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Hopes & Dreams expands to include maternity clothes 

Belly Bump & Beyond Hopes & Dreams ultrasound

Belly Bump & Beyond boutique owner Michelina Russell and Hopes & Dreams 3D/4D Ultrasound owner Jennifer Cassara. Photo by Love My Baby Photography

Ultrasound business relocates

–Hopes & Dreams 3D/4D Ultrasound will relocate from Morro Road to the center next to Kennedy Club Fitness as of Feb. 2. When it reopens it will also have a line of new maternity clothes and nursing accessories with Belly Bump & Beyond.

The boutique’s owner Michelina Russell of Atascadero said she and her husband had been brainstorming a business they could open in addition to her photography business, Love Your Baby Photography. Three years ago they thought that a new maternity clothing store would be perfect in the North County because there really aren’t many places to buy maternity clothes, even used ones.

“It wasn’t the right time, the kids were little,” Russell said.

As a mother of three young children, 4, 7 and 9 years old, she wanted a business where she didn’t necessarily need to be away from her children. Her photography allows her to fit her photo sessions, which are mostly maternity, newborn and children and families, around her family’s schedule and edit her photos at home with her children.

Russell and Hopes & Dreams owner Jennifer Cassara met several years ago when Cassara contacted Russell.

“[New in her business], she was told one of the first thing she needed to do was connect with a newborn baby photographer,” Russell said, adding that they advertise for each other. “It’s really been an awesome relationship working with her. It’s really cool, because of the relationship, moms will go into her and they’ll see my photos on her wall and go to me for their maternity photos.”

So the partnership between Cassara and Russell’s new business is a perfect fit, Russell said, since Cassara’s business only serves pregnant women. Cassara’s business has been located on Morro Road for the last three years. She said the reason she’s moving her business is because the current location is not zoned for such a store.

“Initially I’ll have to start with a minimum [number of items] and as the months go on, I’ll add more, Russell said. “I definitely want suggestions and I’m open to adding more brands. Every I carry will be [related] to the brand new baby.”

She’ll carry products from Boobie Bars, Mambino Organics, Hotmilk Maternity + Nursing, Udder Covers, Everly Grey Maternity, Lilac Clothing and more.

Although Russell expects to be in the store a lot during the first month, after that Cassara will run the store between ultrasound appointments, which tend to run 10 to 15 minutes, depending, Cassara said, on how cooperative the baby is. Her customers usually come at about 14 weeks for an early gender determination and at 30 weeks for a more realistic view of the baby. At the 30-week appointment Cassara takes a video and photos in both 3D and 4D, and now she has a high-definition ultrasound.

Currently, Cassara has appointments between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Cassara and her husband, Mario, own and operate the business together.

The businesses will be located in a 600-square-foot unit at 3520 El Camino Real. For more information, call (805) 461-1422.

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