Hiding in plain sight next to Big Five Sporting Goods and across Washington Street from HEB is a true jewel of a kids’ store, Lele’s Place. The store has tons of affordable, high quality, mostly pre-owned clothing, toys, pack-and-plays, strollers and a whole lot more for kids from newborn to 12.

Owned and operated by Laura Ainsworth, a familiar face to many in our area, who worked as a nurse for 30 years – including a 23-year stint in the ER and four as a flight nurse – Lele’s is a bright, cheery welcoming establishment that many local moms may not yet have discovered.

“Most of what we have is used, but not all,” Ainsworth says. "When I retired from nursing, I still wanted to contribute and there really wasn’t anything like this around. I wanted something that I would enjoy doing and this gives me that and the feedback has been positive. I love doing this.”

Lele’s is not a consignment store, however, people do bring things in and donate them and those items get special treatment.

“When people donate items we give 50 percent of the sales price to a local charity," she said. "We’ve recently given $50 checks to Second Chance Farm in Granbury - they take in disabled animals - and Choices Clinic here in Stephenville. Our next charity is C-TAGS that does animal rescue in Erath County.”

Ainsworth also offers classes in alternative birthing for parents who may want to look at non-hospital techniques, such as water birthing.

“There’s certainly nothing wrong with having your baby in a hospital. As a nurse, I’d be the last one to suggest that. But some people are interested in other methods, so when there’s enough demand, I’m happy to offer a class once in awhile on alternative choices,” she said. 

Another alternative for moms and babies is her wide selection of cloth diapers.

“We’re the only place I know of around our area that offers them and they’re very popular.”

They’re also very cool and eco-friendly. Unlike the drab old white diapers many of us remember from childhood, these are brightly decorated as is shown in the photo accompanying this story.

“And even better, they’re not going to end up in the landfill next week,” she points out.

For all things baby, Lele’s is more than worth a visit. There’s plenty of parking and the store is located at 2121 W. Washington Street. Call Laura at 254-918-0942. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday.