Last Sunday, my colleague Spencer Soper wrote in his 'On the Cheap' column about using cloth diapers as a way to save money. Now, allow me to help you carry out this thrifty tip by showcasing a new business that specializes in the domain.
Ju-Ju Monkey, a natural parenting store selling environmentally friendly and sustainable products for children and parents, is set to open this week (by Friday) at 4755 Tilghman St. (in the Kmart shopping center) in South Whitehall Township.
Owner Sara Moore of Schnecksville had been operating the business online and out of a showroom in her home since 2010. The idea for the company arose from a desire to learn more about cloth diapering for her now 5-year-old son, Collin. (Ju-Ju Monkey was his nickname as a baby.)
"Online forums were speaking a different language to me, but I eventually learned how to do it correctly," she said. "I wanted to give parents a local resource to troubleshoot. It's really not as intimidating as the diapers your grandparents used. There are no safety pins and no rubber pants."
The diapers are made from a wide array of materials, including cotton and merino wool (most expensive), as well as blends such as hemp/cotton and cotton/bamboo. Available in different patterns and styles (Velcro and snaps), they are meant to last children from birth through age 3.
Moore estimates that traditional disposable diapers for one child cost between $2,000 and $4,000 over a three-year period compared to cloth diapers that cost between $300 and $600 in that same time frame.
"You're probably going to save over $2,000," she said. "And for your next child, you're going to save around $4,000."
In addition to saving money, cloth diapering also benefits the planet, Moore says.
"They can last generations whereas disposables go straight into the garbage," she said. "If you're not having any more kids, they also make great rags."
The store, which consists of 90 percent all-natural items, will sell everything from one-size cloth diapers, reusable wipes, woven wraps (baby carriers) and knitted toys to herbal supplements, skin care products, hands-free breast pumps and portable infant bathtubs (to be used in sinks).
Decorated in a jungle theme, it also will feature a play space where various classes, including babywearing, baby sign language, car seat education, cloth diapering, infant massage and Lamaze, will be offered. When classes aren't in session, children can entertain themselves while parents shop.
For parents who are leery about making the switch to cloth diapers, Ju-Ju Monkey offers a risk-free trial where parents can try any six new diapers for 30 days for $30. Info: 484-809-9662 or ju-jumonkey.com.
From having babies to getting married, Your One & Only Wedding Boutique is planning to open in early November at 139 S. Main St. in Nazareth (former All Gussied Up location).
According to owner Paula Galante of Whitehall Township, the store will assist couples with everything wedding-related minus the cake, flowers and gown.
"It will be a one-stop shop for events and weddings," says Galante, who's operated her own photography company for the past 20 years. "You'll be able to book your nuptials, photographer, videographer, DJ and limo, as well as enjoy tanning, hair, makeup and fitness boot camp services. We'll also offer tuxedo rentals, and sell jewelry and accessories."
The business will hold a private grand opening Nov. 5 with a ribbon-cutting, open to the public, set for Nov. 14. Info: 484-264-6379.
East of Ju-Ju Monkey in South Whitehall, Elevation Burger will hold a soft opening "sometime this week" in the Village West Shopping Center at 3100 Tilghman St.
According to franchisee James Lee of Breinigsville, a grand opening celebration is planned for the weekend.
Elevation Burgers are made with an "elevated" product —100 percent certified organic, grass-fed, free-range and ground-on-premises beef. Freshly cut fries are cooked in heart-healthy olive oil. Info: http://www.elevationburger.com.
Staying on the topic of food, husband and wife Tom and Carol Frable of Upper Mount Bethel Township reopened Country Roads Pizza on Aug. 23 after a five-year hiatus. The eatery at 1495 Lake Minsi Drive in Upper Mount Bethel Township serves a la carte items like pizza, cheesesteaks and burgers, as well as dinner entrees such as meatloaf and fish.
"We didn't want the space to sit there unused," Carol Frable said of their reason for coming out of retirement. "We tried to lease the space with not much luck. And we missed the customers."
The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday. Info: 610-588-7666.
On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., Nazareth-Bath Area Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Unique Home Treasures at 484 Nulton Ave. (a block from Marblehead Chowder House) in Palmer Township.
The store selling both new household decor and consignment items is owned by sisters Dottie Fornaro and Donna Kromer, both of Bethlehem. The sisters previously operated their business under the name D&D's Den on Easton Avenue (former Christmas Barn spot) in Bethlehem Township.
"There were problems with critters, and it was really expensive to heat and cool," Fornaro said of their old location, which they closed in February. "We changed the name because nobody, except us, really knew what D&D meant. Now, our name explains what we're all about."
The business, which opened at its new location Aug. 17, will feature a gift certificate raffle and 20 percent off shopping discount during its ribbon-cutting. Info: 610-258-5453 or Unique Home Treasures on Facebook.
I'll finish with a few developments in Whitehall Township.
First, Monday's ribbon-cutting for the Saladworks on MacArthur Road (former Blockbuster space) has been postponed due to "electrical issues." The new opening date is set for the first week of October.
The franchise will be the second location for husband and wife Lee and Tara Smith of Bethlehem. The couple opened their first location at 3215 Schoenersville Road in Hanover Township, Northampton County, in February 2008.
Finally, it wouldn't be Retail Watch without a Lehigh Valley Mall update every few weeks.
Some recent mall openings include: shoe retailer Vans (Sept. 6) and women's clothing retailer Deb (Sept. 12), both in the upper-level space formerly occupied by Victoria's Secret; Art of Shaving, a retailer of high-end shaving supplies and grooming products for men, which opened Sept. 10 on the lower level near The Walking Company; and hat retailer Lids, which reopened Friday in its original location on the lower level next to Icing after three weeks of renovations.
Deb's former temporary spot on the lower-level (next to Pacific Sunwear) will be reconfigured to house two retailers — Qitopia, an authentic Chinese massage parlor; and Country Memories, a store selling country home décor.
Stores under renovation, but open in a temporary location, include: teen apparel retailer Aeropostale (next to The Disney Store) and Kay Jewelers (next to Foot Locker). Both are expected to open in their newly remodeled spaces in late October. Also, fashion jewelry and accessories retailer Icing is closed for renovations, and is expected to reopen in early October.
"This is definitely the year of renovations," said Amanda Johnson, the mall's director of marketing and business development.
Retail Watch keeps track of new store, restaurant and bank development in the Lehigh Valley. Have a question about a retail construction project, a store opening or a chain you'd like to see come to the area? Call features reporter Ryan Kneller at 610-820-6597 or email email@example.com. Retail Watch appears every Sunday.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun