Over Some Pecan Pie: The Story of The Nesting House
It was 2006, just after the birth of my first child. I lived in Mount Airy and grew organic vegetables on my front lawn. I wanted to make parenting decisions the way I made all the decisions in my life, with great care and thoughtfulness about the impacts of my decisions. Fortunately, my neighborhood had a wonderful non-profit safe haven for mom’s called The Maternal Wellness Center. It was here that I found my support system. It was here that I took my birth classes, went to new mom’s group and eventually became good friends with the center’s co-founder, Meredith Jacoby.
At the time, I was very interested in cloth diapering, but in cloth diaper land, 2006 was a long time ago. There was no store to go to and no local workshops to take. I would sit with my baby on my lap and surf the web, learning what I could. I attempted to sew my own, but that didn’t go so well. Back in 2006, I had no choice but to buy diapers online without ever holding them in my hands. I bought some for my daughter, then bought some more. Before I knew it I was buying them for the whole neighborhood and running workshops at the Maternal Wellness Center. I built wholesale accounts with a variety of companies and began selling diapers off my front porch. I started the Philadelphia Cloth Diaper Connection, and before long became known locally as the diaper lady.
A few years passed and the Maternal Wellness Center closed its doors, leaving a massive void in the community and a vacant storefront at 606 Carpenter Lane. This was not only a loss to Mount Airy but a loss to the city, because at the time, very little like it existed for moms in the area. Around the time that this happened, Meredith and I were out to dinner to talk about a potentially going into business together. We had each just given birth to our second child, burying us deeper in motherhood. How we were going to start a business on top of our mothering duties was yet to be determined. Meredith was loaded with ideas. We almost started an urban farm! But in the end, my front porch cloth diaper business and the new void left by the closing of the Maternal Wellness Center made it obvious what we needed to create.
It was over a piece of pecan pie that The Nesting House was born. We wanted to create a space for people to have their natural parenting needs met. A place where one child’s outgrown clothes could become someone else’s new seasonal wardrobe. A place where cloth diapers could be felt and baby carriers could be tried on. We wanted to open the store that we ourselves wanted to shop in as young mothers trying to be conscious of our consumptive habits and the new environmental footprints of our young children.
In May of 2010, we opened our store at the intersection of Carpenter and Greene. It just so happened to be the physical space vacated by the Maternal Wellness Center. It seemed that the store we wanted was also the store others did as well. We have developed an amazingly loyal and dedicated customer base that we are quite grateful for and are pleased to serve. As the need for such products and offerings continued to grow, we have also expanded, opening our second store in Collingswood, NJ.
It was a strange trip for me that started with trying to meet my own natural parenting needs with my mother’s old sewing machine. Now my husband and I own two stores in two states. As long as our services are needed, we intend to be here helping parents the best way we know how.