Necessity is the mother of invention and there is nothing more necessary to new moms than diapers.
When Molly Ging began searching for a cloth diaper service in 2003, she could not find one. She decided to start her own cloth diaper service, and Tree City Diapers was born.
“I was six weeks postpartum with my first child, not really a recommended time to make life-altering decisions,” Ging said with a laugh.
For three years, Ging ran the business out of her basement, educating new parents and supplying them with a non-disposable alternative. As demand continued, she eventually moved to a permanent store location.
Soon, the business expanded to include all the baby gear parents were searching for. The new store came with a new name, The Little Seedling, and a new location on Stadium Boulevard.
“We have a full range of products, from baby gear to clothing to shoes and toys. Toys and gear, such as car seats and strollers, are our top departments, but we do have the largest selection of kids shoes in the city,” Ging said.
Ging believed in a business model of parents helping parents. She currently has a staff of twelve who use their experience to help answer questions for shoppers.
“The biggest benefit to the way I started my business is that I started slowly and I was able to work with my kids,” Ging said. “They have always seen me in this role, even if it has changed over the years. In the very beginning, I worked out of the home, so they were there along for the ride.”
Being a business owner and parent comes with a lot of challenges. Ging found ways to juggle time spent in the store and time spent with her children. Oftentimes, that even meant bringing the kids to work over the years.
“Even though I work an insane amount of hours, I am generally able to flex my time around their events and needs.”
She noted that it also helps to have someone who shares the duties.
“I’m super lucky to have a supporting partner who has always been an equal partner when it comes to raising our children. Of course, there is sacrifice sometimes as well as with any working parent. I’m not always home and even when I’m home I am usually working. I don’t get days off.”
Ging offered advice for future and current mom-preneurs.
“Retail is brutal,” Ging said. “It is incredibly hard work. When I was first looking to open my brick and mortar store, a friend of mine who also owned a store said ‘Take how many hours you think you will be working and double it.’ She wasn’t wrong. That said, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Being a mom-preneur is incredibly rewarding.”
Parent Profile: Get to Know Molly Ging
We asked Ging questions about her self and included them below.
Tell us about yourself!
I grew up right here in Ann Arbor. I went to Newport, Wines, Forsythe, Pioneer, and University of Michigan. I have a degree in chemical engineering.
Tell us about your family!
My husband of almost 22 years is Dave. He works for the university. I have 2 boys. David (19.5) is studying welding at WCC, and Daniel (17) is a Junior at Community.
Best parenting advice you’ve ever heard?
This too shall pass. My mom always said it to me (really about anything) and it is so true. Also, a wise woman once told me that it is okay not to like babies. Turns out that is true for me (which is ironic because I own a baby store). That phase is not my favorite. I much prefer my teens!
Beverage of choice (and favorite place in Ann Arbor to get it)?
Old Fashioned from The Raven’s Club.
What do you like to do on a day off?
HAHAHA! Owning your own business, there really isn’t such a thing.
Probably up north Michigan in the summer. I’m pretty simple when it comes to travel.
Favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor?
So many! For sure, my husband and I spend most of our time at Raven’s Club or Casey’s Tavern.
Are you a book person or movie person?
Neither! I prefer binging multi-season series.
Who’s on your playlist?
Whatever my 17 year old adds to our shared Spotify playlist!