For parents of small children in Montezuma County, shopping options for clothing and products are limited to chain stores or a maze of impersonal online sites.
Now, Cortez has a locally owned option.
Baby T Children’s Boutique at 44 E. Main St. offers quality clothing and baby supplies, said owner Jessica Tomac.
“It started out as a hobby, then turned into a business,” she said. “I wanted to bring something to the community we don’t have. People are traveling to Durango and Farmington to find what they need.”
Tomac and her husband, Eli Tomac, the nation’s defending Supercross and Motocross champion — are young parents themselves, to daughter Lev, age 2, and Noah, 1.
Jessica said as a mom she become obsessed with quality baby clothes and products.
She noticed no store in the area specialized in the market, so she decided to share her knowledge and experience with the community.
“I stock higher quality brands that I love and are in a price range that is reasonable,” Tomac said. “With a store, people can come in and look and feel the items and see if they like it. You can’t do that online. Exchanges are easier in person at a store too.”
Her boutique stocks new products in a spacious, well-lighted showroom with plenty of space for strollers. The target market is newborns to 7 years old, along with nice items for moms and dads.
Well-organized displays feature onesies, infant swaddles, stylish clothes for kids and parents, blankets, toys, stuffed animals, books, shoes, bibs, hats, bags, linens, nursery items, bath items, laundry detergent and more.
She also sells classy diaper bags, cribs, high chairs, backpacks, strollers, bassinets and a skateboard-like scooter. The lineup includes fashionable dresses, leather jackets and other fun outfits.
The store provides options for gifts, baby showers and dressing up kids for special occasions. Customers may order items as well.
Brands include Little Bum Bum, Posh Peanut, Oopsie Daisy, Three Little Tots, Itzy Ritzy and others.
Tomac stocks holiday seasonal themes too, including a selection for fall and Halloween.
A colorful, carpeted play area in a back corner allows parents to drop off kids while they shop.
Tomac is enthusiastic about the array of carefully vetted products. Friendly and down-to-earth, she invites conversation with customers about raising kids and the joys and challenges of parenting.
She started the business with online sales about five months ago but thought it was too impersonal, so she expanded to include a brick-and-mortar store.
“I’m not as much of an internet pusher – I like to meet with people and help them with what they need. I’ve learned the best brands,” Tomac said.
The online store will continue, and can be found at babytboutique.com.
The couple purchased the building for the store and gutted it for a remodel. The walls, floor, entrance, ceiling and lighting create an inviting open format complete with chandeliers.
“It was fun to turn it around and revive the place,” Tomac said.
The location next to Love on a Hanger is a nice fit, she added.
Once established, Tomac plans to hire one or two people to help run the store. The hardworking mom has a busy travel schedule raising a family and supporting her motorcycle-racing husband.
On Wednesday, when The Journal toured the store, the family of four was preparing to travel to Eli Tomac’s next race, the international Motocross of Nations this weekend at RedBud, in Buchanan, Michigan.
“Lev knows the sport, and can pick him out in the race,” Tomac said. “She is getting used to him always being on the podium!”
Baby T Children’s Boutique will have a grand opening and open house Saturday, Oct. 1 at 5:30 p.m. There will be a ribbon-cutting, hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
Hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The phone number is 901-239-3233.