BY ADAM KENT-ISAAC
Calling a business “our baby” is usually just a figure of speech. But in the case of The Green Nursery, operated by husband-and-wife team Scott and Abby Noroozi, it has literal meaning. It was the birth of their son, Avery, that inspired the Bloomington business that specializes in eco-friendly baby supplies.
They started the business seven years ago on West Kirkwood, where they were the sole employees, and where they spent “several years in the red,” says Scott. Now they have a staff of seven, and a large, colorful storefront on East Hillside Drive at South Henderson Street, where they moved in April 2012.
It took a lot of hard work to get the business where it is today, Scott says. The couple worked nights and weekends, didn’t take vacations, and lived simply as they nurtured the young operation. Neither had any formal business training, but they learned as they went, studying trends and tailoring their inventory accordingly.
“We discovered that our niche was cloth diapers,” says Abby. Because cloth can be reused almost indefinitely, its impact on the environment is far less than disposable diapers and is ideal for earth-conscious as well as frugal parents. “You definitely save a lot of money — there’s an initial investment up front, maybe $300, but that’s it,” Abby says.
As diaper sales took off, “we started to gain traction,” says Scott, “and a certain amount of trust developed online around our name.” Though their south-side store is well-stocked and busy, about 85 percent of their business comes from online sales.
The Green Nursery’s website offers a rewards program where customers earn points with every purchase. “The website is well-marketed so that it’ll be the first landing point for customers, sometimes even over the manufacturer’s,” claims Scott.
Diapers are the store’s most popular product, but The Green Nursery also carries toys — many made from recycled materials — as well as skin-care products, teethers, and baby wraps for carrying an infant against the parent’s body.
The shop also hosts free cloth-diapering classes on the second Saturday of each month, and local musician Kid Kazooey entertains children on Wednesdays. Visit The Green Nursery’s website for more information.