Preggers delivers number two

TRAVERSE CITY – The Preggers family has expanded. Preggers II debuted in October at the former Shag space on Front Street in Traverse City. Its mother-store, Preggers, a maternity and infant clothing store, opened in March on Union Street.

The new store touts itself as a “unique boutique for tots” and offers toddler clothing, including an Italian line sold nowhere else in the United States, and specialty toys such as tricycles shaped like airplanes and hand-painted potty chairs.

Rebecca Zipser Hoffman, who owns the Preggers family with her mother Ann Zipser and sister Emily Zipser, said customer requests prompted the new store.

“At Preggers we have clothing that goes up to 24 months. We had enough people asking for bigger sizes that we decided to open another store,” she said.

Opening two stores in one year might be a major undertaking for some, but not for the Zipser-Hoffman clan. “We’re a motivated family,” said Hoffman.

That might be an understatement. Aside from parenting two stores, Hoffman is a family practice physician in her final year of residency at Munson Medical Center. Her sister Emily is a teacher living in Chicago and is also attending interior design school. Their mother Ann is a CPA.

“Basically, we’re insane,” laughed Hoffman.

They might be insane, but they have a lot of help from the other members of their family. Rebecca and Emily’s father is an attorney and CPA (he also owns a fast-food restaurant and a motorcycle dealership). His office is across the street from Preggers and their brother works there, too.

“My brother works right across the street and he helps out whenever we need him. My husband painted the entire store. My sister is here all summer and comes up on weekends to help. When something needs to be done, we all just pitch in and do what we can. No one has any specific job,” Hoffman said.

Their family-oriented business model seems to be working. So far, Hoffman said Preggers has “met our expectations by far.” She credits the store’s success to the fact that “it’s a family-run, locally-owned business where you receive personal attention within a nice atmosphere.”

Preggers II joins several other children’s clothing stores on Front Street. Hoffman said it is not their goal to compete with the other stores and Preggers II will not carry any of the clothing lines already found downtown.

“We’re not trying to replace any of the other stores, we’re trying to complement them,” she said. BN