Shoppers from around the country converge on local shop
Excitement was in the air Wednesday morning in Shepherdstown as close to 100 people lined the sidewalk to purchase a limited edition, highly coveted Tula baby carrier from Up on the Hill.
Shawna Childress drove in from Pennsylvania the night before to camp out with her family in front of the Up on the Hill shop.
“We arrived at 10:38 last night (Tuesday), and have been here ever since,” she said.
Childress was first in line to receive her new Tula carrier in the dragon print called, ‘Ollie.’ She exited the shop to a round of applause from the rest of the still-waiting crowd.
When asked if the wait was worth it, she replied, “Oh definitely!”
Angie Crawford and Amy Reid were two moms who drove in from Northern Virginia to get in line at midnight to purchase the new carrier.
“What makes this carrier special is the quality and that it’s not mass-produced,” Crawford stated.
“It’s kind-of like waiting in line for a Cabbage Patch doll or anything else that’s a limited edition.”
There were people in line from many different states, such as New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, Maryland and more.
“I’m in line to get a carrier for my mom,” said 15 year old Sam Spillane, from Lindenwold, New Jersey. He made the six hour drive with another couple from his hometown, who were also anxiously awaiting their turn to purchase a carrier.
Emily Archer, Katie Priehs and Mariah Cosper drove over nine hours from Lansing, Michigan, arriving at 4:30 a.m., with the hopes of being one of the lucky 40 recipients of the new ‘Ollie’ print Tula carrier.
“The print is adorable and the proceeds go to the March of Dimes. I had previously had a still-born baby,” said Archer, “and the March of Dimes helped me tremendously. This is one way that I can give back.”
The world-wide Tula Baby Carriers company was started by a husband and wife team, whose frequent travels precipitated the need for a comfortable, ergonomic baby carrier. Up on the Hill shop owner, Amii Fritz has been a retailer of these carriers since she opened in Shepherdstown in 2012.
Fritz developed a special dinosaur fabric in honor of her son, Oliver, who was born prematurely this past January. She contacted Tula with Ollie’s story and fabric idea, and Tula replied favorably.
Fritz’s shop is the only one in the world to have this particular carrier available. She will donate 27 percent of each sale to the March of Dimes NICU walking team at Winchester Medical Center.
The Tula company has a dedicated fan base, many of whom followed the development of this Ollie print carrier on the Facebook group, Tula Love.
“Sometimes Tula will grant one of their retailers an exclusive product,” Fritz said, “I’m very thrilled and honored to work on this project with them.”
Amii’s husband, Guy said he’s very happy with the enthusiasm that the Ollie print carrier has generated, as well as for the people who are visiting Shepherdstown for the first time.
“It’s wonderful to see that after coming to our shop, they are dining and exploring other shops here in town,” he said.
In addition to baby carriers, Up on the Hill features fair trade chocolate; soap and body goods; handmade and locally made clothes for babies and toddlers; and developmentally beneficial baby toys.
More about the store can be found on their website at www.uponthehilldiapers.com.