If there’s one thing Bed-Stuy has seen an abundance of as of late, it’s baby strollers—in the supermarkets, at the coffee shops, at the YMCA…
It’s a Bed-Stuy baby boom!
And to answer that call, Pipsqueak Children’s Shoppe, located at 1124 Bedford Avenue, has opened its doors.
Melissa Manning, the store’s owner, said the idea for Pipsqueak, came to her one day, after trying unsuccessfully to buy a gift in the neighborhood for her one-year-old cousin.
“There was nothing in the area, so I ended up driving 30 minutes to Toys-R-Us,” said Manning.
“I was frustrated. And then I remembered, ‘Wait a minute, my husband’s family owns tons of children’s stores in Venezuela.’ And I thought why hadn’t I thought of this before? It just made sense to open one up around here.
“After we started working on it, we started noticing a lot of babies in the area, so it seems like the timing was perfect.”
Manning said her vision for the store is to offer unique baby products at more affordable prices than Babies-R-Us, while also offer organic clothing and eco-friendly items, along with the universal baby requisites, such as bottles, bibs, pacifiers and strollers.
However, she’s quick to point out the store is not just for babies. The store carries clothing, products and toys for children ages 0-5: “I think technically, this would be considered a juvenile retail,” said Manning.
Pipsqueak carries brands such as Aden + Anais blankets, swaddles, sheets and textiles; Wonderboy and Stun trendy boys and girls clothing; Under the Nile and Baby Soy organic infant clothing; Summer Infant grooming supplies; Dr. Brown’s bottles and pacifiers; and toys by Mattel, Fisher-Price and Hasbro.
And beginning Sunday, September 9, (and continuing through October 4), Pipsqueak kicked off a childbirth and infant workshop series—a chance for moms to meet other new moms, test out baby products, share best practices and even learn how to make homemade baby food.
Each workshop is $12; $50 for the entire four-week, eight-class series.
The store, approximately 1,200 sq. feet, has a finished downstairs area of the same size where Manning plans to also offer music and French lessons for children, and free baby clothing swaps.
And beginning in October on Sundays, Pipsqueak will start a four-week series of prenatal yoga classes.
“Prenatal yoga is a much more restorative practice in that it’s much slower and uses a lot of props, pillows and blankets to create support that allows your body to rest and for gravity to do the work,” said Emily Haydock, the yoga instructor. Haydock and Manning were meeting in the store to finalize details of the classes.
“It’s preparation for birth, since the baby is taking up more space and the inner organs are moving up. It creates more comfort for the mother and nurtures the baby inside as well,” added Haydock.
Manning said her favorite items (for now) are the Beatrix backpacks and lunch boxes.
“They’re really, really cute,” she said smiling. “And also, I love love love the stuffed animals.”
“We have super-cute stuffed animals.”
Pipsqueak is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., and Sunday from noon – 5:00 p.m. For more information, call the store at 718-398-1200.