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Archive for the ‘Swimwear’ Category

Heartfelt and sweet are the words we would use to describe the owner, Linda Fiore, of Tiny Threads children’s boutique in North Haven, Connecticut. We also know you can include thoughtful and the best products in town as a guarantee for any customer that shops at the best kids clothing store in North Haven! Read below for how Linda was inspired to start her store (literally from sewing tiny threads), her top special moments at the store (sure to make you smile) and advice on keeping kids cool and stylish as summer winds down this August.

Linda's granddaughter, Gwyn, showing off a Le Top "Bee Happy" collection shirt & pin stripe short set

 

Tiny Threads Boutique
448 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473
203.239.7644

or go to www.tinythreads.com
for more information

CHECK-IN and JOIN
Tiny Thread’s Boutique
Facebook page and click HERE


1.    Why did you pick the name Tiny Threads for your store?
Linda:
Actually, it’s a double meaning.  Say, “Nice “threads” you’re wearing!” Tiny threads (sewing) are what I produce and carry in the store, as well as boutique brands. Also, it sounded different from a lot of other children’s stores. Occasionally, someone thinks its Tiny Treads (I do not carry small tires). 

2.    What was your inspiration behind opening your store and how long have you been around?
Linda: 
I have owned Tiny Threads Boutique for 10 ½ years. I opened December 1, 2000. For many, many years I wanted to have my own store, but life happens when you’re making other plans. I actually sold my first handmade item (a potholder made of loops) to my Mother when I was 7-years-old (for a dime).

Tiny Threads hand-crocheted sweater that can be personalized with your child's name

I began sewing when I was 13 in high school and my sister, Bonnie, was 3-years-old so I would make outfits for her and Mom would let me put them on her – my first victim (Sister Lori, who was 9-years-old, wanted NO part of this.) Crocheting since I was 11, I designed doll clothes. After raising 4 kids, being a legal secretary for many years (selling my creations on the side) and getting re-married, my husband, Mike, said go ahead and try it. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay. My dream come true! 

3.   Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned at your store this coming summer, especially the fun deals we can expect.
Linda:  
My summer sale will be starting soon and I am always throwing items out on the half-price sale rack in front of the store.

Gwyn in a Le Top "Poppies" collection top & print capri set

4.    There has been a heat wave in the East Coast recently – what clothing and kids accessory items from your store would you suggest as for a go-to “heat wave wardrobe and survival kit”?
Linda:  
I am currently working with seersucker, and anything with spaghetti straps for girls is always cool (like the Le Top Poppies set). A lot of the sun hats I carry have SPF 50 to keep the tiny tots head’s cool. 

5.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Linda: 
Never overprotect the little critters. Take them everywhere from an early age, teach them how to behave in public, be social, friendly, have manners and in general have joie de vivre. Now they all love to travel, daughter Colleen dabbles in politics and they passed those traits onto the grands (who are grand).

6.    Describe the neighborhood of your store locations in North Haven, Connecticut. Did you grow up in any of the local area?

Grandchildren, Gwyn and Johnny, in Tiny Threads hand-made 4th of July outfits

LindaI grew up in West Haven, right on Long Island Sound when Savin Rock was still in operation. Savin Rock was an amusement park on the shore beloved by anyone who grew up not only in West Haven, but in all of New Haven County and beyond. Steven King even wrote about it in one of his books! Alas, it’s long gone but the memories remain.

7.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Linda: 
There have been so many special moments that I can’t decide. My friend, Judy’s granddaughter (Quinn), who was a Darling of the Day a few months ago, recently requested “Let’s go see your friend, Linda, but not at her house, at her store.” Her and her sister, Layla, love to try things on and model for me.

Quinn's little sis, Layla, in a Le Top "Wildflower" collection drop waist dress

When I create a Christening gown or First Communion dress from a Mom or Grandmother’s wedding gown and then receive a beautiful thank you card and photo, I’m over the moon.

I see the little girls beaming when they try on their dresses and view themselves in the “Magic Mirror”. After the fittings or the shopping trip, they get to say a magic word and low and behold, the mirror opens and they get to pick a prize (brothers and sisters, too, but NOT grownups).

Finally, when my little customers come in, some of them run right over and give me a big hug. Now, who has a better job then me????

8.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
Linda: 
Uncle Louie G’s Ice Cream is great. We’re Facebook friends. Grand Apizza North is right next-door and has been a great source of many customers. They host birthday parties, showers, First Communion parties, end of school sports parties, etc. On the other side of my store is The Breakfast Nook that is another great source of customers. Everyone brings the kids on Saturday morning and of course, has to poke through my sale rack out in front. Club Kids is a great place to have parties just down the road with activities and rides. The North Haven Fair is one of those famous institutions held every year in September for the last 75 years or so.

Flower the Clown and her granddaughter are regular visitors to Tiny Threads

9.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Spring/Summer 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Linda: 
The “Hearts Delight” collection was everyone’s favorite, including mine, and I had a lot of the different outfits including bathing suits. Most of them are gone now. I love the flowery prints combined with dots. I love prints in general. You can’t find too many solid items at Tiny Threads. 

 
Tiny Threads Boutique
448 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473
203.239.7644

or go to www.tinythreads.com  for more information

CHECK-IN and JOIN Tiny Threads Boutique Facebook page and click HERE

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This little punkin, Avery, has got of oodles of style. She had her first dip in the pool this summer wearing Le Top (pictured left to right in a Le Top “Spring Meadow” swimsuit, a rabbitmoon “tulip” sleeveless bubble, and a Le Top “Sweetheart Butterfly” swimsuit) and is flauting her fashionable summer wardrobe every chance she gets. Simply adorable!!! Congrats to Avery on being crowned the Le Top Darling of the Day!

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Birthday wishes are in order for today’s Darling, Juliana. She turned 1-year-old on Tuesday. Happy Birthday cutie pie! She is a vivacious little girl who love, love, loves the water and her Le Top Daisy Duck monokini and hat! Congratulations Juliana for being our Le Top Darling of the Day!

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Photo by: Pedro Andrade/Kevin Perkins/Pacific Coast News



Feliz Cumpleanos to Levi McConaughey, son of actor Matthew McConaughey, 41, and model mommy Camilla Alves! He turns the big 3 today and is probably hitting the beach with sister Vida (almost 1-year-old) to make a sand castle birthday cake while mom and dad snap shots of the fun!

How cute would Levi and his sister look in our Le Top brothers/sister “Ship Ahoy!” matching swimwear (plus it is on sale at  40% OFF!)


For Vida

For Levi

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To celebrate the birth of our country Le Top is offering you 20% OFF non-sale items TODAY ONLY. Read more below to find out the exclusive one day code.

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We interviewed super chic boutique owner, Sandra Murphy, of P. Cottontail & Company located in Half Moon Bay, California to find out “what’s hot” and “what’s not” for kids clothes this summer. She gives also gives us the inside scoop on her store events and super sales to look out for, as well as the best hangouts in the store’s area. Read more to find out about her fashion tips and the best beach gear this summer that you can’t live without!


P. Cottontail & Company

527 Main Street
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
650.726.0200 

Check-in and join P. Cottontail & Company’s
Facebook page and click HERE
 

1.    What was your inspiration/ behind opening your children’s clothing store – P. Cottontail & Company?
Sandra: I really did not have a single inspiration — being in the garment industry my entire career — and the kids business for a large part of that…it was a natural progression.  

2.    Tell us about any special events that you have planned at your store this coming summer and fun deals we can expect. Sandra: Our special events this summer?…On July 4th we have an old fashion hometown parade. We will be handing out flags to all of our kids. Also our BIG end of season sale will start in mid-July. Of course, do not forget THE PUMPKIN FESTIVAL in October. Please visit us early for all things pumpkin AND the best costumes ever.  

3.    What are this season’s latest trends for kid’s clothing? Tell us the 3 “do’s” and 3 “don’ts” in kid clothing style.
Sandra: Do’s and Don’ts…

  • Do go for all things comfy and soft — babies and kids both can develop sensory issues at an early age give them all the help you can.
  • Do go for the accessories — it makes the outfit — boys love hats and cool shoes, girls love purses just like mom.
  • Do go for lots of great dress up clothes, it’s not just for b-day parties, and not just for girls!
  • Don’t ever buy any garment that even LOOKS itchy — this is especially important in dressy dresses — also tags inside the garment — many
    of the moms ask us to remove them after they purchase the outfit because they bother the kids so much.
  • Don’t ever go for anything tight or restrictive — kids need to be kids.


4.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Sandra: I never had anything I swore I would never do — I’m a firm believer in “never say never.” I have one daughter — one amazing daughter — and being in the apparel industry, she was exposed to all types of clothing and styles and is quite the diva.

5.    Describe the neighborhood of Half Moon Bay, California where your store is located. Did you grow up in the local area?
Sandra:
Half Moon Bay is a coast side town about 20 minutes south of San Francisco — the ocean is a big attraction for families — there are also tide pools at The Fitzgereld Marine Reserve where kids get a real hands-on experience.  

6.    What are your top 3 best selling beach gear items that you would suggest as the perfect “go-to” items for a family on vacation?
Sandra:
Top 3 items for beach gear — SUN SCREEN – a sun hat with a large brim and sunglasses – I’m very big on sun protection — start you kids early. 

7.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Sandra: Hands down favorite moment in the store is when one of my favorite little girls came in, sat down on the floor, opened her piggy bank–dumped out all the pennies–and asked me if she had enough money to buy the horse outfit!! 

Le Top "Flutterbye Butterfly" Hooded Zip Front Coverup and Bikini

8.    What swimwear or cover-up piece from Le Top or rabbitmoon do you love from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection?
Sandra: My summer swimwear collection favorite piece…is the pink zip front cover-up from the Le Top “Flutterbye Butterfly” Collection – I also love the bikini-don’t forget the sun hat!  

P. Cottontail & Company
527 Main Street
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
650.726.0200

Check-in and join
P. Cottontail & Company’s
Facebook page and click HERE

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Who here grew up playing in a portable pool at Grandma’s house? Raise a hand? I did! I personally grew up with a pool in my backyard, but remember as a child going to play at friends’ houses or Grandma’s house where there would be a portable pool to make the warm weather heat of summer a little bit more bearable. I live in New York now and even my nieces play in a portable pool on a city roofdeck because pools are scarce in the city…what was really shocking to find out this week was a new study that suggests portable or inflatable swimming pools are a greater danger to children than many parents likely realize, leading to one death every five days in the United States during warm months. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, provides harrowing descriptions of 209 backyard drownings and 35 near-drownings that have occurred in portable pools from 2001 to 2009. Scarily, I found out this study is the first U.S. research to probe the role portable pools have played in deaths or near-drownings.

Researchers restricted their study to include wading pools less than 45 centimeters deep to inflatable and soft-sided pools measuring about one meter deep.

The study, published Monday, June 20, 2011 in the journal Pediatrics, found that 209 children died in these pools between 2001 and 2009. In addition, there were 35 near-drownings reported during the same time period. The researchers reported on accidents that occurred in water depths ranging from two inches to four feet. One accident involved a parent who fell asleep in a wading pool while holding a child. Other accidents occurred during lapses in pool supervision when a parent left to answer the phone or was distracted by yard work. Two 9-year-old girls drowned in an inflatable pool after becoming entangled in a pool cover. In another case, 3-year-old twins died after leaving their home undetected and jumping into a neighbor’s unsecured four-foot-deep portable pool.

According to the study, 94 per cent of children were under age five and 56 per cent of the victims were boys. The children were also more likely to be in their own yard when the incident happened, with 73 per cent of incidents taking place there.

In this Aug. 7, 2007 file photo, Todd Fuentes, 4, left, plays with Adrian Girald, 7, second from right, and Anthony Zollinger, second from left, as his father Eugene Fuentes, right, looks on in a portable pool in Brooklyn, New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

“The anecdotal evidence was suggesting that because portable pools are readily available in many convenience stores and malls, and they’re relatively cheap, parents would pick them up, take them home, quickly assemble them, and all this would be done without a lot of forethought about the safety aspects,” said senior author, Dr. Gary A. Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

Why is there a trend in buying portable pools?
Portable pools have become a popular and affordable alternative to expensive in-ground pools or stationary above-ground pools. Unlike the fragile, inflatable pools of the past, portable pools today are sturdy and large, including some that can be filled with as much as water as a small in-ground pool. Large wading pools typically cost $100 or less, whereas very large portable pools can cost $1,000 or less. By comparison, in-ground pools can cost $30,000 or more.

The downside of portable pools?
The downside of portable pools is that they often lack the security fences and gates that most local zoning authorities typically require to surround in-ground and above-ground pools. Among the portable pool drownings that were reviewed by the Pediatrics study, at least 47 could have been prevented if the pool had been surrounded by fencing.

The researchers acknowledge that no single strategy can completely prevent a death or near drowning, and so advocate a multi-pronged approach. On the one hand, manufacturers should develop affordable safety devices for portable pools, including fencing, alarms and safety covers, which are common for in-ground pools. They also say better consumer-education programs are needed to make parents aware of the pools’ risks.

According to the study, children were under adult supervision in only 43 per cent of the cases.

In-ground pools must have fencing on all four sides, while portable pools can be put anywhere on a property, she said. In my opinion, many consumers assume such pools are safer because of their smaller size and that there is only a couple of inches of water, so it’s not that big of a worry. Portable pools can be extremely dangers and should be treated the same way parents see larger built-in backyard pools with the same importance of adult supervision.

“The thing about drowning is that it’s simply different than most other types of injuries, because if you fall from playground equipment, you usually get another chance,” he said. “With drowning, it’s quick, it’s silent and it’s final. That’s why it’s so important to prevent these events from occurring in the first place,” say Dr. Smith.

Note: Researchers obtained data for this study from the four U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission data banks: the Death Certificate file, the Injury/Potential Injury Incident file, the In-Depth Investigation file, and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Bottom line mommies and daddies? If you are going to use a portable or inflatable pool – you must be vigilant the entire time, never leave your child unattended and treat it as if it were an actual pool in your backyard. What’s an alternative? I loved sprinklers in the grass as a kid – shockingly they are really fun and kids always find a way to make a game or two of it in the summer heat!

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Le Top "Heart's Delight" Swimsuit

I spend most of my weekends in the summer by the pool in the Hamptons and typically it is Bob Marley’s greatest hits on repeat. I love music, and especially a variety of music, but I know it can be tough if you have a big family for everyone to agree upon the music, and especially for it to be appropriate for the kids too!

20 Songs for your Summer Jam Playlist from Le Top:

  1. “Pressure Drop” – Toots & The Maytals
  2. “Crazy (Singer Version)” – Gnarls Barkley
  3. “Dog Days Are Over” – Florence and The Machine
  4. “Rock Lobster” – B 52s
  5. “California Girls” – The Beach Boys
  6. “Steal My Kisses” – Ben Harper
  7. “No Rain” – Blind Melon
  8. “Could You Be Loved” – Bob Marley
  9. “Dancing in the Moonlight” – King Harvest
  10. “Under the Boardwalk” – The Drifters
  11. “Build me Up Buttercup” – The Foundations
  12. “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay
  13. “Take it Easy” – Eagles
  14. “Over My Head” – The Fray
  15. “Coconut” – Harry Nilsson
  16. “Wasting Time” – Jack Johnson
  17. “I Want You Back” – Jackson 5
  18. “Carolina in My Mind” – James Taylor
  19. “Margaritaville” – Jimmy Buffet
  20. “Sunday Morning” – Maroon 5

 What are some of your favorites? Enjoy and boogie down at the pool!

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We interviewed our favorite online swim retailer that carries everything from the top beach gear to the best family and children’s swimwear! They know the “do’s” and “don’ts” in warm-weather swim style – read below for the latest and greatest tips from the fabulous buying team from the SwimOutlet.com.

SwimOutlet.com
www.swimoutlet.com

Join SwimOutlet.com’s Facebook page and click HERE
Become a Twitter fan of SwimOutlet.com HERE

 

1. What was the inspiration/ behind starting e-store – swimoutlet.com?
SwimOutlet.com started as a website called SwimLessions.com. Our CEO had the idea to create a website where swim students could connect to instructors. The site grew to include locators for public pools, directories for swim schools and an aquatic job board.

Selling swim products was the next step in its natural progression. Today, SwimOutlet.com is the largest online specialty shop for swimming, water polo, fashion, beach, and surf products in the US.

2.  Tell us about any special online promotions that you have planned this summer and fun deals we can expect!
Our e-store has promotions and deals throughout the year! Sign up for our newsletter or check out our ‘clearance corner’ to get the lowest prices on swimwear. 

3. Summer break is here and families are travelling and in need of fabulous swimwear and swim products. What are 3 family swimwear must-have items that are available at your online store for summer?

Our top 3 must-have items for the summer:

  • Sun protection: Protect you and your family from sunburn this summer! Here are our suggestions: Sun blocks, sunscreens, sun suits, UV protective swimwear, cover ups, sunglasses, and hats!
  • Swim aids: Help your child gain confidence in the water! Arm bands, swim vests, flotation suits and USCG approved life jackets are great options!
  • Goggles: SwimOutlet carries a variety of swim goggles including: Competitive, prescription,
    snorkel, and kids goggles!

4.  What are this season’s latest trends for kid’s swimwear? Tell us 3 “do’s” and 3 “don’ts” in kid swimwear style.  

This season’s hottest trends in kids’ swimwear are ruffles, bright colors, and floral.

The 3 “do’s” in kids’ swimwear style are:

  • UV protective materials: Rashguards, sun suits, cover-ups, and hats.
  • Comfortable fit: The more comfortable the swimwear, the more your kids will enjoy wearing it. Choose a swimsuit not too tight or loose; if your child is between sizes, pick the larger size for them to grow into.
  • Popular styles include: One pieces, tankinis, bikinis, and monkinis for girls and boardshorts, volley shorts, and surf styles for boys.

The 3 “don’ts” in kids’ swimwear are:

  • String tops and bottoms: These are sure to fall off active children!
  • White swimwear: Dirt is more likely to show up on lighter suits.
  • Complicated: Buy swimwear that is easy to put on / take off!

5.  What are qualities parents should look for in children’s swimwear? Wearability? Comfort? UV protection? Please tell us your 3 rules to buying perfect children’s swimwear!

  • Definitely comfort
  • Easy to put on / take off
  • Fun for your child

6.  What are your top 3 best selling beach gear items that you would suggest as the perfect “go-to” items for a family on vacation? 

  • Beach umbrellas
  • Towables
  • Beach games and toys

Le Top "Beachy Keen Monokini"

7.  What swimwear or cover-up piece from Le Top do you love from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection?
We love Le Top’s Monokinis—they are absolutely adorable! The entire Ship Ahoy! collection is a close second!

SwimOutlet.com
www.SwimOutlet.com 

Join SwimOutlet.com’s Facebook
page  by clicking HERE

Become a Twitter fan of
SwimOutlet.com HERE

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We were lucky enough to interview one of the CUTEST boutiques in Charlotte, North Carolina this week for our Premier Store Spotlight – The Milky Way! Owners Wooten and Adam Schmitz gave us their insight on what items a new mommy needs, their rule of thumb on children’s style and being prepared for parents looking for the hottest items to buy their kiddos this summer. Read more below to find out about this adorable boutique and their “fun in the sun” summer sales!


The Milky Way
1419 East Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
704.374.9200
http://www.amilkyway.com/

Join The Milky Way’s Facebook page and click HERE

1.    What was your inspiration/ behind opening your children’s clothing store – The Milky Way?
Wooten: The original idea behind the store was to have everything for new and nursing mothers. We started out with a lot of very practical products for mothers and a few very adorable things for kids. But the cute kid piece of the business very quickly became our favorite.

Le Top "Beechy Keen" Seahorse Monokini

2.    Tell us about any special events that you have planned at your store this summer and fun deals we can expect.
Wooten: We always have a couple of great summer sales in which customers can get great deals on “fun in the sun” items. We offer adorable swimsuits from Le Top, re-usable swim diapers with cute prints, wide-brimmed sunhats and the safest and most eco-friendly sunscreens from California Baby.

3.    Describe the neighborhood of your store in Charlotte, North Carolina where your store is located. Did you grow up in the local area?
Wooten: We are located in the Dilworth area of Charlotte, which is a really interesting mixture of affluence and funkiness. It boasts lots of clothing and gift boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. I did not grow up in Charlotte, but it has long been considered the Carolina’s shopping mecca. We used to travel regularly to Charlotte from my small hometown in eastern North Carolina in order to shop, get our hair cut, and then eat at great restaurants. That was many years ago, but Charlotte hasn’t changed a bit in that respect.

4.    Summer break from school for kids is just around the corner. What are 3 vacation clothing must-have items that are in your store for summer?
Wooten: Our swim and skincare products, of course. We still have some beautiful sundress for girls, including this year’s best seller – Le Top’s Poppies collection.
 

5.   Where are your favorite family hangouts in the Charlotte, NC area?

Wooten: We love Discovery Place located uptown and have always enjoyed our visits to the Charlotte Nature Museum right here in Dilworth. And, of course, many summer hours are spent at our neighborhood swim club.

6.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Wooten: There are so many things I thought I’d never do that I ended up doing.  It’s really kind of embarrassing to think about how little I knew. But if I had to choose one, it would be “buying” my children’s good behavior with the promise of ice cream — or some other delicious treat – later.

Le Top "Poppies" Stripe Umbrella Top & Print Capri Pants

7.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Wooten: Honestly, the best moments for me are the ones in which I feel I’ve really helped make a struggling new mom’s life a little easier. Recently, I helped a young woman with a bra. She and her mother were both there. They’d been over the Charlotte metro area looking for a properly fitting nursing bra and were an the point on giving up until they got to The Milky Way. We fitted this new mom with three comfortable new bras and also reassured her that she was not alone in her difficulties. I got a hug and the most heartfelt thanks from both mother and grandmother as they departed, and it really did make my day!

8.    What do you think are the 3 perfect ingredients if there was a “recipe” for dressing a stylish child? Always having solid basics? The perfect tutu? Great jeans that are durable for the everyday play for boys? Tell us your ‘secret recipe’ on style.
Wooten: A stylish child is a happy child, so I’m big on comfort. I think some nice solids look great. Happy colors are a must for me. And I really believe that all children’s clothes should be from natural fibers. 100% cotton just can’t be beat from comfort, style and durability.

9.    What collection or piece from the Le Top or Le Top Baby line or Rabbitmoon do you love from the Spring/Summer 2011?
Wooten: I love the Le Top “Poppies” Collection! It’s so bold yet so feminine, and I think it really looks lovely on all skin types.


The Milky Way
1419 East Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
704.374.9200
http://www.amilkyway.com

 Join The Milky Way’s Facebook page
and click HERE

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