River Parishes’ only maternity store now open in Destrehan – L’Observateur
LAPLACE – With the nearest maternity store an hour away in Baton Rouge, Katelyn Montalbano recently opened The Bump & Company LLC to help pregnant women in River Parishes and beyond feel their best.
Located at 1974 Ormond Blvd Suite F in Destrehan, the new business had been a dream in the making for several years.
Montalbano was six weeks old with her first son in December 2017 when she announced her pregnancy to his mother. The next day, they headed straight to Destination Maternity in Metairie, with her mother insisting that she had to be prepared for the morning she would wake up and find that nothing was going on. Fortunately, the store had a fake tummy which Montalbano was able to try on to gauge how the clothes would fit later in her pregnancy.
Destination Maternity had closed its doors when Montalbano was pregnant with her second baby less than two years later. The only options for maternity shopping were the limited selections at Walmart and Target. The clothes she was able to find didn’t match her style, and the big chain stores didn’t offer fake tummies to see how the clothes looked.
Finding maternity clothes in big box stores has become even more difficult as changing rooms have closed amid COVID-19 precautions.
“At that point my mom and I talked about opening a maternity store, but we didn’t. I had two babies under the age of 2 and there was a lot going on, ”said Montalbano. “Then, during Hurricane Ida, we were sitting without electricity or water, and we decided to pull out the plug and open a maternity store. We went ahead with our idea and in six weeks we opened and we are doing well.
The Bump & Company LLC offers maternity clothes to suit any occasion, from relaxed leggings and t-shirts to stylish dresses for baby showers and photo ops. Other products on offer include hats, necklaces, candles, slippers, belly support bands, Mommy and me bathrobes with matching nappies and pajama sets for maternity, postpartum and breastfeeding .
Of course, Montalbano made sure to fill the dressing room with a soft tummy that hooks up under the clothes. Whenever she hears laughter behind the curtains, she knows a first-time mom is trying her tummy, stunned with the excitement of what’s to come.
According to Montalbano, many shirts and dresses from The Bump & Company aren’t strictly maternity pieces.
“About 85% of our items can be worn after childbirth,” she said. “One of my big goals is to have lots of them that can be worn later so people don’t spend a lot of money on something that can only be worn for a few months.”
Th Bump & Company strives to keep the price reasonable, with a majority of clothing and accessories ranging from $ 20 to $ 60. In the first month of activity, the most popular items included sweater dresses, hoodies, baseball caps, and tie-dye pajama sets.
As 2022 approaches, Montalbano’s goal is to have a new item in store every week. The Bump & Company will also be working with a nonprofit this year.
“We are working to get people to donate their maternity photoshoot dresses. Once we get enough of them, we’ll pull out a rack and sell them for $ 20. The money we earn will go to a shelter for battered women, ”Montalbano said.
Since opening at the end of November, The Bump & Company has already gained many loyal customers. As a native of St. Charles Parish, Montalbano is grateful for the support she has received from her community, as well as the surrounding area.
“This is my first small business. I receive a lot of support not only from St. Charles Parish, but also from River, Houma, Mandeville and Baton Rouge parishes. I get a variety of clients from all over which is phenomenal, “she said, adding,” I’m always open to suggestions on what people would like to see. “
Support also came from outside Louisiana. After posting a TikTok featuring maternity clothes, Montalbano woke up with online orders from 11 different states. It only took two days for TikTok to exceed 240,000 views and 10,000 likes.
The Bump & Company LLC is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The boutique is closed on Sunday and Monday.
For more information, follow The Bump & Company on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok or visit thebumpandcompany.com. Montalbano can also be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 504-401-1956.