comScore

Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Maternity Store

Bellies to Babies

Women just aren't spending as much time knocked up as they used to. In fact, recent census data show that one-child families have become more common than two-child ones. So for many mothers-to-be, it just doesn't make sense to buy a brand-new wardrobe that will be worn for only a few months before being gleefully thrown aside. Crystal Pollard found this out a few years ago while pregnant with her son and unhappy with her clothes-shopping options. In 2008 she and husband Brad McManus opened Bellies to Babies, and they completed an expansion of the store just last month. They sell a terrific selection of gently used, stylish maternity clothes, as well as baby clothes up to size 2T, pregnancy books, and a few other products, all at very affordable prices. They also make the shopping experience pleasant: There's none of the mustiness of some thrift stores, aisles are wide enough to accommodate strollers, and cool pieces of metalwork art adorn the walls. Of course there is a nice clean restroom for customer use (Pollard knows her customer base), and there's even a "Kids and Daddy" area with chairs, toys, and reading material to keep the rest of the family occupied while Mom looks around. The store has fancy dresses for rent, so there's no need to invest in a special-occasion frock you'll wear just once. And when your pregnancy is done and you're enjoying your little one, Bellies to Babies makes it easy to sell your maternity clothes, too (as well as those your bundle of joy is outgrowing way too quickly). No appointment is needed, and they'll buy out-of-season items, as long as they're in great condition and not too old.

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