Oh my goodness, it’s been forever since I did a local small business interview! I used to love doing these to get to know different wedding businesses in the area. I think it’s only appropriate that today’s interview represents a shift in my business to go beyond just weddings with my clients and into the next chapters of their life as they start having babies!
Today’s interview is with Stacey Thomas the owner and founder of 2 Hearts 1 Dress a boutique Fredericksburg Va maternity store! You can find her adorable shop downtown at 614 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401.
I think we can all agree trying to look stylish with swollen ankles is tough! We don’t feel like our bodies are our own anymore and we just want to feel good about ourselves again. Traditional maternity stores have you dressing like a boring 50-year-old woman which is no fun at all. I love that Stacey is on a mission to get rid of boring and make maternity fun and fresh! I know I already spotted a dress in her shop that I loved and would have totally worn if I was pregnant!
So if you are pregnant or know someone who is, tell them they have to check out 2 Hearts 1 Dress downtown! Now I’ll let you hear from Stacey!
2 Hearts 1 Dress | Fredericksburg Va Maternity Store
1. Tell me about your business! What do you do? What makes your business different?
2 Hearts 1 Dress is a mom-focused maternity and nursing boutique. We strive to create an environment that is comfortable, affordable, unique and relaxing for moms. We understand that shopping while pregnant is difficult, but that you deserve to maintain your sense of style, and have a place that caters directly to you and your changing body, which is why as a new and used store we aim to bring in styles not available in this area, coupled with the option to sell back your maternity and nursing attire when you are ready to move on to the next stage of life. We are a place for all moms, regardless of style, budget or size, and believe firmly that baby essentials belong in the baby store, so we limit those items in our store to what I like to call “mom splurge items”. In addition to a retail store, 2 Hearts 1 Dress offers classes, moms nights and connections to other resources that you may need while pregnant or nursing.
2. What was your inspiration for opening your business?
As a mom of 4, I am extremely familiar with shopping while pregnant. While pregnant with my youngest I was so tired of hauling 3 kids in and out of stores all over town to try to find something that fit me and flattered my ever changing body.
I couldn’t believe that there was not a single dedicated maternity store aside from driving to the mall to go to Motherhood, where everyone else I knew who was pregnant was already wearing the entire selection. I also didn’t want to spend $45 on a plain t-shirt. Buying online was a hassle and I never knew if something was going to fit or not because I teetered between sizes.
I wanted to go somewhere where I could try it on, and be able to return it if I changed my mind, or grew overnight and couldn’t wear it. I began talking to my husband about the idea of opening a new and used maternity store, and the idea really just took off. Every person I spoke to agreed it was a great idea, and I decided to enter the Chamber of Commerce’s Made in Fred Va Competition. The encouragement I got from there really pushed me to pursue this.
3. What is your favorite part of your job?
I know this sounds strange to a lot of women, but I LOVED being pregnant. Being around pregnancy and nursing on a daily basis is really a dream for me, especially since my husband and I have decided we will not be adding any more children to our family. I honestly think that pregnancy looks wonderful on everyone and I love being able to help women feel good about themselves. I was a stay at home mom for 8 years before this, so diving back into the world of adults was a bit scary, being able to do something I am passionate about made it a lot easier.
4. What inspires you?
Honestly, the smile on my customers faces. Having the conversations with them as they come in, watching them grow and then bring their babies back in for me to see. I love the connections that I have made, and it makes me want to give back even more. It makes me want to expand and to offer more. My passion is to remind the women who walk through my door of their beauty and knowing that there is more that I can carry, more that I can do, and an industry that needs a major overhaul, drives me to push harder. Having my children ask me about how my business is going, and honestly care that I succeed and am happy in this new venture is an immense icing on the cake. I hope that by doing this I can inspire them to throw themselves headfirst into their dreams, and the days where it is hardest I can at least fall back on the idea that one day they can look back and see how hard I worked, and how much I cared, that way they don’t settle in a job they despise.
5. As a mom, what is the number one piece of advice you would pass along to new moms?
Believe in yourself. Don’t forget to take care of you, it’s so easy to get lost as a person when you become a mom, but it’s so important to maintain that piece of you. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are doing a great job, and your child thinks you are larger than the sun. Spend time with your spouse or significant other as a couple. You are raising future adults, teach them how to take care of relationships, how to be kind to others and how to love themselves. The rest will fall into place.