London moms Karie Randall and Kristin Nestor planned to stay home with their young children full-time and pursue their creative interests on the side, but destiny had something else in mind.
Between the two of them, London now has a one-stop shop if you’re looking to have a professional photo of a most adorable-looking little kid. The new dual shop hosted a “grand reopening” on Thursday.
Nestor, 32, is the owner of Scooterbug Boutique and the mother of a 5-year-old and 1-year-old. Randall, 30, is the owner of Limelight Photography and a mother to a 3-year-old, 2-year-old and 10-month-old.
Together, they’re operating both businesses from 12 W. High St. All of that in their “spare” time, of course.
“And it’s turned into something huge,” Randall said. “Now, it’s totally more than on the side. It’s a full-time job.”
A 2002 London High School graduate, Randall first became interested in photography when she shadowed a local professional during her senior year. In 2005, she graduated from the Ohio Institute of Photography and Technology in Dayton and took a job as a forensic photographer.
“Yeah, it was pretty cool,” she admitted.
She quit her job when her oldest daughter was six months old to be a stay-at-home mom and shoot photography on the side. In preparation of the decision, Randall opened the studio to little fanfare — she would get to the renovations one of these days — exactly one day before she went into labor in December 2010.
“It’s always been busy, it’s always been well received, and over the years it’s been growing and growing,” she explained. “It turned from friends and family, into friends of friends and friends of family, and now I get calls from people I don’t even know.”
Although she photographs all subjects, her specialty is children.
“I love my little nuggets and I like them to be them,” she said. “Sometimes children don’t always cooperate, but that’s when I love them because you get their natural expressions. You give them a little bit of time to get used to you and love you, and you’re going to get them in their best state. That’s what I love.”
Nestor, who had a 3-year-old daughter at the time, became a regular client of Randall’s about two years ago. She often brought along homemade bows, sashes, tutus and other accessories for the photo shoot. Shortly, Randall started hanging Nestor’s items in the store window for sale. The two ideas work well together, she said.
“My clients loved it because they could buy stuff for their sessions,” Randall explained. “Out of that, it has evolved into this.”
“This” is a daintily and meticulously decorated boutique in the front of Randall’s newly-renovated photography studio. In front, the small space is adorned with onesies, dresses, sashes, bows, headbands, pillows and bibs. In the back, Randall has installed barn siding taken from a Madison County barn on one wall, and a chalkboard wall on the opposite side.
For the boutique Nestor makes “basically anything with ribbon and tulle” herself. The remainder of the items she hand picks from various artisans. All items are made in the U.S. and are completely handmade.
“A lot of it are moms trying to make an extra bump on the side while they stay home with their kids,” Nestor said. “We’ve brought all of their vision into one place where people can find the ultimate unique baby item.”
The boutique is accepting applications from local artists interested in consignment.
The name Scooterbug Boutique — with a motto of “Dapper and Darling Designs” — comes from a childhood reference.
“When I was little I wanted to scoot on my bum — that was my mode of transportation — so my dad called me Scooterbug,” Nestor explained. “You don’t come across the word Scooterbug often, so it was the perfect unique name.”
Both Randall and Nestor’s husbands work full-time, so the families both stay pretty busy.
“Yeah, you could say that,” Randall said. “It’s like the ultimate working mom business.”
Limelight Photography is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call ahead to make an appointment. Scooterbug Boutique is open Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Look for both businesses on Facebook.
Andrea Chaffin McKinney can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.