— Originally published in FLL#36 • Content provided by BellaBoo
Raising three young girls, Laura Haiges noticed that finding high-quality toys and apparel was not always easy. Laura looked back to the traditional wooden toys of the past handmade by craftsmen, wishing to find them for her daughters. She found mass-produced clothing’s quality to be less than desired. So in 2002, Laura started attending the prestigious road shows at Junior League events. She set up a stand and curated a collection of goods where parents could find stylish and high-quality clothing, as well as carefully crafted toys.
In May of 2006, just five weeks after the birth of her third daughter, Laura opened BellaBoo at 50 North Queen Street. Born and raised in Lancaster, she saw a revitalized city that was growing into a thriving urban environment. She decided there was no better place than downtown Lancaster for BellaBoo’s home—a boutique shop where the highest quality specialty toys, clothing, and accouterments for parents could be offered, matched with personalized customer service.
The original location was perfect for a budding new business in the rapid revitalization of downtown Lancaster. Laura’s store was an instant success and in turn quickly outgrew the 900 square feet of space. In 2007, the stars aligned and a 4,000 square foot store front with access to the very popular Central Market became available and Laura got to work. With the help of her family and friends a massive renovation took place resulting in the birth of the “new” BellaBoo at 32 North Queen Street.
From the very beginning the shop has been a family endeavor. Laura and her husband Pete devotedly renovated the store themselves, alongside her father Ralph who designed the space. Her best friend Jody has been an integral part of the success of BellaBoo with her main focus on customer service, purchasing, and store management. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without her,” says Laura. You might even notice their daughters Maddie, Sydney, and Tatum posing in ads, growing up right before your eyes. And don’t be surprised if you are greeted by their gentle Maltipoo, Lucy, perched on the counter.
Today BellaBoo stands as a Queen Street anchor—a place where children can find magic in every corner and parents find reassurance in a knowledgeable team with quality products. 2016 marks Laura’s 10th year in business as a brick and mortar store and her 14th year as BellaBoo. Recently launched is a full user-friendly website to compliment the store and accommodate baby registries.
If you’re looking for a family-centered shopping experience with the utmost care for quality, stop in and get to know BellaBoo on Queen Street.