While everyone is getting ready to hole up for Christmas with your families and loved ones, it’s also good to get a reminder of the less fortunate among us. Karen Paperno, the owner of Park Slope breastfeeding boutique Boing Boing (home of the lesbian mom discount) has taken to the Huffington Post to provide a lesson that those less fortunate are sometimes hiding in plain sight, describing the challenges her business has faced and the toll it’s taken on her life:
Now parents come in after buying their carriers online and expect me to show them how to use it. After all, that’s what I do, right? There is a Yelp review about me biting someone’s head off about this, but they probably didn’t know they were the third person that day to ask me for help after they already spent their money elsewhere. My mission was to make life easier for new moms when I opened in 1996. Now this neighborhood is filthy with baby haircutting/toy shops, clubs, babyccino cafes, baby DJ lessons, $600 baby proofing companies and cooking lessons for nannies — and I no longer feel comfortable here as I struggle to pay my bills. It’s become a neighborhood of excess and ease while I have sunk into poverty. Here I am, the owner of a shop in the epi-center of the baby universe, and I can’t make my rent.
Online buyers are just the tip of the iceberg for Paperno’s problems, but go and read the whole sad story, and don’t forget to buy local.