St. John Baby gear rental business opens

Moms A couple of 'island moms' think see a money-making opportunity when it comes to young families traveling to the island.  Their new business, Island Baby, is an equipment rental service aimed at the needs of babies and toddlers. 

They'll rent you a crib for $125 a week, a car seat for $50, and even beach toys like a bucket and shovel for $10/week.  The inventory list, with pricing, can be seen here.

Previously, Jayme Gottschal and Christy Beaty worked as greeters for villa rental agents.  Seeing the travails of young parents wrestling with kids and toys and luggage, they realized solving that problem with rentals might be worth a shot.

The Web site is IslandBabyVI.com.  It is not without its humor.  One of the FAQ questions concerns whether Jayme and Christy will install the rented car seats.  No, says the Web site.  For that, "You visit our local fire or police department, who can assist you with the installation."  Anyone with island experience can only smile at the thought of making that request.

One thing in Island Baby's favor is the annoying, and high, fees luggage airlines are charging.  Instead of packing things like strollers and backpacks, renting them might make economic sense.

What do you think?  Is this a good business idea?  Comment here.

21 thoughts on “St. John Baby gear rental business opens”

  1. Great idea. Just watching parents go through airports bogged down with all that stuff makes me dizzy! What parent would want to go with “Island Babies.” Good luck ladies! Maybe I’ll pick up a “play hut” for myself…

  2. OOOPs! Meant to say ” What parent would not want to go with “Island Babies.” Give me another damned Bloody Mary hon…

  3. With the new luggage fees it might cost $50 just to haul a car seat to St. J. I did this once, it was a pain. $50 sounds fair to me.
    And the police will you install it!

  4. The idea is a good one but I see a few problems/issues –
    1. Things that families NEED are needed prior to arriving on STJ. Carseats are one example. I would no more allow an infant or toddler to ride in a taxi on STT without a carseat than I would at home. We always travelled with a carseat, waiting to rent on STJ is not a risk I would be willing to take.
    2. In our experience (6 trips with our now 4 yo, started 3mo old) the villa rental company (3 different management co.) provided a pack-n-play style crib free of charge. Maybe we just got lucky but why pay $75-$100 for something that you can get complimentary just by asking?
    3. Some of the stuff seems silly for STJ. What villa is designed for tricycle or plasma car riding? Who can’t live without jumperroo or music table for a week?
    I am all for paying for convenience but most of those prices are just crazy. A good quality life vest can be purchased at Dicks/Bass Pro and put in the bottom of the suitcase, same goes for baby monitors, saving a possible $75 delivery fee.
    I wish them success, hopefully I am in the minority.
    Now, if someone starts a true provisioning business, I will gladly spend $$$$ for that service.

  5. Uh. Yeah. Kind of a good idea, but the reality is that it probably won’t pan out. I can’t imagine them making much of a profit on this.

  6. Great idea – thow in an eco-friendly diaper service for visitors as well as islanders, and you might be onto something! Good Luck!

  7. This business already existed on St John. We were there in February and rented a pack-and-play, stroller and high chair for the week.

  8. That sounds terribly expensive and most of the Villas can provide cribs, etc. Lets not start ripping off our guests….

  9. Really surprised at even the owners opinion. Island Baby is providing a service to guest who would like to travel lighter. Like provisioning, private charter’s and catering, it isn’t for everyone. I have been traveling to St John for years (with young children 7,4,and 17 months) I have rented car seats while on STJ in the past and they were in poor condition. I just got back from STJ last week and rented from Island Baby. Our car seat and booster seat looked brand new and the crib was beautiful. We rented other items (toddler cot, beach toys and life vests) They may not get rich but I think their service could help many travelers. Don’t knock anyone for trying to make a living. I see lots of advertisement that is used for income on this site.

  10. Compared to what?
    I love coming to St. John. But, I realize that EVERYTHING is going to be more expensive. Accomadations, food, fun, etc..
    Why skimp on baby equipment??? Having quality and safety for my son is everything. If I was worried about price, St. John would not be my first choice.
    I haven’t used this service yet, but I’m definitely using it for my next trip Winter 2012(Can’t wait)
    Lugging my son is enough of a hassle, without lugging carseats, strollers, etc…
    I’ll happily pay for this service.
    Good luck ladies.

  11. Rental prices are high, especially when you add on delivery fees. I have only been to STJ a couple of times and I know that things are more expensive, but does it really cost that much for delivery?
    Also hope they are keeping tabs on safety of their products as well as recalls on their car seats and other mdse. Also hope they stick to the guidelines that in general most car seats expire 6 years from the manufacture date and should be replaced if they are in a crash. It is also very important to make sure the seat is properly installed. Does the STJ PD really install car seats?

  12. I am a rental agent for St. John and I think the idea is GREAT. There are so many homes that do not offer any type of baby goods, and I take my hat off to these two moms trying to make it on the island. St. John is a hard place to live and make a living so Give them a break and send you friends that are going to the islands with kids there names and information. And for the other business renting baby items it is call not having the connor on the market.
    It is GOOD business. Go Ladies!!

  13. Shopping for a new baby can be an overwhelming experience, both emotionally and financially. Fortunately, there are many discount and consignment retailers online that offer everything from cribs to bibs at a fraction of the price you would expect to pay at a typical retail store.

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