Burns, the mother of two, got her start back when she was a new mom and was disappointed with what she found at big box stores. She started a baby gear website, offering tips on the best products out there and telling her readers where to buy them. But pretty quickly she wondered why she wasn't selling them herself.
In the last five years, Burns has turned her hobby into a thriving online and retail store so successful that her husband quit his job to manage the warehouse.
Last week, Burns moved from her storefront on Creedmoor Road to 8601 Glenwood Ave. at the intersection of Ebenezer Church Road across from CarMax. The 10,000-square-foot store is six times the size of the original store front.
And that means that Burns is able to really add to the merchandise she has on the floor. Instead of two cribs on the floor, she has 16, for instance. Smart Momma is the exclusive local seller of several brands for cribs including Ragazzi, Pali, Baby's Dream, Cocoon and Legacy Child Craft. The store also stocks Million Dollar Baby.
And she has a lot more twin strollers on the floor for shoppers to test drive. Her stroller lines include Britax, Baby Jogger, UPPAbaby, teutonia, bumbleride, Chicco, Graco and Peg Perego.
With the loss of local favorite Tookie's Toys earlier this year, Burns expanded her toy section, geared toward babies to four-year-olds, with lots of toys made by Melissa & Doug, Lamaze, Plan Toys and more.
And I was really impressed with her expanded display of Medela products for breast pumps and breastfeeding. It's the biggest one that I've seen in the area.
Burns has plans to convert a room in her new store into a sort of community space for classes for expectant and new parents, playgroups and other activities. She hopes that will be ready in January.
But right now she's focused on the opening. A big grand opening celebration and one day sale is scheduled for Sept. 25. But Burns is celebrating a little early too with sales all this month. Shoppers can get some good deals on convertible car seats, diaper bags, the Baby's Dream Serenity Crib and more.