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Posts Tagged ‘Baby Clothes’

We are launching “Store Spotlight” today and will feature a premiere le·top specialty retail store each week.  Read more for an exclusive Q&A and “sneak peak” images of our featured store of the week! 

This week we interviewed one of New York City’s finest boutiques, Granny-Made.  Visit our Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/le-top/117553138255670 to preview our new video mini webisode introducing owner, Michael Rosenberg and head buyer, Adele Salzberg from Granny-Made!

We want to give you the inside scoop on Granny-Made’s latest and greatest news, and what YOU don’t know about one of New York’s hottest children’s stores.  

1.     Granny-Made is a distinctive store name – does it have a special history?
Michael: Well yes, I named it after my grandmother.  She was my Muse and my Inspiration.  I left the corporate world in ‘85 to start the business with her sweater designs.  I remember it was a hand-made catalogue of her sweater designs…I had a small contractor who produced them, and then I decided to advertise [the product] in The New York Times, The New Yorker and Harper’s Bazaar.  The press had a great reaction and the brand took off.  The store was named after her and actually my brother and I came up with the name!

2.     Describe the neighborhood your store is in. 
Adele: The upper side of Manhattan demographically has more young families with children than any other neighborhood in New York.  It is ethnically mixed and there are a lot of multiple births – lots of twins and even some triplets!  There are a lot of great schools, so it is a very desirable neighborhood.  It is the perfect location for a children’s store such as Granny-Made.

3.     Who is your target customer? Do you specialize in any certain types of product?
Adele: What I have found when I started working at Granny-Made is that Michael’s idea was to have very unique store with women’s sweaters. As I saw what the neighborhood was becoming over the years because of so many families with children, I thought it would be only natural to take an approach of [including] childrenswear.  What we wanted to create was a very special store where you could find merchandise that no one else carried.  We have now become the “go to store” for gifts, special occasion and novelty.  My background has always been novelty, which is why in particular le·top performs so well, because no one does novelty better than you [le•top].

4.     What products do your clientele like the most?
We do 20% volume toys, 20% is dresses and 20% of our volume is onesies and our business is anywhere from newborn up to size 8 for childrenswear.

5.     Any celebrity customers over the years or do you have any celebs buying right now?
Adele: Oh! Lot’s and lots! Well, we have had Julia Roberts, Stanley Tucci, Isabella Rosallini, Frank Langella, Richard Kind, and Cynthia Nixon to name a few!

6.     What’s coming up for Granny-Made? I heard you are moving your store location – what will the new store offer?
Adele: The new store is on Amsterdam Avenue between 82nd and 83rd Street and the new address is: 467 Amsterdam Avenue.  I feel that as the children grow, we are growing, and we will now be offering up to size 10.  We’re also have started to offer christening items, which is not available at that many stores. When people ask for something – we bring it in!  We are also going to branch out into special little sparkly shoes to match the cute dresses we carry – pretty much whatever the customer wants, we will do.

Michael: We will also have small furniture, toy boxes, little chairs, something more unique, such as customized rocking chairs.

7.      You have a remarkable history and have been around 25 years, do you have any special plans or events for your anniversary?
Michael:  We will be making the new move to 82nd Street!  We plan on having a celebration after Labor Day with an opening party and champagne! Stay tuned.

8.     What do you feel are the three biggest keys to your 25 year success?
Adele: Well…we are very unique in that:

•   We give amazing customer service – people know that when they come here they will be properly taken care of.
•   The quality of our merchandise is extraordinary – in fact, the Zagat has rated us as “E: extraordinary”.
•   From the beginning of the sale ’til the end, it is all about the SERVICE.

9.     How do you select your products for the store? 
Adele: Well, I shop all of the [childrens’] shows. Whenever a new vendor calls, I will always take the call and listen to what they can offer.  I also shop new resources. The business is constantly evolving and you need to constantly bring in new designers to keep it fresh. We are always one of the first to test a new designer.

Beautiful pieces from our rabbit moon 'passage' and 'fleur-de-lys' collections

10.     What is one trend you’re currently seeing with customers?
Michael: Our girls dress business has exploded! We are surrounded by little girl’s dresses in here!

Adele: In fact, the le·top girls’ dresses were among the first tested in our store, and have bought so many of them. When it comes to little boys, they don’t want the “cutesy” things, parents nowadays sometimes want them to look like little men.

Michael: With that said, it is not that we resist this trend [of little men], but little boys have plenty of time to look like dad.

Adele: Yes, we try to keep a balance between “cutesy” and “little men”, but for girls – they want it VERY girly.  What we hear a lot about our dresses from young women who walk into the store is, “I wish you had that [a little girl dress] in my size!”  The dresses we carry are very girly. We don’t want our little girls to look like they are going to a cocktail party; we want them to look like they are going to the Nutcracker [big smile].

11.     If you had one piece of advice for someone entering children’s retail today, what would it be?
Adele:

  1. Do your homework.
  2. Find out who your customers is.
  3. Shop stores and see what is out there.
  4. Talk to your vendors – GET the information and don’t go into it blind. Research is one the most important things when opening a business.
  5. Talk to the other stores on the block – find out traffic patterns.
  6. Walk around the neighborhood – see how many baby carriages, how many toddlers, and do your homework!

12.     You probably have seen thousands of mommies and their children come in and out of your store doors – what is one of the funniest things you have heard come out of parent or child’s mouth?
Adele: “I Want IT, I want it, I WANT IT!”

13.     What are your top 3 fashionista tips for dressing a child?
Adele:

  1. When it comes to toddler girls – they only wear 3 colors: pink, pink and PINK. So, make sure you have pink!
  2. When it comes to boys, they like dinosaurs and trucks.
  3. It is important to have the right accessories for your perfect outfit – the dress, the hat, the tights, and the sweater – the perfect assortment to complete the outfit!  That’s what is so great about le·top is that you have all of the merchandise to “build the right package/outfit”.

14.     And your #1 kid fashion “no-no”?
Adele: Dress your child as children – they don’t stay children very long!

Michael: The reason we carry up to size 10 is because lots of children can wear bigger size childrenswear, and until they get up to the teen years where parents don’t have a lot of say on what their kids wear, parents still want that “say” and influence on their clothing. For us that is important.

15.    What is your best or most memorable moment in your store?

Michael and Adele [together]: That is hard! Every day is a special day here.

Adele:I just love it when they come in here and tell us they love our shop. I love it when they just get off the plane from Oklahoma and they say, “This is my first stop and I come to your store first.”  Every day, just the joy of making the customer happy and making the sale is Marvelous.

Swimsuit from the le•top Gone Fishin' Spring collection

Michael: Yes, it is truly gratifying. Now we are seeing the children that were growing up the last two dozen years coming in here now with their own children, and now their parents are grandparents… just moving on to the next generation is great!

16.    What collection or piece from le•top do you love right now from the Spring 2010 collection?
Adele:
We love your duck collection [for Spring].  Nobody does ducks better! For Fall 2010, I can’t wait for your bomber aviator jacket to hit the store.

Visit our Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/le-top/117553138255670 and put a face with the name from our latest interview.  Preview our latest “Store Spotlight” video webisode introducing owner, Michael Rosenberg and head buyer and connoisseur, Adele Salzberg.

Granny Made
381 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10024
212.496.1222
www.grannymade.com

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Our Fall 2010 photo shoot is fast approaching and Le Top is looking for children to model our unique clothing!

We are searching for babies and toddlers between the ages of 7 months and 4 years that wear sizes between 9 months and 3T (unwashed).

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and your child loves to be on the lens side of a camera…read on!

Please provide the following information to skelly@letop-usa.com and we will send you all the pertinent information regarding the go-see and photo shoot:

* Child’s name
* Guardian’s name
* Boy or Girl
* A couple of recent photos of your cutie
  (snapshots are ok)
*Age
*Weight
*Clothing size
*Shoe size
*Email address
  (please send one email per child)
*Can your child walk or stand on their own?

IMPORTANT DATES AND INFORMATION:

GO-SEE: January 6th at our Richmond, California headquarters
What is a go-see? It’s a day when children come in for an audition (to try on clothes!)

PHOTO SHOOT: Week of January 18th
If your child is chosen, they MUST be available for one or more of the photo shoot dates.

REQUIREMENTS: All children must secure a valid working permit – we will supply all the information necessary – and sign a usage agreement. Information regarding compensation will be included in our return email.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: January 4th, 2010

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Here’s a NEW contest to tickle your funny bone. Every now and then, we’ll post a photo with a fun challenge to come up with an entertaining and amusing caption. le•top judges will look at the submitted entries and pick the winning caption. The winner will receive a beautifully designed Le Top outfit from their favorite collection.

To Enter – Submit your caption in the comment field below. Entries will be reviewed on September 22nd. The winner will be announced on September 24th.

Here’s the first Funny Foto. Put on your thinking caps and make us laugh!  

CaptionThis1

Editor’s Note: If you’d like to submit a photo for captioning, please upload your photos here and be considered for Le Top prizes as well!

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Pockets Blog1We love questions that make us stop and think…why do we do that?  One of our wonderful retailers, Jacquie at In Fashion Kids, posed a question that new moms ask – “Why do baby clothes have pockets?”  It’s a great question!  TC (Human Resources Manager, blogger and mom) organized a little ‘round table discussion’ with our fabulous designers here at le•top – we thought you would love to hear some excerpts explaining their creative reasoning.

Marykate – le•top baby Head Designer and mom
“I love little pockets on baby clothes, because it gives me another place to put embroideries and appliqués…and where else would they keep their pacifiers?”

 Pat – le•top Head Designer, mom and grandmother
“That’s a funny question, isn’t it? I think designers put pockets on baby clothes as a design element, because most people like to dress their babies in clothes that mimic older fashions. If you left the pockets off of little boy’s pants for instance, the pants might look like they were missing something because we are used to seeing them there!

Rolando – rabbitmoon Head Designer 
“There are several reasons to put pockets on baby clothes. One of the main reasons is to show gender difference. You design rounded pockets, and sure enough the outfit looks girly.  Then you make a square pointy pocket and the outfit looks a little more boyish.  Another reason for pockets is to make a statement that says “I care,” even if the pockets are useless. You care for the babies and want to make them look like we do – “little persons.” I have no children but I am sure that if I did I would want to make them feel like they are part of me and they are no different.”

Elena – le•top baby Assistant DesignerPocket Blog
“I think the whole “mini-me” concept is right on. The clothes we design at le•top are not only functional, but also fashionable. In fashion clothes don’t always have to “make sense” – they are meant to inspire, influence, delight, or humor. Baby clothes are meant to be adorable. Pockets, embroideries, ears, and soft fabrics are all a part of that warm, “Awwww, that’s so cute” feeling you get from looking at baby clothes.”

Anna – Technical Designer and Design Room Manager
“Pockets are essential for baby clothing so they have that extra cushion to fall on. ☺ Pockets on baby clothing are great for a game of hide and go seek. You can hide a toy in the pocket for your baby to find. Pockets are also known as ‘Baby’s First Bank’ – whenever your family and friends give your baby money, they are great for safekeeping!”

Sarahle•top Assistant Designer
“I think babies need clothes with pockets because it’s adorable when they’re dressed up as little adults. When I have a baby, I plan on dressing him up like a grandpa: argyle vests, brown velcro shoes, newsboy hats, and cords with pockets!!! Everything is so much cuter when it’s smaller!”

Marice – Assistant Designer and mom
“Little pockets are just right to add interest to a garment.  Yes, if you think about it, it is silly to put pockets on a newborn garment because they are not really used by the baby, but I think they are so commonplace that they are accepted.  Here’s a thought…Does anyone question the tiny patch pocket they sometimes put on the sleeves of women’s t-shirts?  They don’t even have a flap, so they’re not really functional either!”

TC – HR Manager and mom
“Why pockets? Kids love them! My daughter can’t get enough of them. She sticks her hands in them whether they’re on the shirt, pant leg, or on the hip then, she makes sure that everyone else knows about her pockets. I regularly find chap stick, hair clips, rocks, keys, and change in her pockets. She likes to stand with both hands in her pockets and look like a grown up. Hooray for pockets!!!!”

Now that you’ve heard from our designers and staff, we’d love to hear from you! Do you prefer clothes for your children with pockets? Why? What treasures have you found in your children’s pockets?

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MM Logo

 

 

 

 

The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullaby… Rocky Mountain high” – John Denver

Since 1983 Tracey Owens, owner of Mountain Moppets, has had a beautiful store, located in gorgeous Colorado Springs, Colorado. Mountain Moppets appropriately derived its name from the majestic Rocky Mountains that line the entire western skyline of Colorado Springs. Tracey enjoys meeting the needs of the local ‘Moppets’ – and carving out a place within the community.

Happy triplets

Happy Triplets

In with glasses

Fun with glasses

Tracey’s favorite days revolve around communication and interaction with customers in her darling little store – a haven in this beautiful region.  She loves showing off the new styles that arrive for the season and thrives on the wonderful feedback from her loyal customers.  Tracey caters to devoted customers by offering pre-sales; and creates exciting special events in her store, including drawings and contests to reward and give back.  Attractive gift wrapping is available upon request for both Mountain Moppets’ online and in-store customers. So ‘come on home’ to Mountain Moppets for a great selection of le●top’s Fall 2009 collection…and don’t forget to tell Tracey “hello!” from this side of the mountain!

Mtn Moppets Gang

Mountain Moppets Gang

Mountain Moppets is located at:
2532 W. Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
(719) 633-3473

M-Sat:  10:00am – 5:30pm
Sunday:  12:00pm – 4:00pm

If you can’t make a trip to the beautiful Rocky Mountains visit Tracey at www.mountainmoppets.com

Tracey loves to chat with customers; you can reach her by calling the store or by emailing mountainmoppets@gmail.com

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Little Lambs Children's Boutique in Pell City, AL

Little Lambs Children's Boutique in Pell City, AL

Heather Adams loves children…so she became a teacher!  When her daughter Anna Beth was born she made the decision to fulfill another dream, also in the children’s arena – she became the owner of a wonderful children’s boutique in town that she heard was closing.  Little Lambs Children’s Boutique in Pell City, Alabama was perfect!  Heather’s dream as a new mother was to spend as much time as possible with her darling daughter – and two years later Little Lambs has become Anna Beth’s second home with mommy.

Little Lambs Children’s Boutique, now open for a total of 14 years, is a fun and happy place.  Heather loved the name of the boutique, and decided not to change it because as she says,

“Children are God’s Little Lambs.”

One of the benefits that Heather loves the most about owning her store, other than spending most days there with her daughter, is the interaction with her customers and the community.  It is exciting to help choose new outfits for special babies or birthday gifts for grandchildren.  She loves being involved with that momentous decision by a new mom-to-be, when they choose their baby’s “coming home” outfit – a truly special day!

Heather’s involvement extends beyond just selling clothing to her customers – she delights in creating special events in the store that brings her community closer.  She hosts pottery parties twice per year – creating ‘priceless’ art – like the impressions of tiny hands and feet that will be cherished for years to come.  During the Christmas and Easter holiday seasons a photographer is in the store to capture wonderful moments with Santa and the Easter Bunny.

Anna Beth and Kaylie wearing le●top Flower Power courduroy print dresses from Fall 2008

Anna Beth and Kaylie wearing le●top Flower Power courduroy print dresses from Fall 2008

Heather makes shopping for the special items at Little Lambs even easier – she has created an online store as well!  You can visit the website at www.shoplittlelambs.com .When visiting this charming website you might want to sign up for the email list; the recipients receive emails regarding preview sales and special events.  Tech savvy customers also receive special offers on Facebook!  Complimentary gift wrapping is just one of the many perks when buying that special gift from Little Lambs – and makes gifting so much easier!

“We feel very blessed to be able to have this business and are so thankful for our customers.  I have been able to make my dream a reality” – Heather Adams

Little Lambs Children’s Boutique
2247 Martin Street South
Pell City, AL 35128

Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday:  10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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basketsMy cousin, Joslyn, is getting ready to have Baby #2 (a girl, Haven Bella) soon and this weekend, we are holding her baby shower! Since I work at a baby and kids clothing company, it’s no secret that most of my baby shower gifts are going to be our gorgeous baby clothes from le•top and rabbitmoon, but sometimes I like to mix it up a little. “Surprise” is a big thing for me, and because my gifts are generally predictable, I like to throw a zinger in there.

  • For Jess’ baby shower gift, I put together a HUGE basket of clothes, along with some great products I have come across since being in the industry (Nookie pacifiers, Baby Legs, Pedipeds, etc).
  • For Erin T’s, I did the basket and a Starbucks Frappuccino 4-pack filled with clothes instead of drinks. (Erin T. LOVES Starbucks!)
  • For Joslyn (since she already had a similar gift with the first baby), I decided my “surprise” would be a diaper cake.

diapercakeI have come across a lot of these online, but was never sure exactly how they did it. So the other night, I YouTube’d it, and sure enough there was a cheesy – though resourceful – How-To video. I bought the diapers, the ribbon, the jewels, the rubber bands, and the pins (my variation from double-stick tape), and went to work. I had to roll the diapers slightly differently than the video explained because the cute “character scene” on the front was turning my white cake into a blue one. All in all it took about 45 minutes to roll 92 diapers (size 1 & 2) and assemble them in the cake layers; about 30 minutes to put the ribbons and the jewels on; and 5 seconds to lay the shoes on the top as the cake topper.

Remember, this was my first time doing this, and I have learned some lessons:

  1. Use ALL white diapers, if possible.
  2. There is an advantage to using the double-stick tape (my ribbons are falling down because I only tautly pinned them — and in one place for that matter)
  3. I need to figure out a way to secure the shoes on top (double-stick tape?)
  4. Use a circular cake stand to start out the bottom layer. My bottom layer is too big for the cake stand.

Have you done a DIY shower gift? Please share your ideas and/or pictures!

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