Mother Nurture, a natural-parenting store that for the past six years has offered support and education to new mothers, along with supplies such as cloth diapers, breast pumps and nursing bras, will close at the end of January.
Cerise Bouchard, who owns the Richmond Road store, had been searching for a buyer for the business recently; when one did not emerge, she said, she decided to close.
Bouchard said in an email interview that she paid off the store's original business loan in October, but because she had been "scraping by" for the past few years, she didn't have enough inventory to sell to be able to pay the store's bills anymore.
After consulting with a small-business counselor, Bouchard said, "I realized that I was at the point that I couldn't do it all and the business side of things is not where I want to spend my time. My passion is supporting women."
Now, she said, she's looking for a new job.
She said the shop's non-tangible assets, including its name and logo, would be for sale to anyone interested in reviving the business.
"One of the lessons in this is that if we want to keep cool stores in Lexington, we have to make an effort to buy local," Bouchard said, noting that it has been frustrating that people often came to the store for information, then went elsewhere to buy the items they needed.
Although the store is closing, some of its services will continue.
Lactation consulting and car-seat checks will continue through Baby Moon, the business next door to Mother Nurture. Both are in Shelton Place, the wooden building next to Lowe's on Richmond Road. Baby Moon offers a range of pregnancy and baby-related classes and workshops.
Bouchard has said that it was while attending a class at Baby Moon that she was first inspired and encouraged to open Mother Nurture.
What she didn't anticipate was that her customers would need her listening ear as much as the goods on the shelf.
"I thought I would just open a little shop and fill in the gap of products and services Lexington didn't have," Bouchard said. "I quickly realized that what new moms needed was support and someone to listen to their story.
"That is what I'll miss most — listening to a mom talk about her birth — whether it was great or traumatic, and helping her find some serenity."