If you live in the Salisbury, MD area you may be familiar with the cute boutique now located in Seagull Square! Martha had me as a guest on her Facebook series and I wanted to return the favor by including her in the interview series!
Me: Would you mind starting by telling us a little bit about yourself and the boutique?
Martha: Sure, I'm Martha Ogburn, I'm the owner and resident resource here at the Barefoot Baby Boutique. I like to say that I don't just sell baby stuff, I'm here as a resource for new moms to say this is what you need, this is what you don't need. I can answer questions, just be a resource. That's my background. I was a neonatal nurse, I worked in intensive care with new babies and helped moms with their milk supply and help them deal with being separated from their newborn babies and preemies which is one of the toughest things for a new mom.
Me: Yeah, that's true! Are you still volunteering with Postpartum Support International?
Martha: Yes. So I'm not a nurse anymore and my segue to retail was quite challenging. But I still am a Postpartum Support International volunteer, in the sense that I can give resources. I can refer counselors or resources that they may need.
Me: Did you always know you wanted to work with moms and babies or did your nursing career just take you that way?
Martha: Actually I wasn't interested in being a nurse at all, I was more into journalism. But my Daddy was a pharmacist and he got me a job in my high school years during the summer working as a nurse's aide. It was very old school- they had the little hats, and you had to walk just right, and stand up when the doctors came into the room. I would get reprimanded and they put me on the geriatric floor thinking I wouldn't stir up any trouble there. There was an older woman in one room who was so bitter and angry, she wouldn't talk to anyone. I was the only one she would talk to and I ended up going there every day and sitting and talking with her. It occurred to me that this connection with another human being was so incredible and I knew that's where I could be used. When I got into nursing school I was exposed to all the different rotations and possibilities and I knew I wanted to work with moms and babies!
Me: That is so special!
Martha: It really was. I don't know how many people have an epiphany like that that sets them on their trajectory.
Me: What led you to opening the Boutique?
Martha: We bought a historic house in Somerset County. I was working with a child psychiatrist at the time. I was helping my husband renovate the house and I was thinking what could I do that I wasn't in the hospital setting, under someone else. They were renovating a building in downtown Princess Anne and there was a space available and I thought I could do this! I could have a little shop and sell baby stuff, I could interact with moms that way. I just jumped in feet first without any experience in retail or business!
Me: It must have gone pretty well!
Martha: It went well in the sense that, you know how moms are known for multitasking, I had 3 preschoolers and you just learn and do it. I learned the business. I liked using my creative side in displays and now social media. I got to interact with the new moms, babies, grandmoms!
Me: What's your favorite thing about having the boutique?
Martha: I think because it's mine, I'm not building someone else's empire. When you put your own blood, sweat, and tears into something it has a lot more value.
Me: yeah! For sure! Do you have any advice you like to give to new moms or moms who may be entrepreneurs or working moms?
Martha: Don't ever underestimate yourself. If you feel a tug to do something, go explore it. Jumping feet first is the best way to do it sometimes. It's like having children- if you wait for everything to be just right to have kids, it'll never happen.
Me: Yes and even if you think you are ready, once you have that baby you realize you didn't really know!
Martha: Oh I know! I thought I was ready after I did pediatric nursing and boy was I surprised. That's why I got involved with Postpartum Support International. Some people expect their mothering to be perfect, and it's just not realistic. It sets you up for problems!
Me: So true. One thing that I've asked everyone- what is one thing you want all women to know?
Martha: Just don't underestimate yourself! Women are so strong and resilient. It's amazing. If you can birth babies you can do anything!
Me: Absolutely! No matter how that baby comes out- you did it! I know it's been awhile since you've been in the nursing world but another question I've been asking is if there's one thing you could change about the maternal standard of care- prenatally or postpartum- what would it be?
Martha: I can't say this is across the board- but the whole approach should be more holistic and family-centered. Not encouraging moms to have elective inductions. If it's possible to have a natural childbirth- it's such an empowering moment.
Me: Yes, there are times where those interventions are definitely necessary.
Martha: Right! And there are great providers and some providers who want to get out on the golf course. When you have medical risks you want to be in the hospital, I had pre-term labor and was dilated at 28 weeks with each of my babies the hospital is where I needed to be. But it's hard to be out of control, and the interventions can make you feel out of control.
Me: Yes! One thing that I've learned is that traumatic births often happen when the mother feels out of control. So when the mom is able to give informed consent and have a part in the decision-making process the chance of feeling trauma is lessened.
Martha: Right, being part of the decision-making!
Me: Ok, so a fun question- If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have to have with you?
Martha: Oh my goodness! My husband for sure, he can do anything! I would have to have a set of encyclopedia Brittanica, a Bible, a good shampoo, and dental floss! I can not stand stuff between my teeth! Anyone say dental floss?
Me: Nope, you're the first! Shampoo too! Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Martha: Come see me! I love when people let me meet their new babies! I love being included in that. What is better than celebrating a new life with a family?
Me: Yes that is so true! So this is my bonus question- if you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
Martha: Innovative, Fearless, and impulsive!
Me: I like it! Just looking around here- I can tell you put a lot of thought into what you have here. I know you have facebook-do you have any other ways for moms to see what you have and encourage them to get in here?
Martha: I'm on Instagram and I have a website- it's not my priority. I try to put some things on there to have an idea but it's very labor-intensive to put everything up! I really love to do things in person! I research everything I put in here and really think about what moms really need! What are the best bottles? What's the best way to help babies sleep?
Me: Yes! And what's so nice about this is when you go to a box store- or even look online- there are a million options and no one is there to help you! Coming here you have a few of the best options and you will be there to help them!
Martha: It can be very overwhelming!
Me: I agree- everything these days is about instant gratification and what can be more instant than walking into a store and walking out with a great product!
Martha: I like that, can you add that to the interview!?
Me: Of course!
So as you can see Martha is a very sweet person and very knowledgeable and eager to help! Go check out her store and tell her I sent you!
Barefoot Baby Boutique Links: