Spoiled Baby takes first steps after ice storm and fire
Bravely forging ahead
By Andrea Freedman
When the April 15th ice storm nearly destroyed baby gift and clothing boutique Spoiled Baby at 2A Davisville Ave. – a landmark of the Yonge-Davisville neighborhood since 1995 – husband and wife team Nina and Peter Arniotis did what they do best; focus on the positive.
Nina Arniotis told Village Living that when she came into the store on the Monday after the storm, it “was an absolute disaster.” Water was pouring through electrical sockets and light fixtures, resulting in damages to the alarm, debit machine, counter, and a third of their merchandise.
That being said, they were thankful, as things could have been worse. “Things can always be replaced and repaired. The important thing is nobody got hurt.”
Peter Arniotis chose to look at the situation as “an opportunity for us to make some changes,” such as a long overdue paint job, new fixtures, and merchandise.
Unfortunately, renovations did not go as smoothly as anticipated. After much of the repairs had already been completed, Spoiled Baby was hit with another catastrophe when the roofers started a fire, damaging the new roof and one of the walls.
While Nina Arniotis admitted to briefly thinking “Somebody’s trying to tell us something,” her husband, who she says is often the voice of reason, encouraged her to remain optimistic. The overwhelming support the Arniotises received during the clean-up, not only from their four children, but also from loyal customers and members of the community, also helped to keep her spirits up.
Peter Arniotis agreed that they “got a lot of sympathy from the neighborhood.” In fact, he said, some customers “were more emotional than we were.”
That probably has a lot to do with the genuine care and service they have always provided to their customers, and the reason they opened the store in the first place.
When the couple was expecting their first baby, Nina Arniotis sometimes felt taken advantage of when she went shopping as a new mom. This gave her the momentum “to make sure it didn’t happen to other new moms.”
As a result, Spoiled Baby has enjoyed long-standing relationships with their customers.
New moms regularly come in for advice about weaning, breastfeeding and potty training tips, and grandparents, aunts and uncles seek assistance in finding the perfect gifts for christenings, first birthdays and other special occasions.
Spoiled Baby finally reopened on July 16th in celebration of the reopening, and the store’s 23rd anniversary, a 23% off sale will be held for 23 days.
It has been a challenging time, but Spoiled Baby is even better than before. Like Peter Arniotis said, “Out of chaos is born, order.”
For more information, call 416-484-0470 or go to: www.spoiledbaby.info.