expecting her first child. She began researching baby products that held up to the same ethical and sustainable standards as the products she would buy for herself, only to discover that those products were considerably hard to come by. Most of her findings were online with not many physical stores close by. She thought about how nice it would be to see everything in person and be able to touch and hold them. At the time, there was one such store on the other side of the city, so it was then that her idea for opening a hyper local neighborhood shop started to brew.
In early 2015, when her daughter was about 18 months old, Rebecca found herself talking to her good friend Rita (whose daughter is about the same age as Rebecca’s daughter) about her idea for the need for a local retail shop specializing in eco-friendly baby and parenting products. They immediately realized that they both shared similar ideas. Now that there was someone to bounce ideas off of, things began to look promising for the idea to become a reality. Rebecca also spoke about opening up this type of shop with her new parent friends in the neighborhood, all who were incredibly supportive of the idea and encouraged her to follow through. Rebecca and Rita decided to officially team up and become business partners. The shop opened 6 months later.
Since opening, the shop has grown significantly over the last five years…much like the neighborhood! Rebecca has gotten to know so many new families and has even established strong friendships with many of them. In addition to being able to promote her mission for more sustainable, earth friendly products, her favorite part of the business is the relationships she has with her customers and the community.
Not only does Minnow Lane carry a wide range of products for pregnancy to newborn through to age six - they also hold a number of reoccurring classes and workshops for new and expecting parents. Classes include infant/child CPR training, Breastfeeding 101, Childbirth Preparation, Infant Care, Child Nutrition Classes and much more! Rebecca also keeps the back area (outfitted with sofas and a kitchen) open to the community for weekly local parent meet-ups or for a place to just relax when passing through.
We love that Rebecca and her family have become an addition to the Portside family, and find her story to be an inspiration! To learn more about Minnow Lane and to browse products and classes online, click the link below.
We are delighted to announce that the Portside Arts Center was chosen to participate, display and be judged in this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show! We have been asked by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to create an “interiorscape,” which is an interior room staged on a 12’ wide x 10’ deep platform surrounded by 8’ walls that we will feature various plant displays on.
Started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Philadelphia Flower Show is the largest and longest running horticultural event in the nation. The event takes place annually at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Center City and hosts floral and landscape designers from around the globe who create diverse and stunning floral displays. Participants are judged in competitions including major garden displays, artistic floral arranging, gardening presentations and more. This year’s theme for the show is “Riviera Holiday,” so there will be an underlying Mediterranean theme among the displays.
Portide’s Pirates group (Grades 3-5) in our After School Arts Program will be working on the production of the interiorscape over the next five weeks. They will be designing creative arrangements and growing their very own plants, and getting them ready to be displayed and judged at the Flower Show. During this time we are fortunate to have important input and support from Executive Director of Greensgrow Meg DeBrito who will be demonstrating planting methods and plant care. We will also have our very own “Grow Up Green” specialist Jean Murray share her knowledge with us. We’ve also chosen our own theme of “recycle, repurpose, reuse,” a topic that is very important to us. The Pirates will all be bringing in something reused or recycled from home, to be repurposed as a planter.
Stay tuned to see the Pirates’ progress in the development of our fabulous interiorscape titled “The Living Room!” Also check out the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show website to learn more and to purchase tickets to this year’s show!
This holiday season, Portside is grateful for all of the wonderful and supportive families who are part of the Portside community, some who have been involved with us for many years and whom we have become close with. Among those families are Lara Ertwine and her 9 year old daughter, Skyler, who has been attending our After School Arts Program since Kindergarten.
Lara has become a familiar face and an integral member of the Portside community, as well as in the Fishtown and Kensington communities. She is an accomplished realtor at Keller Williams in Fishtown where she manages her own branch, the Lara Ertwine Team.
Raised in Lancaster County, Lara moved to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts where she received a BFA in Illustration. In 2003 Lara began investing in real estate, and increased her involvement in the community. She was a community adviser, founding member, and board member of the local community association where she organized neighborhood cleanups and other community engagements. She was also the curator of the Trenton Ave Arts Festival.
In 2008, Lara obtained her real estate license. Since then her business has grown exponentially, and she takes great pleasure in helping people find their dream homes. She has become the top agent at Keller Williams. Her team’s mission is to “provide personal and professional service by holding [themselves] accountable and committing to [their] guiding values of Honesty, Diligence, Professionalism, accountability, and teamwork.”
Thank you Lara for being a great mother, a member of the Portside family, and a strong and successful woman in the community!