x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Baby bonanza makes life cheaper for parents

Baby Bazaar — an indoor, second-hand, monthly market day held in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is the brainchild of a UK mum who needed a way to get rid of excess baby stuff.

The Baby Bazaar Market Day. Sally M Photography
The Baby Bazaar Market Day. Sally M Photography

Considering how tiny they are when they first arrive, babies require a ridiculous amount of stuff, most of which is accumulated before they’re even born. Natalie Humphrey has come up with a solution for mothers to rid themselves of the excess, while also making a few extra dirhams to boot.

The 32-year-old mother founded Baby Bazaar – an indoor, second-hand, monthly market day – in October last year, after a trip home to the UK and a shopping spree for baby items in charity shops drove home the realisation that no such thing existed in the UAE.

“Babies seem to grow out of their clothes every single week,” says Humphrey. “I wondered why isn’t there something in Dubai where you can get rid of your old stuff as well as buy quality baby items for less; then I just decided to do it something about it myself.”

The first Baby Bazaar Market Day was held in Dubai’s Times Square Centre just over a year ago, and every month since then. Reasonably priced second-hand things in good condition – toys, books, clothes, prams, highchairs, car seats, bouncers, cots, maternity clothing – weighed down more than 26 tables the first month. Now, a year later, 70 tables have been booked for the Dubai event at the end of the month.

“The response has been fabulous. There are so many families with stuff such as bouncers and Jumperoos that take up so much room,” says Humphrey. “Just to be able to get rid of it and make some money as well – anything from Dh1,000 to Dh7,000 – is wonderful.”

On Saturday, Abu Dhabi will host its first edition of the Baby Bazaar Market Day at the Fotouh Al Khair mall on Airport Road, also known in the capital as the Marks & Spencer building. More than 30 mothers have already booked their tables and there will be a children’s colouring corner, games, a cafe and much more.

If, at the end of the day, there are still items that haven’t sold, there’s always the option to donate to various charities. This week, Humphrey will be organising donations for the Philippines following the devastation left by the recent ­typhoon.

artslife@thenational.ae

* the cost

A large table – 185cm by 80cm, rental Dh295 – is advisable if you have more than a few boxes of items to sell. A medium sized table, which is only available in Dubai and measures 160cm by 60cm, costs Dh200.

A business table for the “mumpreneurs” running small businesses that offer new products or services related to babies, toddlers or pregnant mothers, costs Dh400 to rent. Payment must be made in advance and can be paid in cash or online.

* to book

• Abu Dhabi Visit www.babybazaar.org to book a table at the Baby Bazaar Market Day in Abu Dhabi (Futouh Al Khair or Marks & Spencers Mall on Airport Road) to be held on Saturday, November 16, from 10am to 2pm. The next event is on Saturday, December 21.

• Dubai Market day is on Saturday, November 30, at the Times Square Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road. Email

natalie@babybazaar.org for details