When Heather Lewis’ first daughter, Nola, was stillborn, Lewis struggled to find any clothes to bury her in that were small enough to fit.
“Someone made us a dress, and I’m forever grateful for that,” she said.
Lewis knew of other families that had similar problems finding clothing for premature babies.
Her experience inspired her to open Nola’s Attic, an “elite” children’s boutique offering name-brand fashions you can’t get without having to travel an hour away, Lewis said.
Named after Nola, the store specializes in carrying micro-preemie clothing, which is made for infants weighing less than 2 pounds, but it also has clothes and accessories for toddlers up to ages 4 and 5.
Lewis’s second daughter, Ella Mae, now 2, also was born premature. She helps out by modeling Nola’s Attic merchandise and rearranging the store when Lewis isn’t looking.
Although there are other boutiques and stores that carry children’s clothing in Seymour, Lewis said she doesn’t want to encroach on those businesses and instead wants to offer different choices.
“I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” she said. “So I always make sure that I’m getting things that no one else has.”
Popular brands include Rufflebutts, Mudpie, Bunnies by the Bay, Wee Squeaks shoes, Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags, WubbaNub pacifiers and Mellie June bows. One brand, the Littlest Golfer, isn’t sold anywhere else in Indiana, she said.
“The more people that come in, the more stuff I can get,” she said.
It’s a great stop for people needing to purchase a gift for a baby shower, too, Lewis said.
Lewis started Nola’s Attic in the fall of 2016 out of her home and sold online only at first, but one year ago, she partnered with Angie Mellencamp, owner of Gymnastics Lane, a gymnastics gym in Seymour, to open a brick and mortar store.
Mellencamp had purchased clothing for her own daughter from Lewis and had Ella Mae in gymnastics class. The gym had just moved into a new larger facility at 1533 W. Tipton St., Suite A, and had an extra room, which Mellencamp offered to Lewis for Nola’s Attic.
In order to tie the businesses together more, Lewis started selling GK gymnastics leotards in different sizes, colors and patterns, along with T-shirts and shorts.
“You can’t find those anywhere around here,” she said of the leotards.
She’s also looking into selling swimwear for competitive swimmers.
This weekend, Nola’s Attic and Gymnastics Lane are celebrating their partnership with a special anniversary event.
From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, there will be special sales and prize drawings at Nola’s Attic and a mock gymnastics meet at Gymnastics Lane.
“We never had an open house or ribbon cutting, so this is kind of all of that in one,” Lewis said.
Lewis said community support has been good, but she knows a lot of people don’t even know the business exists.
“It’s great when they know we’re here,” she said. “That’s been the issue, just getting our name out.”
The store doesn’t have regular hours because Lewis teaches full time during the school year and coaches high school swimming. Her mom, Becky Davis, handles the business during the swimming season.
“My mom does a lot of it for me in the winter,” she said. “And I can’t thank her enough for all she does.”
Anyone wanting to shop can message Lewis or the store through Facebook messenger or call to set up an appointment. Mellencamp said she also can open up Nola’s Attic during gym hours.
“We will come in when anyone wants us to. They just need to get a hold of us,” Lewis said. “That’s the big thing, making sure people aren’t shy enough to say, ‘Hey, I need to come in Wednesday night.’”
As Nola’s Attic prepares to set up at the Pink Wagon Market the first weekend in November, lots of new fall items are coming in, Lewis said, including kids’ Minnie Beth necklaces.
She has ordered some off-brand clothing, too, to offer less-expensive options, she said.
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What: One-year anniversary celebration of Nola’s Attic and Gymnastics Lane partnership with special sales and prize drawings at Nola’s Attic and a mock gymnastics meet at Gymnastics Lane
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday
Where: 1533 W. Tipton St., Suite A, Seymour
Information: Visit Nola’s Attic on Facebook or nolasattic.com, email [email protected] or call 812-525-3078