Pampered Earth Kids in Grass Valley features twice-loved clothes and fresh cloth diapers
Pampered Earth Kids
124 South Auburn St., Grass Valley
Hours. 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday
Elsie Lopin was a stay-at-home mom when her second child was born. Concerned about the environmental impact of disposal diapers, she called around in search of a Nevada County cloth diaper service.
There wasn’t one.
A year later, in 2008, she and a former business partner launched Pampered Earth, a diaper service that provided an environmentally friendly option to parents whose lifestyles and schedules otherwise limited their ability to use cloth diapers.
The new business started on a shoestring — Lopin had a new high-heat washer and dryer delivered to her garage, purchased large quantities of earth-friendly, plant-based detergent and invested in $500 worth of new cloth diapers. Then, she drove around town with her kids in the back seat and posted fliers at grocery stores and coffee shops.
Before long, people started calling and soon Pampered Earth’s services were in high demand.
A year later, Lopin was in Penn Valley when she noticed that a store selling second-hand children’s items was for sale. It was right up her alley. In 2009, she opened the doors of Pampered Earth Kids resale store, and a second location in Nevada City a year later.
Today, Lopin’s diaper service has taken a back seat to her booming business in “gently loved” children’s items, including clothes, toys, equipment, strollers, child carriers, books, DVDs, shoes and much more. In 2012, Lopin — now in business on her own — closed her two smaller stores and opened one large one in Grass Valley, the former site of the Baby Bear Boutique.
Inside the spacious 2,000-plus square foot store, Lopin says she understands how hard it can be to bring a toddler shopping.
“I let the kids play with everything — it doesn’t bother me,” she said. “Most parents are considerate about cleaning up. This is a kid-friendly store. It’s nice to bring your kids someplace where you don’t have to worry about them breaking something.”
Pampered Earth sells gently used items for children up to 12 years, with additional maternity and organic clothing sections. Lately, coats, snowsuits, snow boots and swimming suits have been hot sellers.
In addition, there is a selection of popular new items, such as wood toys, glass bottles, “Squeaker Sneakers,” cloth diapering accessories and the ever-popular, ergonomically designed Beco baby carriers.
Customers can bring in items to sell during “buy out times,” which are anytime before 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
“We offer store credit or cash on the spot,” said Lopin. “Customers don’t have to wait until a specific item sells. And there is something new every single day. Some come in to buy the most clothes they can for the money, and others come in to get that high-end jacket at a fraction of the price it was when it was new.”
“We love Pampered Earth Kids because of the fantastic prices on name-brand items that I’m always looking for,” said Smartsville mom Allison Moyer, a longtime customer. “It’s like a treasure hunt when I want, but also has most everything I need, when I need it. And it’s always a warm and welcoming environment when I walk in. Their 50-cent sales are amazing too!”
Pampered Earth also serves as a pick up location for The Nevada County Diaper Project, which distributes disposable diapers to low-income families. Community members can also drop off donated disposables at the store.
In looking back, Lopin says she is grateful to have found a successful business that she knows is helping families with modest budgets. And thanks to two part-time employees, she is able to pick up her children from school in the afternoons.
“The most rewarding part of my job has been meeting new people,” she said. “Kids come in to the store year after year — I love watching them grow up. Some started as newborns and now they’re shopping in the big kids’ section.”
To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com.
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