Three Shop Owners Spill on Their Favorite Gifts This Season

We polled the faces behind Warren's Nectar de la Vida, Cranston's Mod Mama and Providence's Palomino.

Photography by Chris Vaccaro.

Julie Navarro

Mod Mama | 6 Midway Rd., Garden City, Cranston, 273-7800,

Mother of three Julie Navarro traded in corporate life to help growing families when she took over Mod Mama. The boutique offers a trendy approach to early childhood and is a convenient stop during holiday shopping. Whether you’re a new parent or just picking out a gift, Navarro and her staff are ready to help you navigate the adorable clothes and huggable stuffed animals. By Amanda Levenson.

What made you want to buy a baby store?
I worked in corporate America for longer than I should have. I was really looking for a way to get more in touch with the community and customers, and since my background is in fashion and toys, it was a really good use of my time to come in and run the store.

Why are your employees known as “life stylists?”
I don’t hire people with retail experience, I hire people with childcare experience and people who can help a new parent or an auntie or a grandparent with learning how to raise a kid in a stylish way. We aren’t just selling product; we’re helping parents with their parenting lifestyle.

As a mom, do you have advice for people getting a gift for another family?
You’ve got to know the family’s lifestyle because you want to get them something that fits in with it. No one needs any more monogrammed blankets, everyone gets a zillion of those, but I think it’s good to get them something really special that they’ll cherish and remember, like KicKee pants pajamas.

What’s the best part about helping out new parents?
Seeing them get through the unknowns of it, because every first-time parent comes in with a million questions. They don’t know what to do, and they don’t know what they’re up against, but then you see them when the baby’s a few months old and they’re like “Yeah, I got this.” Just watching them discover the world through their child’s eyes is amazing.

Who has more fun at your store? Mama or baby?
Both! Because I’m a mom and I know what it was like to not have a store like this, I really focus on making sure that it is a welcoming and inviting space. Between having the park for the little ones, we also have a nursing chair that’s in a private area in the back of the store, and in our bathroom, we have a changing table. We do a lot of extra things to make it a safe space for moms.

Categories: Home & Style
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