Small businesses are an integral part of the Lower Manhattan community. In anticipation of Small Business Saturday (November 30), every week we’re introducing you to a local business on our Instagram TV series “Shop Small.” Also, be sure to nominate your favorite store south of Chambers Street and you’ll be entered to win a $500 prize that can be spent at up to five Lower Manhattan small businesses!
When you decide to raise a family in New York, you do so for the people, the cultural experiences, the proximity to work and the opportunity to raise a subway-savvy tot. In exchange, you accept that it won’t always be the easiest path, especially when toting said kids all over the city. Early on you’ll find tricks that help make it a little more enjoyable. That includes a putting a one-stop shop like Babesta on your list.
Babesta has it all for the baby to toddler years. They stock up on artist-made, fair-trade items such as cribs, bunk beds, strollers, clothing, wooden toys — you name it — and, perhaps surprisingly, at affordable price points. “You walk into a boutique like ours, your assumption would automatically be, Oh I must be paying more for these some of these gear items,” owner/founder Jennifer Cattaui told the Downtown Alliance. “That’s just not the case. We’re the same price [as everywhere else], but we try to give you a lot more in service.”
The amenities to which Cattaui refers include a hold-it-til-you-need-it program, which lets you delay the delivery of big-bulk items until you’re actually ready to start decorating a nursery or upgrading your kid’s room. And Babesta’s white-glove service, consequently, takes the pressure off new parents who might otherwise struggle with assembly. “We carve out a time that works for everybody,” Cattaui said, “and we’ll bring it over into their room of choice, unbox, build and discard packaging materials.”
Babesta began back in 2004 as primarily an online novelty T-shirt shop (think “Wu Tang Is For The Children” onesies) and has since expanded into two brick-and-mortars. Four years ago, the specialty store opened at Brookfield Place, a “great opportunity for us to bring our brand into a new environment,” she added, noting that, as her business grew, “we kind-of re-conceived our mission as really being curated for a city family, for a city child” while still ensuring that “everything had a pop and a cool attitude.”
Check out our “Shop Small” video of Babesta on Downtown Alliance’s Instagram TV channel.