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Biggest Little Baby celebrates family in the Biggest Little City

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Co-owner Sarah Geo Walton describes Biggest Little Baby as more than a store. It’s “a family resource center primarily focused on the first few years of life.” In addition to retail, the business hosts classes and other events for young families including support services.

Biggest Little Baby offers yoga, circuit training and other movement and fitness classes in its studio space. While parents work out, free childcare is often available in the adjacent playroom (which is also open for drop-in play without childcare during business hours).

“It is very important to us that we have an environment that all bodies are supported in,” Walton said. “Our instructors have additional training and experience with pregnant, healing, compromised bodies and those with limited mobility/ability and can offer great guidance and modifications to help folks move safely and comfortably.”

However, Biggest Little Baby is more than a fitness studio. It also serves as a play space for kids, a retail store and an education outlet. The studio classes include childbirth education, workshops and family activities. There are also support circles available.

Another aspect of the business is the community fostered here. Other family-centered businesses including midwives, massage and reiki therapists, chiropractic care, lactation support, birth and postpartum doulas, placenta encapsulation, story times and children’s music are in the building. 

A class for parents at Biggest Little Baby. Photo courtesy Biggest Little Baby

“In the past, this center had a main drive for pregnancy and the first two years,” Walton said. “We have since extended offerings to include the whole family and their timelines. We invite grandparents, partners, family and friends to join in our yoga classes, support circles and activities.”

The retail arm operates out of a small store up front that specializes in items for pregnancy, breastfeeding, potty training and baby shower and birthday gifts. There’s also a second-hand maternity clothes section that features donated items sold to support the free services housed in the building. Plus, a rental program allows anyone to borrow baby carriers and cloth diapers for a fee. There’s even a large book-lending library.

“What truly sets us apart is the community that can be found,” Walton said. “There is often great isolation in becoming a parent. The connections you can build with the folks who are taking our workshops, sweating in our classes, crying in our groups, and trading phone numbers over toddlers throwing fits cannot be found elsewhere.”

For Walton and her co-owner, Erin Hansen, owning Biggest Little Baby wasn’t the original plan. Instead, both Nevada natives had signed on as renters in the space when it was called Nurturing Nest, Hansen as a massage therapist, and Walton as a doula and the owner of Bright Heart Birth Services. But, when the previous owner decided to sell, she addressed Hansen and Walton. “Find a way to buy it or I am closing it,” Walton recalled her saying.

Along with two other employees, a loan was secured and the name changed. Much of the space and offerings stayed the same, but some others shifted. The other two employees have since left. “Over the last few years, we’ve stumbled through the changes, just the two of us,” Walton said. “We are still making payments on borrowed money and will eventually, hopefully, pay ourselves, but the richness it has brought to my life could never be acquired through money alone. We have made it ours, and it has never felt or looked better.”

The retail space at Biggest Little Baby. Photo courtesy Biggest Little Baby

Above all else, the duo prides themselves on the community they have created. They describe Biggest Little Baby as a welcoming space that invites everyone to show up and take from the space what they can, whether that’s baby clothes or new connections. 

For Walton, the sense of community felt inside Biggest Little Baby echoes the town of 150 people she grew up in: Imlay. There, resources and shoulders of support were shared willingly. 

“My background was primarily around creative life, mutual aid and the non-profit world,” she said. “Ten years ago, I switched paths and went into birth work. It gave me a great space to practice advocacy, empower my community and hold space for big and important feelings and growth.”

Hansen was born and raised in Reno, staying in the community that raised her. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Race, Class and Gender and was surprised at how birth work found and moved her. Today, she embraces the change she sees in Reno on a macro scale as well as the micro changes she experiences in clients every day. 

“We are living in a time where we are so lonely even with easy access to people,” Walton said. “Information and community has a hard time finding you unless you go looking for it. Connections are made through braving it and showing up. We welcome weird, we welcome awkward. We welcome you.”

Biggest Little Baby is open 7 days a week and located at 7693 S. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89511. A class schedule is online at https://biggestlittlebaby.com/.

Nora Tarte
Nora Tarte
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor's in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.

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