BROOKINGS – Teresa Holloman noticed a lot of babies in Brookings, but nowhere to buy higher-end items for them, so she opened Baybeeluv Boutique to see to their needs.
She’s only been open since July 1, but she’s already been adding things because people have requested them.
“I’ll continue to do that. I want to listen to what the needs are,” Holloman said.
“I’m big on customer service,” she said. “The key factor is giving that attention and care to your client because without them, you wouldn’t have a business.”
Baybeeluv Boutique is located at 1455 Sixth St., across from Hillcrest Aquatic Center. It can be found on Facebook. The phone number is 605-692-2212.
Her initial idea was for a baby boutique with higher quality items and brand names. She chose the name Baybeeluv because “I wanted it to be unique but fun and elegant also.”
The logo includes a bee to emphasis the point.
“And I love bees,” Holloman said.
She quickly found out people wanted more than baby items.
Customers requested maternity wear and nursing wear and Holloman obliged “because I found out Brookings doesn’t have anywhere that offers that.”
She’s also added product lines that she’s never heard of because customers asked for them, including Motherlove, which has belly salves, bath sprays, diaper rash balms and nipple creams, “things that nursing moms need for themselves and the babies,” Holloman said, adding the nipple creams have to be chemical-free because the baby’s going to ingest it.
She’s planning to bring in special teething necklaces, which she heard about from customers, too.
Customers also convinced her to increase the clothing range.
“My intention was to carry infant to 2T ‘cause it’s kind of a small space,” Holloman said.
Customers loved the special occasion dresses and tuxedos but were disappointed they couldn’t buy one in their child’s size.
“So I decided to bring my formalwear and tuxedos from infant to (size) 6, boys and girls,” Holloman said.
Since this is South Dakota, she carries cowboy hats.
“I love hats on little kids,” Holloman said.
For the love of babies
As the mother of five and grandmother of nine, with one on the way, Holloman often finds herself buying gifts for her brood. She would go to Sioux Falls or order online because there was no place in Brookings to get what she wanted.
She also noticed babies all around her.
“People are having babies and getting pregnant all the time in this town,” she said with a laugh.
Holloman figured there were lots of people like her who wanted special gifts to give but couldn’t find a local place that carried them.
So, she decided to open one herself.
Holloman looked at the space with another business in mind. She ended up going in a different direction for that business but couldn’t get the location out of her mind.
“It’s kind of funny, but I had a dream,” she said with a laugh, “that I opened a baby store and I woke up, and I’m like ‘A baby store!’
“I just thought it would be fun because I love shopping for my grandkids and I know how hard it is sometimes to find that perfect gift, that unique thing that they won’t return, that they’ll want to keep because it’s so special,” Holloman said.
Originally from Kansas, Holloman moved around a lot. She moved to Brookings from St. Cloud, Minnesota, and “I loved Brookings, so I stayed,” she said.
She started working in retail when she was 16.
“My first job was at J.C. Penney’s, and I worked there for many, many years, even after I had kids,” Holloman said.
She also worked in fabric and craft stores and waitressed.
Her main job is as a business consultant.
“I’ve been consulting other people in the business through the years and watching them have fun, so I thought I’d try my hand at retail,” Holloman said.
Baybeeluv Boutique isn’t her first business. She has owned Integrity Builders, which is closed, and JoJo’s Candy Arcade, which she sold – “I miss that store,” she said.
Holloman owns the Vape Arcade in Brookings.
“My mother died of lung cancer from smoking,” she said, adding she wants to get people off tobacco. “I don’t sell anything questionable. I don’t sell tobacco, I’m 100% anti-tobacco.”
She thinks Brookings is a good town to run a business and Sixth Street is a good spot.
“It just makes sense finally to be in a little bit busier place and there’s a need here,” Holloman said, adding there’s more traffic on Sixth and the parking is better and “little bit more visibility,” she added.
She’s working on a website now for Baybeeluv Boutique.
“No product sold, but we are going to have a baby registry,” Holloman said.
Contact Jodelle Greiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.