Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Business spotlight - Mainely Babies - By Michelle Libby

Anyone who has traveled with young children know the amount of gear that one small person needs. From a pack-n-play to a stroller, a high chair to toys, sometimes it doesn’t all fit in the car or on a plane. Mainely Babies to the rescue. 

Mainely Babies is a new company that rents out gear for newborns through 5-year-olds through their web-based business at www.mainelybabies.com. The company is the creation of Cari Turnbull and Rebecca Spear, who are both mothers of two children under 5-years-old. 

“We have things that you don’t want to travel with,” said Turnbull.

The idea came from a trip that Turnbull took to Florida where she used a baby gear rental service. When she returned to Windham, she spoke with her friend Rebecca and found out that Rebecca had used a company like this on her trip to Florida. Since there was nothing like this is the greater Portland area, the two started their own company. 

Rental equipment can be delivered up to 35 miles away from Portland, meaning that they will travel to Augusta, Poland, Kennebunk and anywhere in between for a small fee. For under 15 miles, there is no charge. 

“There’s nothing like it in Portland. It’s a popular family destination,” said Turnbull. 

The company rents baby and toddler equipment to anyone who needs the gear. Perhaps it is a grandparent who’s having company for the weekend or travelers who are renting a house on Sebago for the week. Mainely Babies can accommodate almost any need and if they don’t have it and someone asks, they expect they can find the item. 

All of the items they have in stock can be seen on their website and can also be ordered and paid for with a credit card as soon as the vacation is booked. Each item is checked and cleaned with green cleaning products after it is used. 
“You can still afford your kids the comforts of home. It makes it easier for everyone in the family,” Turnbull said. 

The service isn’t only for tourists. Local moms might want to try before they buy expensive equipment to see if a baby likes a swing, for example. 

“We want to be known for quality stuff,” said Turnbull. 

Mainely Babies also rents car seats, which they don’t install. Prices range from $2 per day for a bathtub to $10 to $12 a day for a good, sturdy stroller. 

With Memorial Day weekend coming up, Mainely Babies is taking reservations. They are partnering with inns, hotels, wedding coordinators and rental companies to offer their services. 

The goal of Mainely Babies is to have happy, satisfied customers who come back summer after summer, Turnbull said. They two women would like to open other locations and possibly have a storefront where they can have mom and child classes and sell gear as well as rent it. 

A lifesaver rental, according to Turnbull, is an age appropriate basket of toys to entertain and keep children happy while on vacation. 

“The response has been really positive. We’re really excited about it,” said Turnbull. 

For more information, email info@mainelybabies.com or call 207-200-4613.

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