After she had two children, Ashley Salas looked for places in Sumner to trade baby clothes. When she couldn’t find one, she created one.
SugarBabies originally was a second-hand store, but the market trends caused it to change in the seven years since it’s been open.
“What we cater to here is unique, specialty items you can’t find anywhere else,” said Salas, whose store offers a variety of products and services — from full-baby registry to custom nursery design — and clothes from maternity to children’s size 8.
“Over the last seven years, it has grown into a full-service baby boutique based on clients’ wants and needs,” Salas said. “We’re offering the best of the best in the baby-product world.”
Salas said the effects of a weak economy has actually allowed her to drop prices, so she’s been selling brand-new goods instead of reselling used items.
“We take the guesswork out,” she said. “We don’t offer all 10 baby-bottle options, we pick the best two on the market.”
The unusual name of the store comes from a pet name Salas’ grandfather used to use.
“He used to call me his ‘little sugarbaby,’ ” Salas said. “A lot of people call it baby eye candy.”
Salas added the business’ attention to customer service as a benefit to shopping there.
“If you want one-on-one help, we’re here to help you, talk to you, educate you, so when you buy something, it’s something that’s going to last, and you’re going to use and enjoy,” Salas said.
There are nine employees, and Salas said they can order anything a customer asks for.
“Our expertise here is to help parents tell us what they need, and we help find a product that fits that need,” she said. “It’s kind of a one-stop shop for moms and babies.”
Salas frequents vendor shows across the country to pick up new ideas and products, and she hand-picks everything customers see in her store.
“I travel all around, finding the best new products and bringing the best of the best to Sumner,” she said.
The store expanded to its current location, 926 Main St., Suite 104, two years ago. Salas said she doesn’t have immediate plans for more expansion.
SugarBabies has social-media pages on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, and it has a full online store, which Salas estimates brings in about 30 percent of its business. For more information, visit www.shopsugarbabies.com.
If you go
Sugar Babies is located at 926 Main St., Suite 104, adjacent to the train tracks in downtown Sumner. Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 253-299-6221 or visit www.shopsugarbabies.com.
Leah Traxel is a student in the MediaLab program at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland.