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Posts Tagged ‘Baby Gifts’

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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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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Ruth showing of vive les fleurs overalls from this season

Ruth showing off Fall 2009 vive les fleurs overalls

Ruth Hickman wanted to create something special…so eleven years ago, after realizing that her two daughters could not find the clothing they sought for their children, she decided to open a very unique children’s clothing store.  The store was located in a quaint little cottage that was over 100 years old – beautiful, but too small to house the vast array of merchandise for which the The Little Cottage is now known.

One of the things that Ruth loves about her thriving boutique is where the store is now located – The Factory – a unique retail environment with strong historical roots in the community.  Built in 1929, The Factory has been home to Dortch Stove Works, Magic Chef and Jamison Bedding. Calvin Lehew, a unique individual, bought the sprawling complex seven years ago and, after an environmental clean-up, began opening the facility in sections. Today, The Factory at Franklin has 83 tenants.  Calvin’s philosophy is simple: “The Factory is for artists and creative folks. What I want to do is bring out more of the artist in people. I want an environment here that is conducive to creativity. To be able to open a place in The Factory it either has to be creative, unique, artistic, musical or food.”  The Little Cottage Children’s Shoppe fits the bill!

Little Cottage FrontThis beautiful store is a family business, known for the extensive selection of top drawer merchandise, and excellent service.  Ruth’s two daughters, Julie Craig and Elizabeth Martin are there in the store to be sure that everyone has a positive experience while shopping.  Customers love spreading the word about Little Cottage’s attributes:

“This is a great store! …The staff is very friendly and helpful in both stores. If you are looking for upscale children’s clothing I highly recommend The Little Cottage!”

“This is a wonderful, wonderful store! …Very friendly staff. I can’t wait to go back after I know if I’m having a boy or a girl.”

Located near The Grand Ole Opry the store has attracted many celebrity customers, including Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley (a customer since she was a baby,) Reese Witherspoon and Brad and Kimberly Williams-Paisley.  Ruth says it doesn’t matter if they are celebrities, because everyone gets the best service!

The Little Cottage is open 7 days a week.  They have an informational website and love taking phone orders!

The Little Cottage Children’s Shoppe
230 Franklin Rd # 11R
Franklin, TN 37064-2278
(615) 595-7874

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Hop Skip N Jump's Store Front Along the Old Underground Railroad

Hop Skip N Jump's Store Front Along the Old Underground Railroad

Heidi Strimpfel loved shopping at the local children’s store in the quaint and historic town of Springboro, Ohio. When Heidi learned the owner of Hop Skip n Jump had decided to sell the store her first thought was “Where will I shop?” Her next thought was…I would love to make a change in my life – so she entered into negotiations to buy the lovely boutique! Heidi has a background in business, and with her accounting knowledge realized that the little business would be a perfect fit for her talents.

Hop Skip n Jump had been in business for 7 years when Heidi made her decision to ‘jump’ into the children’s clothing business – that was 11 years ago! Heidi has fine tuned the boutique into a desired destination for doting grandmothers and professional mothers who love the assortment and quality of Heidi’s carefully chosen selections. One of the store’s specialties is special occasion clothing. One customer declares “if you’re looking for a christening gown or First Communion gown and everything you’re finding appears to be cookie-cutter and not special, make a trip up to Hop Skip and Jump in Springboro, you won’t be disappointed.”

Heidi and Her Wears

Heidi and Her Wears

The charming boutique is located on a lovely, tree lined street in Springboro, Ohio – a mecca for history buffs. Springboro, established in the early 1800’s and settled predominately by Quakers, was a major stop on the Underground Railroad. The building that the store occupies was built around the time of the Civil War, is on the National Historic Register and was the town’s original Dry Goods store. Tour groups regularly make a stop to visit the notable site. Heidi loves putting together eclectic merchandise groupings, using an antique display case and the fireplaces that grace every room. Integrating the beautiful merchandise while paying homage to the significant history of the area makes Hop Skip n Jump very special.

Take a stroll through the historic area, and visit Heidi at:
Hop Skip n Jump
220 S Main St
Springboro, OH 45066
(937) 748-9000

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Baby Bug and Me

Butterfly Kisses and ladybug hugs…sleep tight little one like a bug in a rug” – author unknown

Judy Novininger has a passion for all things beautiful.  She shared her vision by opening an upscale gift boutique in the Camp Hill area of Pennsylvania named for Pennsylvania’s state bug – Lightning Bug.  In September of 2003, inspired by new grandchildren and the continuing quest to fill the need for wonderful gifts with a personal touch, a new entity ‘flickered’ to life – Baby Bug and Me. Six years later Baby Bug and Me is thriving in its new location on Market street just below the West Shore Farmers Market in downtown Lemoyne, Pennsylvania.

baby bug and me inside 4Baby Bug and Me has achieved Judy’s desired goal of excellence, recognized for four consecutive years as the winner of Harrisburg Magazine Reader’s Choice Award in the children’s clothing category.  First honored in 2005, Judy tells us that these awards have brought her wonderful and memorable moments.  The superb and extensive merchandise selection has propelled Baby Bug to the top of the accolades list.  Featuring shoes (Judy’s new favorite,) clothing (le•top is a best-seller in both girls and boys!) books, toys and more.  Judy enjoys selecting the Christening and Dedication outfits she offers for both boy’s and girl’s special day.  Phone orders are gladly accepted at this first-class boutique, as well as offering the ability to easily order basics for a child’s wardrobe at www.babybugandme.com.

baby bug and me new

All photos compliments of Annekatherinephotography.com

Judy is an involved member of the community as well, choosing a special charity to partner with each year, ranging from the Cerebral Palsy Foundation to the YWCA. This fall the leading collections at the store will be featured in the YWCA Power of Style Fashion Show, benefiting the Women’s and Children’s Crisis Center in Harrisburg.

Judy and her staff are accommodating and attentive to all their customers “little” needs. Take a short jaunt to the Lemoyne area, or just peruse their website, to be greeted by a friendly face, a caring staff and the best selection of baby and children’s items in the area.

baby bug and me inside 3Cute as a bug in a rug!

Baby Bug and Me
900 Market Street
(Inside the West Shore Farmers Market building – lower level)
Lemoyne, PA 17043
717.763.1780
www.babybugandme.com

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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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