Ask a Shopkeeper: Let's Go Strolling

We spoke with Jo and Melissa from Let’s Go Strolling about their business. Let’s Go Strolling is an independently owned boutique where the customer service shines and the products are selected for what they offer and the quality they possess.

What inspired you to start your shop? How long have you been in business? How did you come up with your store’s name? Do you have a physical store as well? What categories do you cover?
We were both in love with strollers, diaper bags and fun & innovative baby gear. Jo had bought, tried and sold more than 20 strollers and Melissa had a similar diaper bag collection building up. After our second children were born we decided to take our passion for baby gear and turn it into a business where we could help people buy the best baby gear that was truly mom-tested and mom-approved so they didn’t have to go through all the trial and error we did to find the products we love. We have a showroom in Oakland which has been great and we’ve had customers from all over the Bay Area, US, Canada and beyond. We love working in person with our customers but are only open by appointment to make sure we are accessible to our on line customers as well. We sell baby strollers, designer diaper bags, stroller and diaper bag accessories, as well as the best baby gifts out there including personalized blankets, outfits, and innovative baby gear. We are starting to expand into other areas as well and will be carrying the Skokke Dream crib as well as Dwell bedding for this fantastic and unique crib.

Who is your ideal customer? What age range do you cater to?
Let’s Go Strolling makes parents lives easier by offering them a selection of only the best strollers, diaper bags, and baby gear that we and our customers have tried and loved. Our ideal customer understands that quality baby gear stands the test of time and makes their lives with baby so much easier that it is worth it in the long run. We don’t cater to any specific age- just parents (and grandparents) who appreciate the benefits of high quality products and a company with stellar customer service.

What are the hot trends this season you’re excited about? Which trends are a hit with your customers? Tell us about your favorite pieces this season.
I think that with diaper bags, the new trend is what we call the "Diaper Bag in Disguise." These are the bags that while they are amazingly functional diaper bags, they also "pass" as a regular every day bag. Some of these bags are the Storksak bags – the Emily, Elizabeth and Gigi, Skip Hop’s new bags – the City Chic line and the Via Messenger. Fleurville also has a great bag that fits this category – the Lexie Tote and even the Sling Tote can work well as an everyday bag, as can the Darling by Lexie Barnes. Our favorite piece this season is fantastic – it’s the Limited Edition Boy Meets Girl Pink/Blue Valco Twin Trimode and we are an exclusive retailer for this unbelievable stroller. It is half pink and half blue – and they are beautiful shades of both colors. It is fully loaded and really the perfect stroller for anybody with a son and daughter of stroller riding age – it can even take a toddler seat for a third child or a ride on board and still pushes like a dream!

Pick 3 of your favorite brands you carry – How did you decide to offer these 3 brands?
This is so tough. We honestly love everything that we carry – that’s why we carry them! I’d have to say Valco – they were one of the first brands we carried and we continue to love them, which is why we partnered with them on the exclusive special edition stroller. Their products are innovative, stylish and practical. I especially love how well thought out the features of their strollers are – truly they are made for parents on the go who value a high quality stroller with amazing maneuverability but also like those extras like seat cushioning, extra basket space and cup holders that make their lives easier. Carry You – they are the innovators of the stroller accessory. We were their first retailer and have adored their products since day one. They make the best cup holders, organizers and snack trays and they work on so many of the strollers that we carry. UPPABaby – I also like how this product was designed with the needs of real parents in mind instead of just what the engineers said was "feasible". I think the Vista is a great reversible seat stroller at a fabulous price point and weight but what I really also admire is the company’s commitment to customer service which I think is so valuable. At the end of the day we only want to carry products whose manufacturers stand behind them 100% so that our customers have a great shopping experience with us and a great warranty responsiveness if an issue does come up.

What are your top selling brands and products?
There are so many it is hard to pick out just some. Most of the products on our website are there because we sell a lot of them and customers give us great feedback repeatedly on these products. Obviously bigger names like Bugaboo are big sellers for us but we also pride ourselves in finding innovative products from smaller newer companies, that while not our best-sellers, do appeal to our customers and have their own niche. One of our newest finds, Generation Baby Diaper Bag Pouches have been flying off our shelves. We’ve also just added Mommy necklaces that we wear and love and have had a lot of interest already.

What’s next for your store?
We’ve moved to a bigger store location open in January 2008 and we have just released for shipping our exclusive "Boy Meets Girl" Pink/Blue Limited Edition Valco Twin Trimode stroller which we have worked closely with Valco on to create the perfect stroller package for a boy-girl family.

What is the average order total?
We’d never kiss and tell but it does really range from customers who buy it all at once to customers who slowly order what they need – as they need it.

What products do you carry that celebrity babies and parents have/use?
Orbit Baby Stroller System, Bugaboo Cameleon
and Bee, Queen B (Heidi Klum), Julia Roberts has a Valco Twin Trimode with toddler seat in Scarlet Red and sources tell us Gwyneth Paltrow ordered 2 Jane Powertwin Strollers – one for NYC and one for her London home. The Storksak bags are a celebrity favorite as well (Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt).

Can you tell us about any celebrity clients and what they have ordered?
We have fulfilled orders for major TV personalities and LA & NYC moms we all know, but we can’t share any more details than that (except that we did get very excited when we got the calls from their assistants!)

Can you offer a coupon code to our readers?
For a limited time Celebrity Baby Blog customers can use the code CBB08 for 10% off diaper bags and accessories — some exclusions do apply — the code is good on diaper bags, stroller accessories, baby gifts, and all our non-stroller/car seat goodies. As mentioned some exceptions do apply per our contracts with some vendors (like Skip Hop). Free shipping is offered on all US orders of $100 or more. Code is valid through August 2008.

If you have any suggestions for stores you would like to see profiled or if you, as a store, would like to feature please email danielleATcelebrity-babies.com

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