I have met some really fabulous people here in Prince William County. First and foremost is Kristina of PWC Moms. Not only is she a native of the area (which is a rarity here in NoVA), she's got the most beautiful heart in any person I know besides my immediate family. I'm so blessed to have her as a friend!
As it would turn out, Kristina introduced me to Cate*, a fellow mom in our kids' preschool. Cate subsequently introduced me to Abby's Lane. I have used Kelly's Closet exclusively for the purchase of our entire cloth diaper stash, so I kind of put off visiting the Abby's Lane website. However, when Cate started working at the local Abby's Lane store in Manassas, I knew I'd have to find a reason to visit. That came in the form of another friend, Keira*, who is expecting her first baby. She's a motivated mama who's doing all her research on cloth diapering and planning ahead (wish I had been that motivated before the arrival of Thing #1!). When Keira expressed an interest in visiting the shop, I happily volunteered to drive her out there.
The drive to downtown Manassas from the south is pretty. I love that Abby's Lane is SO close to the train station parking lot. All we had to do was cross the train tracks and turn right. Easy! Even I couldn't get lost (yes, the DG has some serious navigation issues...even with a GPS).
The store is NOT what I expected. I was MUCH, much more. I was in a cloth diaper nirvana of sorts. Every diaper I'd ever heard of, plus many more that I hadn't, was stacked neatly in shelf upon shelf, ordered by diaper type, size, and print. Choruses of happy birdies started chirping wildly in my head. Sadly, I was too far gone to even think of taking pictures.
A great bonus was the child-friendliness. There's a HUGE play area for kids to play, read, or chill in. Nobody fussed when Thing #3 upset a display of BabyLegs or when Thing #2 got tangled in the various baby-wearing slings. They just smiled and waved it off as though they've seen it all before...which they probably have.
The absolute best store feature is the attendants. Keira and I spoke to three different ladies who gave us the complete low-down on nearly every diaper in the shop. I learned a lot about "old school" diapering and how to properly use a tri-fold. I've been using my new techniques ever since and thus expanding the period between washings.
In addition to diapers, there were training pants, spray mechanisms to attach to your toilet, cloth diaper safe laundry detergent, Planet Wise reusable snack bags, wet bags, CJ's BUTTer products, wooden toys, and much, much more.
Visiting Abby's Lane was a real treat. If you have any desire to know anything about cloth diapers, I highly recommend a visit. If that's not possible, email or call. They are extremely responsive. They've got a great rewards program for mailing list members. They always save at least 5%, whether in store or online. Give them a try!
Challenge: Go to a store that sells stuff you've always wanted to examine. You'll have fun!
*I changed these people's names because I didn't have their permission beforehand to publish their names. Yes, I'm a bit OCD about privacy and security.