For Part 2 of our collaboration interview series (we kicked off the series with this interview with Orchard + Olive, our home vendor), we sat down with Cristina Bustamante, founder and owner of Baby Love Luna, our favorite children's boutique and our go-to baby vendor for House of Lilac Baby Box collaborations. I'd be lying if I said she wasn't a catalyst to my having the guts to found House of Lilac (and leave a pretty steady law job) and she's still one of the best retired lawyer/working mom/entrepreneur resources ever. Keep reading to find out the inspiration behind her brand, her secret to being a mompreneur, and what's in store for the future of the adorable online boutique.
Tell me a little about yourself and Baby Love Luna.
My name is Cristina and I am a lawyer turned mom turned entrepreneur. I was working at a small firm in Coral Gables, FL when I had my first child, and my husband and I made the decision that I would stay home to raise our daughter. Fairly quickly came our second daughter, and in a blink of an eye came our son. Baby Love Luna is a representation of my life with three kids. My oldest daughter, Blake, was fascinated with the “luna” when she was a baby. We would go outside and look for it and her smile would melt my heart. We still look for the luna anytime we are in outside after sunset, it’s our family thing. It’s all my favorite brands and styles that I have found along the way, and we keep growing.
How the concept/idea came about.
I always knew I wanted to start a business. I originally wanted to produce my own children’s pajamas. I had limited production experience. I decided on a baby and children’s store because I was constantly getting asked where my kid’s clothes came from, or getting phone calls about what moms to be should get to prepare for the baby on the way. It became clear that a store would be the perfect business for me.
What kind of brands do you carry and why? How would you distinguish your buying from other baby/kids websites?
We try to primarily carry brands that are organic or made from high quality material. We also focus on clothes being practical for the every day. Things that aren’t just cool or pretty but won’t itch or squeeze them. I think kids love clothes to reflect their personality but even more so kids love to be comfortable. I think that’s what distinguishes us from other stores. We try to specialize in comfort.
Favorite brands. Be honest! And explain why.
This is a hard question. I have to go with Mini Rodini. Their prints are consistently out of the world cool. Every season it gets better and better. It’s so whimsical and fun. To top it off it’s organic and environmentally conscience.
NUNUNU is also a favorite because I feel like they paved the way for the cool kids. They always surprise me with their style. They find a way to make clothes totally edgy but beyond comfortable for the kids to wear. This season they came out with a Ninja shirt, and my customers say their kids cannot get enough of it.
Children of the Tribe. Out of Australia and have nailed boho chic for babies and kids. Their line is full of love and positivity.
Are there any must buys for new moms?
The Aden + Anais Serenity Star is a must. It works as a night light, clock, plays music and even tracks feedings. It does so much, and when you’re a new mom you appreciate things that do so much.
What are your gift go-tos?
My gift go-tos are any of the NUNUNU onesies or playsuits. They make such great gifts and typically the new mom isn’t buying this for herself because she’s focusing on other necessities. I also love to give the Perfectly Baked 'Fresh Outta the Oven' onesies, because I can’t get enough of those. So adorable.
Do you offer any special services or collaborations?
We offer a styling service for some of our customers. A lot of our customers are working professionals and don’t have a lot of time for shopping. For those who have contacted us and we send them a monthly basket of 4-5 items depending on what they have budgeted of our “must haves” for their babes. We also do baby gift baskets for hospital delivery or ship anywhere in the US.
We have also collaborated with House of Lilac and help them prepare some of the most fabulous baby gift baskets we have ever seen.
How do you manage being a mom and business owner day to day.
I try really hard to find a balance. I prioritize and figure out what needs to get handled that day. I never want my kids to feel like they are second place, so I make sure there is an activity for them every day where it’s just about them. I can work on the business at night when they are back in bed.
Toughest part about being a mompreneur and momboss.
Finding that balance. It isn’t easy. Some days I have to work on the business more than my kids would like. Sometimes my kids are sick or there’s an emergency and I can’t even touch the business for a day or two. I end up feeling guilty.
Best part about being a mompreneur and momboss.
I feel proud. I started a business and we are about to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. My daughters watch me, they offer to help, and they tell anyone that will listen about mommy’s store. I feel like I am showing them they can do anything they want to do if they work hard.
What’s in store for the future of Baby Love Luna?We are growing every season. We are bringing in new brands and new categories. We are soon going to have a nursery section where we will curate a great selection of nursery decor and other accessories. Stay tuned.