it is hard to really nail down to a few key points. I can say that many parks in the area have great tobogganing hills, such as Riverdale and Trinity Bellwoods, so that is a fun activity for all. Having the ROM ( Royal Ontario Museum) so close, we are usually there twice a month with our children, and they offer amazing activities on the weekends. Right now the Distillery District has turned its outdoor area into a winter wonderland, and you can wander around and drink mulled wine. It is something that needs to be seen. I feel it never really depends on the season in Toronto, It’s really about what you feel like doing, culture, activity, food or music. All can be done regardless of the weather.
Do you have any advice for new Mamas?
My best advice for mothers is listen to your baby. Don’t take the advice of others to heart. Everyone is going to tell you how to breastfeed their way, how to change a diaper, swaddle them/not swaddle them, and even how to burp. You need to spend some time with your baby skin to skin, and listen and learn what they need. If you have a “fussy” baby, give them some extra soothing. If your baby likes to move, move. If they want to be carried, find a great carrier that allows you to be hands-free. You as a parent will always figure it out. Our instincts are usually right. And never be hard on yourself. It is not easy having a baby, so do what ever will work for you. And if you ever want to chat and have a coffee with me in my window please stop by.