Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series!
I have been eagerly awaiting this feature because I love everything about this shop and the amazing co-owners and operators, Kim and Brian Morvan of Mountain Littles!
Kim and Brian returned to the Bow Valley three years ago with a dream of opening their baby and kids boutique.
However, the idea for the store really started 7 years ago when their oldest daughter, Minah, was born! Their original idea for their business was to also incorporate a space where local families could gather and connect with each other through drop-in groups, events, and workshops. Of course, COVID-19 threw a wrench in all of those plans but didn’t wipe them off the table entirely.
Brian and Kim have clear roles within the business that make them the perfect pair!
While Brian loves the gear and manages all of the operations for the business, Kim’s love for apparel and accessories has made her the ideal one to manage buying and merchandising. Mountain Littles carries all sorts of products tailored to parents from pregnancy to early childhood. Kim and Brian carefully select gear considering safety, performance, and environmental impact. They seek out heirloom-quality Montessori and Waldorf toys that encourage open-ended, free play and inspire learning through play. They also focus on purchasing lots of Canadian brands with products made of natural and organic materials that are safe for a baby’s sensitive skin.
For anyone with littles in their life to buy for, it’s easy to lose hours browsing at Mountain Littles.
Kim and Brian strive to offer approachable, friendly, and personalized customer service with zero judgment! They often go out of their way to exceed expectations with things like fast and free local deliveries or meeting customers outside of regular store hours when they’re looking for something. They take the stress out of searching through an overwhelming amount of choices in products so that busy parents can have easy access to amazing quality products close to home!
Mountain Littles is inspired by Eric and Jolyn Swain, owners of Nurtured in Halifax.
With home ties for Brian, who is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia Eric and Jolyn have been amazing advisors for Kim and Brian in opening their own store. Their oldest daughter, Minah, was born in Halifax and in turn, the family spent a lot of time at Nurtured falling in love with the small, more personal shopping experience, as well as the opportunity to meet other young families. Eventually, the family decided it was time to move back and settle long term in the Bow Valley!
Delayed by COVID, Mountain Littles finally opened their doors in November of 2020!
Opening during the pandemic taught them a lot but also allowed them to ease into entrepreneurship. Now that they’ve been open for over a year, they find the community support and relationships that have been formed, and the trust that’s been built with their customers keeps them going.
Family and community are really at the root of why they started their business and why they keep doing it!
Kim and Brian also welcomed their second precious daughter, Danie, in August 2021, who was born 12 weeks premature and spent 69 days in the NICU. During the first couple of months of Danie’s life, Kim and Brian had to manage unexpected closures and wonky hours for the store while caring for their family in a very trying time. The support they received from the local community was overwhelming and incredibly heartwarming.
Danie is now a bright and beautiful babe growing up healthy and happy, and even recently enjoyed a well-deserved family vacation in Jamaica!
Since opening, they have made some great connections in the local community and definitely had a few shout-outs of their own to make.
First up were Uprising Bakery, Kake by Darci, and Sue at Salon 1463 who performed her magic on Kim’s post-partum hair mess (Kim’s words, not mine)! They also couldn’t miss mentioning these amazing local businesses doing great work: Carmella Consulting, Crock-a-Doodle Canmore, HiJinx Toy Shop, Wildheart Shop & Studio, and The Pro Image Signs & Printing. They have also been lucky to support the Bow Valley SPCA, Spirit North, and Eagle’s Nest Shelter through their business.
And lastly, a charity that lies near and dear to their hearts is Phoenix Youth Programs based in Halifax, NS. Here they provide critical and trajectory-changing support and programs for youth, families, and communities.
Kim continues to work with Phoenix Youth Programs where she first led the fund development team for 11 years and is now working on an exciting capital campaign.
Despite a tough opening during the pandemic, the Bow Valley is lucky to have a store like Mountain Littles around!
Not knowing what lay ahead made it hard for Kim and Brian to plan, but they learned to trust their gut throughout the process. Entrepreneurship has no standard or normal process to follow but they were able to pull it all together and the result is nothing short of amazing! Despite sometimes having a bit too much going on, they have found a work-life balance that works for them and are grateful for everything that comes up!
Eager to see the pandemic ease and kids return to being kids, Kim and Brian are looking forward to seeing what comes next.
They are also dedicated to advocating for better representation in the baby/juvenile industry. Unfortunately, as it stands now, the media and brand imagery they receive with their products are predominantly non-diverse. Mountain Littles is committed to providing a space where diversity is welcome and promoted in the Bow Valley!
So, next time you’re searching for the perfect gift for expecting parents, new arrivals, or for the littles in your own life, make sure to pop into Mountain Littles! Locals can also shop online and choose in-store pick-up or free local delivery to make things even easier! Be sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook for all their latest updates!
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