Coco Baby: The Art of Creating a Boutique and Community Space



Coco Baby
1636 Washington Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02118

Mon – Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you. In order to realize her passion and dream, Nicole Vale relish the risk of going from a comfortable corporate environment to that of a small boutique owner. During the past two years, there has been no limit to her ambitions to create and define her store, as Nicole has transformed a previous baby store into her own special boutique and community space. Every detail of the store – from the white contemporary lightings to the well-curated kids’ apparel – embraces unique designs for the style-conscious and eco-friendly parents. The store now offers a wide selection of high quality, hand-selected, made-to-order kids’ apparel, and is as aesthetically beautiful and charming as its surrounding South End neighborhood.


The local and community feel of the South End resonates throughout the store on the first level and downstairs in the community space known as the Little Lovage Club (formerly Coco Baby Play Space).  Jess Runnals, founder of Lovage Babyblends and Little Lovage Club, created a place to “share, learn, and love” for babies, children, and adults. Special events such as birthday parties and South End New Mom’s Group and weekly classes from Spanish to baby sign language are available to the local community.


With the holidays around the corner and the colder weather fast approaching, support local and stop by Coco Baby to pick up a lovely holiday outfit or cute cold weather accessories. Visit the Little Lovage Club and let your little ones play with the classic toys while shopping at Coco Baby.


In the meantime, learn about what keeps Nicole, a mother of two, inspired and tenacious in running Coco Baby.

What inspired you to open your store and leave the corporate world?

I always wanted to have a boutique. When I had my baby, Coco, I used to shop at this baby store where Coco Baby now resides. When I learned that the owners were moving away, I immediately asked if the store was for sale, and it wasn’t. But I still bought it from the owners anyways. In 8 weeks from the time I made my inquiry, I had the keys to the store. Initially, I was running the store and working at the same time, and it was too hard so I took a risk and focused all my energy and time on the store.

My children are an extension of my style. I wanted a store for moms who are style conscious and to select products that represent a level of style that these moms would feel proud of.  I also have a strong philosophy and belief that quality is important, so the products have to last. For example, my daughter, Camille, still wears Coco’s stuff.


How do you do it all?

I’m the luckiest girl. My husband is so supportive of my dream to run a business. He believes in me. He is the best dad ever, making breakfast for the girls, taking them to school, and cooking dinner for the family. I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing if it weren’t for my husband.


What do you like best about owning a store?

I love the creative outlet. The ability to create these beautiful images, beautiful store, express my style, express my children’s style. Owning this store feels like a gift everyday. I have a vision and I want to execute on it. It is hard to do that in a corporate job because you have a specific function.  As a business owner, I have to wear many hats and use both my analytical and creative side. I also love the sense of community here. I love my customers.




What do you think differentiates you from big box retailers and online stores?

Coco Baby has styles that are hand selected by me and cut-to-order. I bring in styles and I’m not afraid of being fashion forward and mature with the selection. I focus on products that have an eco-conscious manufacturing process, made in the U.S., and/or organic. We bring a lot of the brands to the Boston market before others. I really want to have a unique selection of baby clothes for kids 0 – 5 years.

The playroom downstairs fosters our values and sense of community. There’s no better way to share our space with the community than the Little Lovage Club.  The space was opened in October 2011 and Jess took over the space in August 2013.





What are your favorite local shops?

I love Modern and Lekker for home & decor. I shop at Olives and Grace where they carry local artisan gifts.  I am excited about L’Ecole Nuit that opened up on Mass Ave near Shawmut.

What outfit do you recommend for the holiday season? 

I love this dress and cardigan combo with leggings. It’s perfect for the holiday season.


This beautiful dress would be like wearing a Monet.


What events do you have coming up?

This month, Coco Baby will be opened late every Thursday until 8 PM. Stop by  for late shopping, champagne, cookies, and trunk shows this holiday season. RSVP to one or all of these events now!

November 7, 2013 – Samantha Faye Trunk Show

November 14, 2013 –  L’Ecole Nuit Lingerie

November 21, 2013 –  Sidetrack Products Green Line Cast Iron Subway Trains


  1. That store is super amazing.

  2. This store sounds fantastic! Love the decor and the community space idea.

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