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Photo courtesy Lucy Beaugard

Dressing Bumps, on the Road

What drove this Denver mother of two to go mobile with her pop-up maternity boutique idea?

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When Monique McCoy of Denver was pregnant, she realized there was a need for fashionable and affordable maternity-wear that was also eco-friendly. She had scoured secondhand shops determined not to spend a fortune on maternity clothes she would only wear a couple times, but left with very little that reflected current trends or varying tastes. That’s when her idea for a boutique with a curated stock of gently-used maternity styles was born.

A mix of what she calls “fate and fortune” turned the boutique idea from brick-and-mortar to mobile. “After looking at many traditional storefronts, I wasn’t able to get the numbers to work in my favor,” says McCoy. “And it was important to me to keep my expenses low so I could pass along the savings to my customers.” McCoy was also in a full-time career so the idea of a mobile business offered her more flexibility.

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“That’s really how it started,” she says. “I was kind of too frugal to buy new brand name clothing during my pregnancies, and I wanted to provide a service to my community, especially women on a budget or low incomes.” Now, McCoy takes her mobile Becoming Maternity boutique around town and sets up at events or even private homes. She shares her wisdom and style, knowing what it takes to dress the ever-changing size of a mother-to-be’s bump with flair and economy.

Colorado Parent:
What’s the best way to dress on a budget during pregnancy?
Monique McCoy:
I think it’s really important to purchase as you need it, as opposed to as soon as you get pregnant. I encourage women to buy per trimester and as you grow. Some women’s bumps grow bigger than others. Purchase those staple items such as a good pair of maternity jeans or solids you can layer with. Take the time to plan a wardrobe that will serve your needs during each trimester without overspending.
CP:
How does the mobile shopping experience benefit shoppers?
MM:
Some of the primary benefits that my shoppers enjoy are the convenience, low cost of goods, and personalized service. Being a boutique on wheels allows me to offer a truly unique direct-to-consumer model. Busy moms can schedule a private shopping experience in their own driveway. I even have games and books in case there are kids along for the ride. And because my monthly overhead is low, I’m able to get really creative with my ever-changing inventory.
CP:
Any other tips for dressing your bump?
MM:
I think you can definitely keep your own personal style and keep your “swagger” while you’re pregnant. I think as we become moms we’re making so many sacrifices. We’re changing and transforming in so many different ways and one way to really keep your individuality and to keep yourself grounded is to keep your style during those times. Dress your bump the way you’d normally style yourself. My advice to women is to not give up on style. Really sell yourself with accessories and gently-used maternity styles, which is exactly what I wanted to offer with Becoming Maternity.

This season, McCoy is focusing her energy and business on attending events specifically for moms and moms-to-be. To find upcoming events and pop-ups, visit becomingboutique.com or follow her on Facebook @becomingboutique.

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