Anyone who’s ever had a child the same year as a bestie knows how amazing it is to share such a special life change at the same time as one of your dearest friends. Rebecca Lander and Amy Hiltz took that experience to the next level in 2005 when, after the birth of their children, they decided to co-open a baby and kids store: You Name It Baby! Situated near Bathurst and Lawrence, You Name It Baby! has acquired loyal in-store and online customers over the last nine years, throughout Canada and the USA. Specializing in personalized gifts and one-of-a-kind products, You Name It Baby! is one of the hottest stores for new parents looking to celebrate new life and new lifestyle changes in a unique way. We caught up with co-founder Rebecca Lander to find out more about being a “mompreneur,” her favourite trends in kids products and décor, and what she does in her (limited but highly-valued) free time.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I’m a mom and an entrepreneur. My business partner, Amy Hiltz, and I spent countless hours together on the journey towards becoming new moms. In 2005, following the births of our (now nine-year old) children, we realized that there was no store in Toronto that offered a wide selection of personalized gifts for babies. It was enough to inspire us to create a baby boutique that provided customers with an array of unique personalized products for kids. Now, almost 10 years later (and with another child apiece!), we’ve grown to ship to devoted customers throughout Canada and the USA!
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
Our biggest challenges are those that a lot of business owners face – balancing the needs of the business with family life and a desire to be there for the kids – but we manage! The best part of being in the baby business is that our customers are always happy when they come into the store! The birth of a baby is such a special occasion, and we love being involved in the wonderful celebration of life. We get to hear all the incredible stories of new moms and share in their joy.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Amy and I are sporty types and work hard to stay active. Between our work and family schedules, nothing keeps us balanced and grounded like our favourite sports. We couldn’t live without our Asics running shoes, Everlast boxing gloves, and Head tennis racquets!
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
Here we’re surrounded by our family and friends. Toronto is a great city to meet moms with new ideas for our store as well. There are so many incredible artisans in the city who we love connecting with and inviting to create incredibly unique products for You Name It Baby!
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
Riz North is our neighbourhood go-to place. The food there is always delicious, the menu boasts a wide selection that appeals to everyone, and we love seeing familiar faces at this local spot.
What’s one of your favourite go-to designers/brands or accessories lines and why do you sport their fashions?
We travel everywhere with our weekender bag — monogrammed, of course. It’s our signature style and is the perfect size for toting everyday items. It also doubles as a gym bag. Other style addictions include Just USA jeans (they fit perfectly) and Start Weitzman flats for style and comfort during long days.
What products are always in your beauty bag?
We rely on quality beauty basics to keep us looking fresh on-the-go. Eos lip balm, Moroccanoil products, and clear nail polish – that protects our nails and doesn’t show chips – are our faves.
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
Personalization! The monogram/bespoke/custom trend is something my business partner Amy and I have been fans of for a long time. In a world where fashion and products are mass-produced, there is something so special about a personalized item that’s unique to the owner.