Expecting was born on 1st September 2000 when owner Heather Booth opened its doors for the first time.
Heather says: I lived in London with my husband Steve whilst I was pregnant with our first child, Jack, and really struggled to find clothes to fit me - especially as I got huge; I put on nearly 4 stone! I ballooned from a size 10 and didn't enjoy my pregnancy at all as I couldn't find anything the least bit stylish that would fit me. I was working full time and needed to look presentable. I was desperate! I ended up buying my maternity wear whilst on holiday in Portugal when I was 6 months as there was so much more choice in Europe.
I also had huge trouble finding maternity bras; after visiting 3 high street stores (who supposedly specialised in bra fitting) early on in my pregnancy, I discovered that I was going to have work it out on my own, as otherwise I was going to waste a lot of my hard earned money. I finally learned how maternity and nursing bras should be fitted differently to normal bras and worked out what size I should buy for each step. I now specialise in fitting bras that will fit every step of the way throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.
When Jack was 1, we moved to York and I was amazed to find that there was nowhere in the whole of the city that sold specialist maternity wear or a proper maternity/nursing bra fitting service. I decided that the situation had to change and started planning Expecting. I spent the whole of the next year doing a business plan whilst looking after Jack and on 1st September 2000, just before his 2nd birthday, we opened. Three years later we had our second child, a beautiful daughter, Erin, and that pregnancy was so much more enjoyable as I had lots of lovely clothes to wear!
In 2007, Sarah Faulkner joined Expecting after being a regular customer during her pregnancy with her first child, born in 2006. She's since had another two daughters, and acquired an extensive maternity wardrobe along the way!
Sarah says: I'd discovered Expecting after a long and fruitless search for black maternity trousers whilst I was pregnant with my first baby in 2005. Heather introduced me to the Noppies range, and it was lovely to have someone spend the time and effort helping me to find what I needed. I came back several times after that for tops, jeans and maternity and nursing bras! When a part-time job came up here in early 2007 I jumped at the chance! It was the ideal job for me: it's a great atmosphere - pretty much everyone who comes in is happy, because they're having a baby - and I love the fact that you get to know some of the regular customers almost as friends, and see them from tiny tummy right through to full-term bump. It's especially nice when our ladies bring in the resulting babies for us to see! I've wear-tested nearly all of the basic maternity lines we stock, and most of the nursing tops too.
In 2007, Expecting added Nursing Wear to its range and now stock breastfeeding tops and dresses by Boob and Noppies. They also continually add to their range of maternity lingerie and nursing bras by Anita, Bravado, Emma-Jane and Royce. Heather is a very experienced bra fitter.
Heather says: We source the best maternity wear and breastfeeding clothes we can find to sell in the shop by European designers such as Boob of Sweden, Esprit of Germany and Noppies from The Netherlands. Noppies have been designing maternity wear since 1991 and their clothes have incredible style and fit. We have tried and tested many of the items that we sell so we know that they work and how comfortable they are to wear. Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience if you have a great wardrobe!
In 2013 Expecting moved to premises closer to York City centre and started selling baby clothes by new, mum-designed brands which weren't readily available on the high street such as Blade & Rose leggings, Neckerchews by Cheeky Chompers, family run Powell Craft and organic cotton vests and suits from local company Piccalilly. We extended the baby range even further into soft toys by Dolce and Wilberry and robust wooden toys by Hape and Orange Tree Toys for up to 3 years.
In 2018 Heather and Sarah made the tough decision to close their shop on Gillygate after 18 years of trading and concentrate on their online store. The shop opened for the final time on 31st October 2018.