For three local moms, opening a store focused on the health and overall well-being of families in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area was a necessity.
The Nurture Collective (124 Alberni Hwy., Parksville), which had its grand opening on Aug. 27, has been a few years in the making.
Danica Seline said she and Ashley Cota and Melanie Grozell started talking more about the business in January, and from there it started taking off.
“We talked a lot to each other and a lot to our friends in the area who are also moms and just tried to figure out what everyone needed and what everyone wanted to be here,” said Seline, 30.
Seline said the people weren’t specific on their needs when it came to creating the business, but she said there was a lot of talk about what was lacking in the area.
“There was no centralized place for families to go to, even to ask a question about where to find something,” Seline said. “No one really voiced this specific business model — that was kind of our interpretation of everybody’s suggestions.”
Seline, who was born and raised in Vancouver, said the idea for the store was about filling the gap.
“There’s no resources here for young families beyond the health unit,” Seline said. “That was pretty obvious to me when I was a new mom and new to the community, so it was hard to meet people and make friends and know where to go.”
Cota, 28, said she always wanted to start a business, but it just took a while to figure out which business would be a good fit.
“Once I had kids, I saw the lack of resources in the community and it was just a really good fit,” Cota said.
The idea for The Nurture Collective, Cota said, grew from just a simple baby store.
“We didn’t want it to just be a retail store, so we brainstormed what other services we could provide for the community,” Cota said. “Another big indicator was the Oceanside Moms Group, we just took notes on what people were looking for in the community and added it to our inventory list and services.”
Cota added that they tried to focus more on essentials rather than gift items.
Grozell, 29, said it came down to accessibility.
“Because the three of us are all moms in the area, we understand what we need and what’s not available — and all in one spot,” Grozell said, who has worked as an esthetician. “I’ve worked with a lot of grandparents and a lot of them have talked about their grandkids or kids coming to visit and lacking in options.”
Within the retail section, The Nurture Collective offers apparel for babies and mothers, diapering, utensils, things for the nursery as well as toys and books.
In addition to the retail aspect, there is also a chiropractor, a registered massage therapist (RMT) and a yoga instructor offering prenatal yoga.
Grozell said with the chiropractor and the RMT, it’s not specifically for moms or babies or pregnant women.
“It’s for the entire family, or even if you don’t have kids,” Grozell said.
Seline said they’ve received positive feedback from the community about incorporating the services into their business.
“A lot of people in this town drive to Nanaimo or to Courtenay to see their chiropractors because there’s just a lack in the community,” Seline said.
Grozell said a few people have asked them what they can do to help with the business.
“It’s confirming that we’re needed,” Grozell said. She added that they’ve been approached by a public health nurse, an occupational therapist, nutritionists and chartered herbalists to name a few.
All three women are trained as doulas — someone who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born — and they said also being moms have been a key factor in starting The Nurture Collective.
Seline said her interest started a long time ago, adding that she was always interested in midwifery and she’s a nurse by trade.
“I think I just needed a change out of the shift work of nursing, but still more toward my passion. That kind of spurred my interest in doing something like this,” Seline said.
To find out more about The Nurture Collective, its classes and workshops and everything else it has to offer, visit www.thenurturecollective.ca.