Starting a business is hard. Really hard. It’s a lot of work. Time. Energy. Love. Mostly love. Crunchy Boutique is the only shop of its kind in its area (Arlington & Fort Worth, TX). And it’s one of only THREE brick and mortar natural parenting store in the entire United States that is Black-owned. This is the story of how they opened Crunchy Boutique, why they are unique, and why you need to check them out both in person and on their website, crunchyboutique.net! I’m helping them host an amazing giveaway; make sure you read to the bottom!
Crunchy Boutique is owned and operated by Keema Echols, Lauren Echols-Cain and Brandon Echols. Altogether, any one of 7 family members may be found at Crunchy Boutique helping out in some way at any time.
Lauren is the inspiration for and the face of Crunchy Boutique.
When Lauren found out that she was expecting in early 2016, she knew almost immediately that she wanted to travel the natural parenting path. At that time the most important things to Lauren and her husband, DeAndre, were to have a home water birth, cloth diaper and breastfeed. Lauren and DeAndre had baby August in November and started cloth diapering and breastfeeding immediately. It was apparent very early on that resources for natural parenting in the Arlington/Fort Worth area were non-existent. Lauren made several trips many miles away to purchase cloth diapers and for breastfeeding support. She made each trip with her mother, Keema, and each time they would talk about how ridiculous it was that they had to travel so far for such simple things.
Keema has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and has owned many businesses. When people ask her about her entrepreneurial pursuits she always shares her philosophy as follows, “I just jump and hope the parachute works. Most of the time it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, I get up, dust myself off and keep it pushing.”
In February 2017, Lauren and Keema started discussing the idea of opening a natural parenting store in Arlington. The discussion quickly moved to planning. They found a location in April, solicited input from the local natural parenting community a few weeks later and had their grand opening in June. This is just a tiny look at a few of the amazing products they carry.
Being the “new kids on the block” they are able to do new and different things to market and to introduce their store to the public. They decided NOT to look at what our competitors do or have done but rather to come up with their own fresh ideas to make shopping at Crunchy Boutique a fun experience. Much of their merchandise comes from local sources. They also look to social media for new and trendy products. Crunchy Boutique focuses most of their marketing attention on social media. They are constantly looking to develop new ways to engage and grow the natural parenting audience. The Black community is not as widely represented in the natural parenting community. One of their goals is to introduce cloth diapering to a segment of society that has not been exposed to it yet.
Not only do they offer natural parenting items such as cloth diapers, baby carriers, breastfeeding supplies, stainless steel and glass bottles but we also offer a wide variety of classes and support groups.
Here is just a sampling of the classes/support groups Crunchy Boutique offers:
- Breastfeeding/Lactation Support
- Intro to Cloth Diapering
- Belly Birth
- Sleep Regression
- Mama Mixer
- Dad TGIF Group
- Baby Play Time
- Toddler Play Time
- New Mommy
- Essential Oils in Pregnancy
- Chemical Free Living
- Choosing a Doula/Midwife
This is only the beginning for Crunchy Boutique and they are so thrilled at where this journey has lead them and where it will bring them in the future.
Jenn is a long-time cloth diaper educator and a passionate small business advocate. She has worked in the reusable diaper industry for over a decade, helping millions of families via her websites All About Cloth Diapers, Thinking About Cloth Diapers and Cloth Diaper Geek as well as hundreds of small businesses during that time. Her goal always to provide simple, reliable information.