Monday, June 24, 2024

A Diaper Lab babywearing workshop in 2019. (Photo: Diaper Lab via Facebook)

Diaper Lab, a Cambridge-based seller of environmentally conscious baby goods and advice since 2008, is closing its bricks-and-mortar location near Davis Square to go online-only, an owner said Sunday.

The business has been at 200 Elm St. since 2013 in a small, squat building operated by parents Salina Gonzales and Ryan Frazier.

By Sunday, the fading sign of the business – at home in the same city as the 100-year-old engineering firm Draper Lab – was down, furniture and stray items were being left at the curb for free pickup and the website was updated to note Diaper Lab is now online only, with “a full schedule of virtual workshops and in-person workshops” at Somerville’s Bow Market.

A changing retail scene made maintaining a storefront economically impossible, Frazier said Sunday. Too many customers were showrooming at the Elm Street location – doing their research in the store from its expert owners, then buying cheaper goods online.

The store grew out of a need to find chemical-free products that wouldn’t give Gonzales’ and Frazier’s daughter diaper rash. “We were also unhappy with the environmental impact our large disposable diaper trash would add to the landfill,” according to a Diaper Lab online history.

Once opened, the business surged, and the couple took space inside a baby boutique, then moved in October 2008 to their own retail location on Highland Avenue in Somerville before the final move to Elm Street. The owners’ daughter painted a mural on the wall facing the shop that they hoped the next occupants would keep.

Gonzales, identified by the website as a certified babywearing educator who has taken advanced seminars in business, child development and laundry science, kept up over the years with owners of several other cloth-diaper businesses, Frazier said. All their storefronts have closed as shoppers look for cheaper – and often plastic-based – baby goods.

“We may have been the last one open,” Frazier said.

The business’ website is diaperlab.com.


This post was updated July 31, 2023, to remove a link to a map.