Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Napa Valley Register Article

Entrepreneur nurse adds style to hospital stays

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size
buy this photo

WEDNESDAY - NOVEMBER 02, 2011 - NAPA, CA - LaborLooks maternity hospital gowns created by Napan Ashley Stabile and her sister Brittany Hamilton. J.L. Sousa/Register

  • LaborLooks Maternity Hospital Gowns
  • LaborLooks Maternity Hospital Gowns
  • LaborLooks Maternity Hospital Gowns

Open For Business


• P.O. Box 305, Napa, CA 94559

• 294-2867

“It has been a real family project,” Napa native Ashley Stabile said of her company, LaborLooks.

Stabile, a labor and delivery nurse, started her business three years ago at her parents’ home. She sat with her sister, nurse and midwife Brittani Hamilton, and their father, ob-gyn Dr. Michael Wagner, and designed the first prototype for a stylish maternity and delivery hospital gown. Today, those gowns are sold in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.

LaborLooks’ maternity and delivery hospital gowns are made of 100 percent cotton and offer full side snaps and a side tie, allowing full emergency access while leaving the back of the patient well-covered, unlike regular hospital gowns. Much more fashionable than standard-issue hospital gowns, they come in cheerful colors that can be matched for the baby’s gender if desired.

Stabile, a labor and delivery nurse at Queen of the Valley Medical Center and at Kaiser Permanente, got the idea after working with expectant mothers who wanted to feel more comfortable.

“The idea for LaborLooks came in the first month I was working at Queen of the Valley,” she said. “I had several patients who wanted to wear their own clothes, but it wasn’t practical and they had to change.”

Stabile explained that in order for a gown to be suitable for hospital use, it has to have full snaps and tie in the back. She did some online research with her husband, Ron Stabile, to find out if any such hospital gowns were available and found only one company making them.

“Their gowns were very expensive, around $100, and it was mostly marketed to celebrities,” Stabile recalled. “I was happy to see the idea was out there, but wanted to make it more affordable so that more women can use it.”

After Stabile designed the first prototype with her sister and father, their mother made the first gown. The sisters and co-owners then contracted a manufacturer to make 200 gowns. Those gowns were sold through the company’s website and it took the sisters about a year to sell them. With no advertising budget, most of the marketing was done through social media.

Today, sales have improved significantly and the gowns are sold not only on the company’s website, but also in stores throughout the U.S., Canada and New Zealand. Social media remains a key marketing strategy, Stabile said.

After her friend suffered from a stroke, Stabile sent her a gown immediately to cheer her up. That inspired Stabile to expand the line of gowns that the company offers.

“We’re excited to expand our line to include other hospital patients,” she said.

Meanwhile, Stabile said she enjoys running LaborLooks. Her office desk is decorated with framed photos of happy mothers, holding their newborns proudly while wearing LaborLooks gowns. “One of my favorite things is receiving photos and emails from customers, sharing how much they enjoyed having our gowns for their labor and delivery.

“During our three years in business, we had the joy of seeing several repeat customers either ordering a new gown for a second delivery, or sending photos from more than one delivery wearing the same gown.”

There haven’t been any problems using the gowns in hospitals, customers report.

LaborLooks is a family business, with local orientation. The gowns are handmade in the Bay Area. The company’s professional photos are taken by a local photographer, Melinda Koen.

All the “models” on the website, catalogue and company’s website are local friends who had their babies while using the gowns. The gown styles themselves are named after family members and friends.

“We do all the packaging and shipping from our home,” Stabile said. “My brother-in-law designed our entire website and my husband does the orders fulfillment.”

LaborLooks, she said, “has been a project that brought our family together.”

Read more:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OH Christmas Tree

How many of you let your kids do most of the decorating of the Christmas Tree and then you go back later and rearrange it all?
Yup, I do that too.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fashion Friday: Flip Flops and Socks

I seriously went out on Wednesday night for my last minute brown sugar and bay leaves in my PJ bottoms, an apron, socks and flip flops.
I was hoping and praying that I wouldn't run into anyone I knew.
How silly was I to think that the neighborhood Safeway wouldn't have at least 1 person there that I knew. Yup. I was caught.

It was one of my dearest friend's husband. He took one look at me in the check out line and walked to another line to check out. Was he embarrassed to see me? Or maybe just the other line was shorter? Either way, next year I am totally sending my husband for those last minute things. She is way smarter than me.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Prep for Black Friday

*image found HERE at Have I ever mentioned that I am a black Friday shopper? Not like the wait in line for 4 hours kind of black Friday shopper, but I love to go out and score great deals and buy things that I don't really need but have to have because they are on such great sale.

Yup thats me.

Where are you headed this year?
I am off to Kohls, Target and maybe Toys R Us.

Oh, then bath and body works, old navy and sephora.

But that is it.

Unless you know where to find a sale on a minifridge. The hubs wants one for his office.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mommy Monday: Video Games

How young is too young to play video games?
Here is my troop. They weren't very successful at Rock Band, but they did get some daddy bonding time while mommy finished up making dinner. This doesn't happen often, but when it does I like to smile and laugh.

Have you noticed that boys play more video games than girls?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Holiday Annoucements

First of all I want to say a quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the better part of Laborlooks: my sister ASHLEY! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and year to come.

Wouldn't this be a cute shirt to have at your Thanksgiving dinner?
Maybe next year for my family, but what about your family?

I found this shirt on HERE
The shop is called SiblingSpecialtees

How cute is that??
I love personalized gifts. So fabulous.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wild Wednesday: Breaking Dawn

Image found HERE
Are you getting ready to go see Breaking Dawn tomorrow at mightnight?

I will be missing the midnight showing. Husband is out of town.

You can't really spoil it for me, since I have read the books- but what are you most excited to see?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mommy Monday: Birth Story

Remember when I posted about Running Mama's journey? HERE

She had her twins!

Read her c-section birth story of twins HERE

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Special Guest Sunday: Boogie Wipes

I am sure you have all heard of Boogie Wipes... right?
Well, maybe not our number one follower, our mother. BUT, all you other moms have heard about them, right?

Boogie wipes are pretty awesome. Made by moms, these are amazing little things to have handy.
Now that I have a 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 year old, I never buy diaper wipes and the girls don't want to have a diaper wipe brushed all over their face in order to get them clean. These Boogies Wipes are in small packages that easily fit in a purse (now that I ditched the diaper bag!) or in the car.

Some of the other fabulous products that the Boogie Moms have put out are new saline wipes for adults- so go check it out on their FACEBOOK page. Look at their website HERE and best of all, check out their blog: The Business of Being a Mom

Interested in being featured on our Special Guest Sunday? Email us at

Friday, November 11, 2011

Funny Friday: After the Bath

My funny Friday is that my daughter came out to me last night after her bath thinking she was so big and grown up with her towel wrapped around her hair like mommy. I can't imagine a smile getting bigger than this one. She was so proud.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Rock Paper Scissors

image via and HERE

There are a lot of unpleasant chores around the house. Take for example last night. Last night we needed to get the kitchen floor mopped and the girls bathed. Sometimes bath time is hard and exhausting, but so is mopping the floor.

In order to make these tough decisions: trash or laundry? teeth brushed or feed the fish? diaper change or make lunches? make dinner or clean up dinner? etc. my husband and I have tried a lot of different tricks.
First of all we tried this little spinner game from a book we got at our baby shower some 5 years ago. It is hilarious and wonderful but I swear it is rigged. Obviously after it landed on mom 3 times in a row I threw it out of the room and we switched to good old fashion "rock, paper, scissors."

What do you do? Flip a coin? Predetermined chores? Switch back and forth? 1,2,3 not it?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wild Wednesday: Cooling Temps

Cooling temperatures in Phoenix mean I can FINALLY turn off my AC. FINALLY feel comfortable wearing socks (even better- my compression stockings!), finally eat soup for lunch, finally enjoy my salted caramel hot chocolate, and finally work out in my most comfortable long sleeve t-shirt in the mornings.
I went out for a brisk 3 mile jog this morning in my capri sweats and this shirt.

Thank you Arizona, this is why I love you.
Thank you shirt, because I am an advocate for peace.
I know that when a baby is born it can be one of the most peaceful thing on Earth.

You haven't experienced peace with birth? Then please please please meet a midwife. Talk with a doula, listen to hypnobirthing CDs, and stop watching the baby story on TLC. Even a c-section can be a peaceful birth if you are aware and consumed with the love and miracle of the new life being brought into the world.

Don't believe me?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Final Giveaway Package: Cute Butts, FVL and LaborLooks

Wow... what a fun week of giveaways ~ I loved all the interaction with our fans. We are thankful for you and the fact that you are celebrating 3 years of business with us...

Our final giveaway is a package and includes...

Ruffle Butts Bloomers or Rugged Butts Bloomers (you decide boy or girl and we decide the bloomer... these are so cute)

Jewelry item from Funky Vintage Lovely

LaborLooks Maternity Hospital Gown (not expecting?? this is sure to be the hit of the next baby shower you attend)

So... how do you win today's giveaway?!?
"like" LaborLooks (of course!)
"like" Ruffle Butts
"like" Funky Vintage Lovely

and ***post a picture of the cute little boy/girl that you want to dress up in a ruffle or rugged butt bloomer... or post a picture of that belly that you want to put a LaborLooks gown on.

We will be selecting two winners for our package today! The photo with the most "likes" is an automatic winner... we will randomly select another winner from all of the entries. Enjoy & remember that ruffle butt & rugged butt bloomers range from newborn to 3T ~ excited to see all of your pictures today!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Giveaway Day for MOM: Jewelry and Starbucks!

Today's LaborLooks Anniversary Giveaway (Day 6 of 7) is being sponsored by Funky Vintage Lovely.

April Kennedy is the "mompreneur" behind Funky Vintage Lovely (a local Napa, CA business) ~ not only do we love April's Handmade Vintage-Inspired Boutique style items... we love all of the support April has given LaborLooks from the very beginning! April introduced us to Amy Butler fabrics and helped us with the design of our Cara and Addie gown... April also gave us "twitter" lessons and has helped us with our blog design and direction.

Today's giveaway is a surprise item from Funky Vintage Lovely and a $10 Starbucks gift card! Here is how to enter...

"like" LaborLooks on facebook
"like" Funky Vintage Lovely on facebook
Head on over to Funky Vintage Lovely's shop and leave a comment on our facebook contest post to let us know what your favorite item is... this is my favorite!!!

Another one of my favorite things about Funky Vintage Lovely... the bachelor/bachelorette recaps on the blog... hilarious!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Giveaway Day 5: Drool Monkey Organics

Drool Monkey Organics is another one of the ten "mompreneur" companies to make the Born by Moms finals. To learn more about this Mom and company you should check out this video (her sweet baby boy was also part of the audition!)

We got to check out this product in person at the ABC Expo. It is so soft... from the Drool Monkey Organics website "Drool Monkey is a certified organic, heirloom-quality teething lovie that is also practical and versatile for mothers. While there are other lovies on the market there is nothing like Drool Monkey."
Many of our kids have had some sort of lovie that they sleep with, hang on to, and hold when they are needing that extra sense of security. I would love to have an organic, SIMPLE, lovie that my next baby can hold on to. Nothing huge, gross, or filled with artificial things, because, in all reality, most of our homes are already FILLED with that crap!

So... how can you enter to win a Drool Monkey Organic Lovie??
"like" LaborLooks on facebook!
"like" Drool Monkey on facebook!
Leave a comment on our facebook contest post letting us know you entered!

**everyone that enters today will be given a bonus entry for tomorrow's giveaway combo!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4 Giveaway: Boon Animal Bag!

Today's 3 year anniversary giveaway is from BOON - Innovative Modern Baby Products. Brittani and I have so many Boon favorites that it was difficult to decide what to feature as our giveaway. We love Boon's bath products and all of Boon's feeding gear but we eventually decided on the Boon Animal Bag...

From the Boon website...
"Where the Furry things go. The first five stuffed animals are cute. But when 100 are scattered like furry road kill all over your house, it's time to do something like tossing them into an Animal Bag that doubles as a snuggly seat. All those plush bears and bunnies will be totally accessible, and much more manageable."

Here is how to enter today's giveaway...
"Like" LaborLooks on facebook
"Like" BoonInc on facebook
Leave a message on our contest post letting us know you liked us both!

For 2 extra entries... Share our facebook contest post on your wall... leave us a separate message on our post to let us know you shared.

Now... I am going to bed. I had a long night at work and I'm headed back for more tonight. Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giveaway Day 2: Sticky Bellies

Have you heard me talk about Sticky Bellies yet? Well... I have been in love with these since I first saw them... and after meeting Carly (mompreneur behind the company) I am even more excited about the company. She is passionate, energetic and been absolutely wonderful to us at LaborLooks! So what are Sticky Bellies?

"Sticky Bellies are removable stickers that help you photograph life's most important milestones with style and ease."
Look at some of these adorable photos!

Today, we will be giving away 2 sets of Sticky Bellies... The Gender Neutral 1-12 months & The Maternity 12-40 weeks.

So, how do you enter to win?
"Like" Sticky Bellies on facebook.
"Like" LaborLooks on facebook.
After you like us both... leave us a note on our facebook contest post to let us know if you want to be entered to win the Baby or Maternity Set of Sticky Bellies.

We also wanted to let you know that Carly made the finals for the Born by Moms contest. We think her audition video is phenomenal... you should head over and check it out at Good Luck Sticky Bellies!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

3 Year Anniversary of LaborLooks: The I Like Book Giveaway

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of LaborLooks... On November 1, 2008 our website was up and running... Cathy Wagner (aka MOM) placed our first online order and we (Ashley, Ron, Ethan, Brittani & Devyn) were in Chicago, IL at the American Baby Faire ~ take a look at this cute little guy (Ethan 4 years old)...

We went WAY overboard on our first trade show... spent way too much money... however, it was a great excuse to get all the sisters together, have some Chicago pizza and visit Erin (attending University of Chicago Law School).

I also associate the launch of LaborLooks with another exciting event... I had a "feeling" at the trade show but waited until the night we flew home to confirm. Yes, I was PREGNANT. Look at the family now (Ethan 7 years old, Addie 2 years old)

We are thrilled with the growth that LaborLooks (and our family!) has had over the past 3 years... we couldn't have done it without all of our family, friends and fans... We wanted to do something FUN to say THANK YOU for all of your support.

Today we begin the LaborLooks WEEK OF GIVEAWAYS. Our first giveaway is perfect for any family with kids... The I Like Book!

I picked up The I Like Book at the ABC Kids Expo in September... it may be my favorite purchase from the show... I LOVE it & my kids enjoy it. It is also set up easy for my husband to participate (he is not a big fan of writing.) You can get more info on their website but it is basically a journal where parent(s) can write daily "I Like..." notes to their child. Talk about positive parenting! There are also great places for kids to be involved throughout the book.

So... how do you win The I Like Book (color of your choice)?

"Like" the LaborLooks facebook page

"Like" The I Like Book facebook page (leave them a comment... new fan from @laborlooks)

Comment on our facebook contest post and let us know that you entered! Drawing will be held at 9 pm pacific time... We hope you will participate and good luck!!!