Jessica Burns, holding her 10-month-old son, Avery, in her new shop called “Momma Says” on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. The shop, located in the Juneau Family Health and Birth Center, carries maternity and baby products for mothers before and after they give birth. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jessica Burns, holding her 10-month-old son, Avery, in her new shop called “Momma Says” on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. The shop, located in the Juneau Family Health and Birth Center, carries maternity and baby products for mothers before and after they give birth. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

New store caters to mothers both before, after baby arrives

When Jessica Burns says her new shop is a “family store,” her words carry two meanings.

First of all, she and her husband Ron own the store. Secondly, the store is also for families. The shop, called Momma Says, carries maternity and baby products for mothers before and after they give birth.

“If it makes mom’s life happier, I want to carry it,” Burns said. “If moms want to see these things and it makes their life great and happy, let’s do it.”

The store, located at the Juneau Family Health and Birth Center, first opened in December. Initially Burns only carried maternity products but the more customers she talked with, the more she realized she needed to provide baby products as well.

Burns, 31, had her first child five years ago (a girl named Amelia) and her second child 10 months ago (a boy named Avery). During and after both of her pregnancies, Burns found that there weren’t many local options for specialized baby products.

“I realized that there was a real limit on baby care and maternity products,” Burns said, “and I had a calling to bring something like that in.”

Burns has spent years in retail, previously running a food truck and a face-painting business called High Five. She has also managed a lingerie store, which gave her extensive experience in helping women find the right fits and sizes for their bras.

The bras at Momma Says are modestly priced between $15-30, and Burns said she’s gotten excellent feedback so far. She puts a great deal of research into the products she buys, only selecting items that have been highly rated by maternity and baby care companies.

Burns is especially excited to be selling breast pumps, which she said aren’t available elsewhere in town. Burns said she asks her customers if there are any products they’re having trouble finding and tries to get the items in stock. She takes pride in finding products that aren’t commonly available in Juneau.

“This is the only maternity specific store where you’re going to find items like maternity compression socks, maternity belts, maternity essential oils, clothing or nursing tops,” Burns said.

In addition to hard-to-find items, Burns makes sure that her wares are environmentally friendly. She has a degree in environmental science, and hopes to not only be environmentally conscious now but also to instill those values in children from an early age.

“Having products that care about the world and our climate and our environment is really important to me,” Burns said. “That’s why I carry items that are functional, that aren’t going to be used once and thrown into the trash, they’re organic, they’re responsibly sourced and they work. I think that’s what families want in life, and I think that’s what we want for our kids, because they’re the next generation.”

Momma Says will be holding a special event on Mother’s Day weekend at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, Burns said, to try to get the word out more about the store and introduce expectant mothers to products that could make their lives easier. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday at the Birth Center, located near Bartlett Regional Hospital.

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.

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