Meet Sprout Collection: a fashionable, affordable and sustainable
solution for expecting moms
It's no surprise that some of the best ideas come from determined
moms looking to make life a little simpler. That was certainly the
case for the Joyce Lim, founder of the subscription maternity
rental service Sprout Collection that's gaining praise and
popularity among Canadian moms.
When Joyce became pregnant she, like most expecting women, had a
lot of questions: How will this work? How hard will it be? What
will my new baby be like? Am I ready? With the litany of initial
questions and considerations, the last thing on her mind was, "What
will I wear?"
Joyce figured she'd continue to wear oversized knit sweaters,
loose-fitting dresses and go up a few sizes at her favourite
retailers but soon discovered this wouldn't work throughout her
entire pregnancy—the fit wasn't quite right and she ultimately
lamented the idea of purchasing items she would likely never wear
again. When she ventured into shops tailored to expecting women,
her disappointment deepened after finding the options lacked the
quality and durability (and weren't offered at the price point) she
was looking for. "I don't consider myself a fashionista, but I do
prefer to buy quality to unsustainable fast fashion," says Joyce.
"Maternity clothing seemed to be this afterthought or like some
kind of fashion black hole, and I didn't think it had to be like
The corporate lawyer and the soon-to-be mom of Georgia (now nine
months old) took to the internet to find a solution. She looked at
Rent the Runway—a subscription clothing service that allows you to
rent items for an event or every day and return them afterwards—and
dreamed that something like it could be available to pregnant women
like her. Out of all of this frustration, she came up with a goal:
to find a way to bring quality maternity clothing to Canadian women
at an affordable price.
Sprout Collection is a subscription service that offers just that.
Starting at less than $100 a month, pregnant and nursing women can
pick four items from their collection of more than 2,000 styles,
wear them as many times as they please then return the box and
receive four new pieces the following month.
The pieces range from formal dresses (for that one-off event like a
friend's wedding) to cozy sweaters to trendy jumpsuits. Each of the
fashionable selects is made with motherhood in mind, too—think snap
buttons for nursing, wrap dresses and stretchy material for a
changing body, and high-quality textiles for #SproutMamas to rent,
wear, return, and repeat to their heart's desire (and growing
The idea was straightforward, but getting there certainly wasn't.
"As a lawyer I was always the one who would lay out the potential
risks and options for my clients for them to choose, but in
deciding to start this business I had to both consider the risks and take the leap of faith," says Joyce. For every month her tummy
grew, so too did Joyce's determination to make Sprout Collection a
reality. In a true testament of her own hard work and having a
supportive husband, Josh, to bounce ideas off, the official launch
of their website coincided with the birth of her firstborn Georgia
Rose—we'll call it fate. "For every update we had with my delivery,
there would be one to match it on the business side," recalls Joyce
with a laugh.
The process—both pregnancy and building a business from the ground
up—was a whirlwind but Joyce and her husband have only just begun.
As the company's subscribers grow, the couple rightfully take a
pride in their user's positive feedback (renewed confidence, peace
of mind, making maternity clothing fun again) but also look to
include an environmental mandate as well. In the era of fast
fashion and overflowing landfills, Sprout Collection's rental model
is a sustainable solution—they even encourage subscribers to re-use
the same box for returning items. "We'd like to be akin to Canada's
Rent the Runway and encourage people to seek renewable options
where possible," says Joyce.
Today, mom, baby and brand are doing well—Joyce and Josh are
continuing to navigate the sometimes challenging, always rewarding
realities of raising a child and growing a business.