Harley gets to grips with parenting essential with help from our shopping service
By Harley Challener
Shopping for a little one can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first. So a helping hand can go a long way. That’s why we offer free Personal Shopping sessions in store, it’s a chance to get up close to parenting essentials and figure out what you’ll need. But we wanted to see if it was up to the challenge to was asked Parent Approved Panellist, Harley, to give it a try…
As a child, I loved to shop with my mum and now I’m a mum, that love to shop has multiplied by ten and I love nothing more than being a mum, shopping for my own children.
I have been visiting my local Mamas & Papas store regularly since 2014, it was the first shop of its kind that me and my husband visited after discovering I was pregnant. I still remember the butterflies in my stomach the moment I walked through the doors, falling in love with all of the stunning clothes, immediately pinning what I would be buying once the gender was revealed. This was closely followed by feeling overwhelmed looking at the huge range of baby items, not knowing as a first-time parent what was actually needed - though I obviously suggested to my husband that we needed it all. It was for this reason, plus the fact that I had gotten rid of a lot of the girls’ items (before I fell pregnant for the third time) that I jumped at the opportunity to book a Mamas & Papas personal shop.
Since having my girls, there are a lot of new products on the market that I wanted to check out. Also the thought of one to one expert advice in a private, comfortable area with complimentary refreshments and treats *music to every mamas’ ears* was obviously very appealing.
A few days before my visit to the store, my personal shopping assistant Amelia gave me a call to find out if there was anything I was particularly interested in looking at and to check what I needed in preparation for baby number three’s arrival, so she could prepare ahead of our meeting. When I arrived at the store it was lovely to put a name to the face and meet Amelia, who greeted me with such a warm welcome and instantly made me feel at ease in one of the store’s luxury personal shopping areas.
The space was very well thought out for parents to be. It had a huge television screen which displayed product demonstrations and design insights, including how their products are put through their paces at their own test lab. I happily rested my tired legs on the sofa with a cup of tea (and yummy muffin) whilst we got acquainted. There was also a gift box waiting for me on the table containing a gorgeous neutral baby grow with a matching blanket and baby rattle which was such a lovely touch. Amelia had also put together a rail of seasonal clothing pieces for me to look at before we went out into the store. I actually chose baby’s coming home outfit from the rail before even looking around!
We spent a good while chatting about what styles/colour palettes I was into; what items I did/didn’t need and Amelia really took the time to get to know me personally, so she could help me find the perfect pieces to suit my lifestyle/needs and understand which direction to lead me in round the store.
First we browsed the clothing. I tried to keep my head on and not get carried away but I immediately fell in love with the ‘welcome to the world’ collection which comprises gorgeous, neutral tones in a huge range of delicate pieces. I earmarked a few light knitted two pieces for the early days, along with matching hats and booties for the outfits. I also picked up a three pack of fun sleep suits and vests as after two girls, I am actually building my baby boy’s wardrobe from scratch as he can’t have any hand-me-downs - unless he looks good in pink!
Next, we looked at the bathing essentials and accessories as it had only dawned on me when I was filling out the check list that although I had bought a baby bath and lots of toiletries, I hadn’t bought any towels, nor did I have a thermometer - which I think is always a good idea when bathing a baby. I spotted the pale blue towel with an elephant’s head as the hood straight away and let Amelia know that was the one I wanted to save us carrying the items around the store, she was popping them onto her tablet so she knew what I had chosen. Amelia then pointed me in the direction of other bathing accessories where I picked up a 2 in 1 thermometer, a grooming kit and a bright, funky changing mat to keep downstairs – I’ve always kept one in our living area to save any accidents on our cream rug!
As I had already decorated baby's nursery and furnished it with the pretty much all of the ‘dream upon a cloud’ range, I only had a quick look at the nursery setups as I didn’t think the husband would be too pleased if I went home with any more nursery bits as unlike clothing, I wouldn’t have been hiding them in a wardrobe *insert winking face*.
Next, it was down to the pushchairs. I had already told Amelia on our phone call that I was interested in looking at the Ocarro, as I still had the double pushchair that I had used with the girls but now they are older and happy to walk, I figured I could downsize and after seeing the Ocarro lots on social media I knew I wanted to see it in the flesh. As we walked towards the travel section I was instantly drawn to the Ocarro X Moon in Blue Parquet which was displayed in the middle of a stand, almost as though it was waiting for me! Amelia took her time showing me all of the wonderful features of the pushchair and design as she put it up/down and into its different positions whilst answering the many questions I had. It was then my turn to ‘test drive’ it and there is a reason it’s award winning – it’s fabulous and just what I was looking for! Amelia showed me the different colour ways and a few other pushchairs to make sure I was choosing the right one before earmarking it for me on her tablet. She also pulled out a buggy board with a seat that fits onto the Ocarro, which I didn’t actually know about so I was very grateful of her bringing it to my attention. Although my daughter Poppy is almost 3, she still occasionally gets tired legs of course (if only someone could push me on it!) so it was immediately a must have.
The whole experience really was lovely and even for a third-time parent it was great to get the advice and support without feeling under pressure to buy things I didn’t necessarily need. Amelia was so friendly and professional making it easy to feel comfortable and chat to her openly during the shop. I would 100% recommend this free service to any parent or even grandparent to be as it’s a great way to get clued up on what’s available. Also, Mamas & Papas have several exclusive bundles and discounts when you have a personal shop with flexible payment options. It’s so easy to book by entering your postcode on the website, choosing the store best for you and a date/time to suit then leave the rest to the wonderful staff who are more than happy to help.
Thank you to Mamas & Papas and Amelia especially for a truly momentous experience x
It’s always nice to hear that people have enjoyed our Personal Shopping service as we work very hard to ensure it’s the best it can be. We’re thrilled Harley got so much out of it. If it sounds like your sort of thing, then book a free place now – if you’re not too sure, why not book a free place at one of our Parent to Be events and get a feel for the place first?