Archive for December 10th, 2010

We sat down with Kathleen Gibbons owner of Belles and Beaux, one of the cutest and most unique children’s clothing boutiques located in Gahanna, Ohio. This boutique has a wide variety of clothes from infants to big kids, and you can count on the owner being there all the time to personally help you. Read more about how the boutique was founded and her holiday essentials!

1.     What was the inspiration behind the name Belles and Beaux?
Kathleen: It is in honor of my late husband. My good friend and I thought of the name together and felt it was very special.

Sextuplets (wearing Le Top elf outfits) from Belles and Beau photo with Santa

2.     Describe the neighborhood where your store is located. Did you grow up in the local area? Is it the same as it was growing up?
Kathleen: We are located in a small suburb between Gahanna and New Albany – it is a very upscale neighborhood with many growing, young families.

I grew up in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. Growing up in that area, our family had friends that owned a local children’s boutique.  At that time we knew we didn’t want to open up another children’s store in that area and compete against our family friends.  One day, I was at a baby shower where it dawned on me where to open a children’s boutique.  I had actually brought Le Top to the baby shower, it was a gingerbread type outfit (can you believe I remember?) for the baby. At the shower, there were SO many repeat and multiple Gap gifts for the mommy-to-be, and I thought to myself – there needed to be a boutique on this side of town (Gahanna, OH)! Six months later, my store was born. Before opening the boutique, I was a social worker, so the whole children’s industry was very new to me!

3.     What would you suggest as the top 3 essentials in the winter that any parent should buy to brighten up their child’s wardrobe?
Kathleen: Always have a white faux fur coat, hat and muff purse from Le Top.

4.     What is your favorite holiday film past or present for kids/family?
Kathleen: It’s A Wonderful Life by Frank Capra from 1946 – a classic!

5.     Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Kathleen: I would never put my kids in scrunchy head bands! I feel that kids tend to want to dress themselves, but sometimes its better if you help them pick out what they wear (just not scrunchy headbands!).

6.     The holidays are around the corner – what are your top 5 items (clothes, toys, giftables, etc.) for any parent shopping for the holidays at your store?

  1. Hair accessories – for sure! We have local women that make corkers and big bows. We are known for it! Have probably sold 10,000 bows since I opened the store 10 years ago!
  2. Elf oufits from Le Top or Let It Snow! – they are phenomenal. We actually have special hair accessories made for these outfits!
  3. Christmas PJs – these are always big with our customers!
  4. Outerwear – a jacket is great for the winter to keep you warm!
  5. Musical dolls – We have Clara from the Nutcracker and Sugar Plum Fairy dolls. There is a local Nutcracker ballet and these dolls are really nice to accompany the big ballet event during the holidays!

7.     What’s your favorite holiday tradition and or nostalgic moment and why? Whether it be decorating the Christmas tree to eating peppermint bark to lighting the menorah candles to baking in the kitchen, etc…
Kathleen: I would say my favorite holiday tradition is probably Christmas Eve mass with my family, nieces, nephews, and more – there are over 20 of us!

8.     Any special events or fun holiday traditions that you have planned at your store?
This is our 10th year of photos with Santa and a Gingerbread and Tea fashion show. It is actually our15th year of sponsoring the fashion show!

9.     Tell us your best parenting tip you know or would want to give to a new parent.
Kathleen: My best parenting tip? Enjoy them!

10.     What collection or piece from Le Top or Le Top Baby line or Rabbitmoon do you love from the Fall/Holiday 2010 collection?
Kathleen: Let it Snow! Collection for sure!! Or All Wrapped Up! Collection. I loved that too!

Belles and Beaux
1249 North Hamilton Road
Gahanna, OH 43230
‪(614) 473-2000

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This winter, I don’t even have time to bake gingerbread, much less Christmas shop, but I love the idea of a cute little gingerbread house at the doorway when people come over my house.  I was trying to find a fun recipe and activity that is good for kids and easy on time for parents. See below this easy-breezy activity, and super festive too!

TIP: Use royal icing -- piped from a resealable plastic bag with a corner snipped off -- to hold houses together and "glue on" decorations. When adhering pieces, hold in place one minute to set.

Top right picture includes below ingredients:
To make your own little guy, slice off the top and bottom of a white gumdrop, and press it onto a soft swirl candy; use a piece of red gumdrop for a hat and two nonpareils for eyes. The cottage, which is studded with cinnamon candies, has a sour-belt roof, a heart-shape candy-cane window, and a graham cracker door. Letters destined for the North Pole are hidden inside a mailbox created with a swirl candy, a piece of a candy cane, and a gumdrop; the flag is cut from a stick of gum.

Cookie Cottage How-To
1. With a serrated knife, saw a graham cracker into 2 squares. Saw off top corners of another cracker to create a peaked roof; make 2.

2. Pipe icing onto bottom and straight edges of a peaked piece. Place on an upside-down paper plate; use a small object, such as a spice jar, to prop it up. Repeat to pipe icing onto edges of a square piece, and adhere it to peaked cracker. Remove spice jar, and adhere other pieces with icing.

3. Saw a cracker into 2 squares for the roof. If desired, spread icing onto roof pieces and decorate with candy; let dry. Pipe icing onto top edges of house, and adhere roof pieces. To display, place plates on a tray and cover with shredded coconut snow.

No time to go to the mall for that perfect outfit for your little one.

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