I had a blog post all written up and ready to go, but I ended up having to rewrite it. It’s hard to put into words my feelings since I heard my friends, Jim and Jana, are closing their baby store. Retirement, they’re calling it. OK. It’s been a hard road to travel for them lately given the state of the economy and they deserve a break.

The idea of Dagerman’s Just for Kids not being there when I need to go try out a carseat is simply foreign. They always had the carseats that Babies R Us didn’t—Recaros, Sunshine Kids, Britax, etc. They had the unique HWH seats before anyone else in town. As far as I know, they’re still the only baby store in town carrying the Oobr and Orbit seats. Sure, these are really expensive seats, but where else in town could I go to actually touch one? Even before I had kids, I had heard their ads on the radio and occasionally saw them on TV. They’ve been in business for over 26 years! Jim Dagerman took over the business from his father—family-run and all that. And poof, it’s done. I know it’s a tough decision for them to make; it’s been a way of life for them for many years.

I still remember taking my newborn ds to their store when he was days old to find breastfeeding supplies. The one-on-one help Jana gave me was invaluable to a very much sleep-deprived and highly stressed new mom (my ds had just been released from the NICU). It was a calm setting in a quiet store with knowledgeable folks helping; quite the opposite experience I would have had at BRU. We’ve bought carseats and furniture from Dagerman’s. When I had a problem with a glider chair arm, Jim handled it quickly and nicely.

Jim and Jana also actively support the local Safe Kids coalition by providing a location for a permanent fitting station and by also being techs. Jana’s an instructor too. Their boys have long left the nest, but Jim and Jana maintain their interest in child passenger safety and are the best. Of course, looking at the bright side, maybe now they’ll have more time to attend checkup events! Running the store was an all-consuming job. Jana taught me when I became a technician so many years ago (10 or 11 years—I’ve lost count!) and Jim is my go-to local geeky carseat friend. I keep trying to get him to actively participate at car-seat.org (seriously, we need more men there!), but he likes reading it so far. And their business expertise has benefited our coalition greatly as we’ve gotten our books in order over the years and need advice on how to operate more as a business and less as a thrown-together grassroots organization.

I’ll miss having Dagerman’s the store around, but hope I’ll get to see more of my friends because of it. I’ll still be able to see Jim on Sundays since he and my dh ride together. Whether or not I crack open the door to say hi in my pre-shower state is another thing! They’re both still young enough to laugh in the face of retirement, which I know they’ll do. The closing of their revered baby store is simply a milestone in their lives. Generations of children grew up with Dagerman’s Just for Kids and have fond memories of the Dagermans and their employees. Nothing will be able to replace that. Good luck in your final weeks!