For all intents and purposes, Shannon Polczynski has two new babies: a 2,000-square-foot retail children’s store and a precocious, brown-eyed baby boy. She became a new store owner and a new mom within a few months of each other — something she wouldn’t have expected a year ago.
“It’s tough trying to keep him occupied, safe, not into everything,” said Polczynski about her son. “But I don’t want him in day care. I missed the first 10 months of his life and I’m not going to let someone else have him right now for six or eight hours out of the day.”
Today, Ivan is in his crib behind the store’s counter, though a nap seems out of the question. Polczynski tries to get some work done but eventually gives up and allows her son to explore some of the store’s brightly colored toys.
Flashback to early 2007 — Polczynski is starting to burn out after years of teaching at a school for emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children. She and colleague Jen Kolendowicz decide to start a business. Though neither has children, the women set their sites on an upscale retail store for children’s merchandise. “We just saw a need for it for the area, and it was just fun,” said Polczynski. “I don’t know how it happened; we just said, ‘Wait a minute, we could do that. ‘”
The result was Bay-be Boutique in Salisbury. It was around the same time that Polczynski and her husband, Brian, began the process of adopting a baby — something the couple had considered for years.
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