Shop Review: The Cotton Nappy Company
One of my close friends, Pia is expecting her first baby at the beginning of March. For me, his birth is a first also, as none of my other friends or close relations has any children. My sister-in-law has a son, but I wasn't close enough to her to really be involved in the pregnancy, birth or raising of him in any meaningful way, so Pia's son is a really big deal to me.
Yesterday I undertook a little commission from her to buy some nappies for him. She had found a company called The Cotton Nappy Company that trades online, but is based in Leamington Spa, just 20 minutes away from me. TCNC specialises in eco-friendly nappies (diapers) and accessories for the green parent. I was going into Leamington anyway, so it was easy enough for me to trot along there with Pia's (very detailed) list!
The shop is a cute little place tucked away in a back street. It is housed in an old Victorian building and has a square footage of less than 30, I swear. Wonky wooden floors are set off by simple white painted walls and gorgeous chalky pastels on every shelf - pale mint, rose, duck egg and primrose in all shades sit piled up on shelves in the form of soft little nappies, with a small range of toys, clothes and nappy buckets (in pastel - so much prettier than primaries). A curved desk sits right in front of the door, fronted with shelves and containers holding accessories like cloth wipes and nappy liners.
Behind the desk is a door marked 'Changing Room' in pastel-painted wooden letters, with a small room next to it laid out with comfortable chairs, small tables and shelves around the top holding fabric boxes with extra stock in. It is obvious from its lay-out that a lot of thought has gone into this little shop and its purpose and it is a very welcoming, peaceful space. There wasn't even any music playing, which made a pleasant change from the incessant noise of every other shop I had endured that morning!
After I entered the shop and fished out my list the lady behind the counter, who turned out to be the shop's owner, Anna, stepped in to help me out. Perhaps it was the slightly desperate expression on my face as I surveyed the impressive range of brands and tried to figure out where to start, but she took the list off me and asked me a couple of pertinent questions. Finding me completely inequipped to answer them sensibly she asked for Pia's number so she could discuss it with the horse's mouth, as it were.
I was more than happy to hand over responsibility and Anna soon lined up the products on the counter. Three different nappies in pale greens, with a roll of bio-degradable, flushable liners. Her help and enthusiasm were boundless, enjoining me to make sure Pia knew she could call with any questions. Apparently the shop itself has only been open 5 months, though the company has been trading online for 4 and a half years. As well as running the shop Anna is a full-time midwife with two small daughters - she must be insanely busy!
I was immensely impressed with the shop and, if I were to grade my reviews out of ten (I need a milla-scale, wonder what that could be? 1 dog through to 9 cats?) I would have to give it a 9, the only reason for it not getting a 10 being that a) according to my mum, only God is perfect and b)I need to leave myself somewhere to go in case I come across an even better shop. But trust me, it was a pretty great shop, especially if you can visit it in person.
- Friendly and helpful
- Available nationwide through its online store
- Offers a wide range of nappies and advice to accompany them
- Bonus services = 'Nappuccino' mornings where you can socialise and find out more
- Discounts available
- Attractive premises with good parking nearby
- Baby-friendly premises
- Small step up into the shop and a narrow doorway, which might offer some access problems
- Only one branch
Posted by Milla
Comment from Anna (Owner and Director)
Thank you Milla for this lovely description. I do hope Pia is happy with her purchase and we got her the correct items! I do wish her a lovely birth experience and the safe arrival of her little boy. Ps - We now have a 'ramp' into the shop for ease of access with pushchairs and wheelchairs - the ramp is built into the floor and is usually up and in use during opening hours but during the winter months it is clapsed and erected for customers to enable us to shut the door to prevent heat loss.