As a stay-at-home mother of three in Prairie Village, Lisa Brown was looking for something to do that fit her interests as well as her busy family schedule.
BabyQuip, a baby gear rental business, turned out to be the perfect fit. She first began renting baby gear in summer 2017, three years after her firstborn joined the family.
“I had a friend who knew I was just antsy to have a little side gig, but I never found something I wanted to do,” she said. “I didn’t want to sell makeup or a lot of those mom side gigs.”
BabyQuip, formerly known as Babierge (think “Baby” + “Concierge”), is an online rental platform for people to rent cribs, blankets, car seats, high chairs, bassinets and other items for babies. “So it’s kinda like AirBnB, but for baby gear,” she added.
As an independent BabyQuip operation, Brown handles all rental orders and deliveries as well as customer service. She said she buys her own gear, mostly high-end brands, and makes sure items are organic, clean and fresh for each user. She also buys diapers on request.
“I wish I had known about this,” Brown said, adding that just a few years ago, her family found themselves taking an extra vehicle just so they could haul their baby gear. “I had two kids and I didn’t know.”
So far, Brown has filled 135 reservations for baby gear; that includes a few repeat customers, such as grandparents who have family visiting town. Holidays are especially busy for Brown, when families come to town each year around Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks and over the summer.
Brown said traveling with young children can be exhausting, so the whole purpose of baby gear rentals is to lighten the load.
“It’s hard enough to get from point A to point B with your children, so if you can just leave all that gear behind and have it ready and waiting for you, that is every parent’s dream, especially Millennial (parents),” Brown said. “Millennials want to keep traveling when they have kids, and Millennials don’t always live close to their parents. The car seats, the strollers, people don’t want to lug it around.”
Even with all of that usage, Brown wants to reassure customers that everything is “super clean — cleaner than my children’s own stuff that they use regularly.”
“Sometimes, you think of rentals as kind of icky, but we’re trying to be a high-end rental service,” she said. “I go over it with a fine-toothed comb and use organic cleaners and all-natural laundry soda. Everything is super spick and span; everything is top-notch. We really try to provide people with gear that they can feel super confident with their kids staying in.”