For Andree Luk Sau-kuen, baby lifestyle store Mama's Dear isn't just a business venture. The shop she founded last year is also a platform for her to share her experience as a mother with customers.
Mama's Dear sets out to offer safe, sustainable and stylish baby products of the highest quality. Its flagship store, located at Cyberport, features an array of furniture, strollers, clothes and gifts, all meticulously sourced from Europe, the United States and Australia.
'As a mother, I understand parents' needs and know what kinds of products will be useful to them,' Luk says. She provides training to her staff, making sure they know the products thoroughly and are able to show customers how to use an item.
'For instance, many parents are reluctant to use cloth diapers, which nonetheless are more eco-friendly and cheaper than disposable ones. Neither do they cause nappy rash,' Luk says. 'The role of my staff is to explain the advantages of using cloth diapers to our customers and demonstrate how to use one.'
Occupying more than 5,000 sqft and filled with a welcoming, cream-toned decor, the store is designed to provide a convenient one-stop shopping experience for parents and small children.
'Some baby shops in Hong Kong are too small to include a good range of products - sometimes certain sections are so small that parents can't push the stroller through - while the decor or display in others isn't done properly,' Luk says. 'Parents and children want to shop in the right environment, where there is plenty of space to display excellent products.'
Knowing the local home environment and parenting culture is important to business, she adds. In sourcing furniture pieces, Luk would rather go for dressers and cots than, say, safety gates and fences that won't be of much use in cramped Hong Kong homes. A recent design carried by Mama's Dear is the Elizabeth Diaper Bag (HK$2,980), which can double up as an everyday or work bag. It is designed by Storsak, a British brand whose parenting bags are coveted by Hollywood celebrities Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Other items include a nursing cover (HK$380) by US firm Balboa Baby that fits around mother and baby for comfort and privacy when breastfeeding, plus an ice-cream set (HK$160) for sand play, designed by German firm Spielstabil.