Just under a year ago, LaMeka Grayson bought Storkdaddy’s Baby Consignment on Elms Road in Killeen. On March 2, Grayson will open Storkmomma’s Mom & Baby Fitness and Shower Nook next door. She is already showing the facility to people looking for a place to host a baby shower.
“Storkdaddy’s has exceeded all of my expectations,” Grayson said. “Storkmomma’s will target the same audience.”
The success of Storkdaddy’s inspired Grayson, who is an Army captain in the Fort Hood Mobilization Brigade, to expand her business plan. Since buying Storkdaddy’s, Grayson earned a certification in prenatal fitness. She hired yoga, Zumba and other specialized instructors to teach prenatal and postpartum fitness classes. The 1,800-square-foot facility will have a massage room and a belly casting room.
“I wanted a place to help pregnant women stay fit and give them a more affordable option for baby showers,” she said.
Cookie Harden, who acts as store manager and runs both businesses’ day-to-day operations, said the success of the last year made the new store possible. She said the store was in the red in September, the first month she operated the business, but it has shown a profit every month since.
“I think we’ve been successful because this was an already-established business,” Harden said. “We added some things that helped a lot, like a 10 percent military discount and a ‘Word of the Day’ contest on our Facebook page that provides an opportunity for anybody to get a discount.”
Tammy C. Strasser, director of Women’s Services at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights, said there is definitely a need for prenatal fitness programs.
“The psychological benefits of exercise may be as important as the physical ones, especially in pregnancy,” Strasser said. “Many women view pregnancy as a source of added stress to an already full lifestyle with career pressures, family obligations, other children, school and other things. A program of exercise, even if it is several half-hour sessions of cardio, will give a mom a sense of accomplishment, motivation to stay fit and an outlet for stress. This is ‘her’ time.”
Grayson said the psychological impact of prenatal fitness is a big part of her motivation to make her new venture succeed.
“We are going to provide a place for pregnant women to work out with women who look just like you do,” she said.