Dan Canfield isn't the likeliest of people to run a maternity business. In fact, he bought the business Bellies to Babies, a maternity consignment shop in Minneapolis just five months ago. After moving from San Francisco where he was in the business of selling self branded home goods to ecommerce sites such as Amazon and flash sale site, his now fiancee and him are planning a family in the near future. He plans on expanding the business by opening more stores, the online selection, and launching their own line of clothing line Bellies with the help of a Kickstarter.
Why come to Bellies to Babies for consigned maternity versus any other online market, like eBay for example? What sets you apart?
This is a great question! We are actually a resale concept, so we buy maternity clothing from women and pay them cash on the spot, so they don't have to wait until their clothing sells to get paid. Unlike eBay and other online sites where you can buy used maternity clothing, we offer a 7 day return policy with free shipping both ways and screen each piece of clothing to make sure it is in excellent condition and appears to look just like new.
I've had my two and feel my family is complete so I no longer need to hold onto any of my maternity pieces. I know you buy back clothing. Is that only for local residents or can someone like me in Chicago unload my maternity pieces and how does this work?
We not only buy and sell in our stores, we buy throughout the entire nation, all you have to do is reach out to us on BelliestoBabies.net (under the sell your previously loved clothing section) and we will send you a pre-paid shipping label and send you a check for the items.
Rent the Runway dominats the market renting designer gowns at a fraction of the cost. You've begun to rent maternity dresses. Tell me a bit about how that works and what styles and brands do best.
This is a new category for us as you said so we have yet to see how much potential there is, being maternity formal dresses are such a niche category. With that said, we offer 2 main brands, Olian and Maternal America. We have 8 styles right now and by far our 3 black dresses outsell every style 5-1. To rent online we make it simple, you order the style you like and the size, then we will send you 3 dresses (the size you ordered and one size larger and one smaller) then you just package them back up with a pre-paid label and ship them off when your rental period is over.
Bellies to Babies is creating a clothing line called Bellies. Tell me a bit about the collection. Is it a capsule or full line and what do you anticipate will be your biggest sellers?
We are really excited about this new line of clothing Yanira! We are launching Bellies with a limited selection (5 styles,10 colors) that have been tested and tested with expecting women to make sure sizing, fit, and style all come together to create a quality maternity clothing line.
What makes Bellies like no other clothing brand in the world is our guaranteed buy back program. This allows expecting women to buy Bellies, wear it in style, then return it after pregnancy and earn money on each piece they send us. So we are taking our store and online model and leveraging it to our clothing line. Now, expecting mothers don't have to worry about how they will sell their previously loved clothing, they just send it in and get paid after pregnancy! Of course the clothing has to be in good condition and in one piece, but all of that is laid out clearly at the time of purchase.
In terms of best sellers, we have had the most positive feedback on our black and teal maxi dresses.
What are some of the biggest trends in maternity that you see right now in the industry as well as with your clients?
The maternity industry has come a long way in terms of fashion over the last 10 years. Ruching is a huge trend right now, because of its form fitting look and comfort along with styles that mimic current trends like maxi dresses and leggings.