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Posts Tagged ‘baby shower gift’

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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prego_belly

As of this moment, I know 10 women who are pregnant – all due at different times of the year. These are people I actually know, not just celebrities and their pregnancies. I remember a couple of years ago, I knew 14 women who were expecting! That’s a lot of babies. And a whole lot of baby showers! And then the birthday parties! (And we don’t need to mention all those diaper changes, clothing changes and laundry, right?) 😉

So it got me thinking, could it be something in the water? Or is it a cyclical pattern that women get pregnant every so often? Or is it, perhaps, that I’m just at a phase in my life when almost everyone in my age group is moving on to the next phase of life? Whatever it is, it’s quite amazing that I know so many women who will be giving birth and holding a new bundle of joy within the year.

Congratulations to all my family and friends!

Just for fun, here’s my list:

  1. Kisha – Due June 2009
  2. Anya – Due June 2009
  3. Jessica – Due August 2009
  4. Minnie – Due August 2009
  5. Abbie – Due August 2009
  6. Ana – Due September 2009
  7. Kimmy – Due October 2009
  8. Lisa – Due October 2009
  9. Christine – Due October 2009
  10. Grace – Due January 2010

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rmBStlsBktsOur limited-edition rabbitmoon plush blankets are the exclusive steal-of-the-day on BabySteals — these four beautiful, plush, double-layer blankets are soft chenille on one side and deluxe velour on the reverse. They come in colors: rose, blue, pomegranate, navy (reverses to tan). 30 x 36 crib size. Washable and snuggly! Go to BabySteals and get a steal on this exclusive — for yourself, or as a very special baby shower gift (or, an effortless replacement of a magic blanket, as we did for Nadine)!

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So, I wore my fabulously dramatic (not-so-cheap) black and white striped cotton Zara jacket to my friend’s birthday dinner the other night. Her 3-year-old daughter sat across the table and persistently tried to get my attention by shouting, “Excuse me! Excuse me!” Finally, the entire table stopped talking and turned to her. “What is it sweetie?”, I asked. She looked at me urgently and yelled, “You look like a ZEBRA!!” As we all burst out laughing, I thought how silly it is for us to sometimes go out of our way to look “fashionable”, and in an instant, a child can bring us back to the innocence and beautiful simplicity in which life should be lived! Then again, some kids do wear tutus all year around – but those kids grow up to wear “zebra” jackets! 😉

If you have one of those kids, or are just a fan of stripes – don’t forget about our Anchors Aweigh baby dress and coverall in a lovely stripe, and the Butterfly Wishes, black and white stripe swimsuit and cover-up dress!

le•top baby: Anchors Aweigh (top) and le•top playwear Butterfly Wishes, both from le•top Spring 2009 Collection

le•top baby: Anchors Aweigh (top) and le•top playwear: Butterfly Wishes (bottom), both from le•top Spring 2009 Collection

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Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine's baby swimsuits issue, May 2009, featuring le•top's Butterfly Wishes

Pregnancy & Newborn magazine's baby swimsuits issue, May 2009, with le•top's Butterfly Wishes one-piece tank swimsuit getting top billing.

Woohoo! le•top’s adorable swimwear is featured in the May issue of Pregnancy & Newborn on newsstands now. We’re so excited! Butterfly Wishes swimsuit is available in sizes 3m through 4T at 0ne of our favorite stores: Klassy Kids in Waldorf, MD (3305 Plaza Way, Waldorf, MD 20603. Phone: 301. 645. 8081)
. Also featured in the May issue is Deep Ocean surf suit (available in sizes 3m through 24m) and striped bucket hat. Try fun online store Gazoodle Kids, located in Winston Salem, NC to shop this adorable suit and hat! And last but not least, le•top’s Strawberry Fields monokini, available in sizes 12m through 6x can be found at Jenson’s Store in Anoka, MN. Of course there’s always our le•top store locator to find a le•top retailer nearest you. Summer is here/coming soon, so get your bathing beauties in top le•top swimsuit form! And don’t forget your May issue of Pregnancy & Newborn for some pool or beachside reading, or check them out online.

le•top swimsuits from l-r: Butterfly Wishes, Deep Ocean, Strawberry Fields

le•top swimsuits from l-r: Butterfly Wishes, Deep Ocean, Strawberry Fields

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Where would we be without friends? We are so fortunate to work with retailers who are wonderful partners in business – and even more privileged when we can call some of these wonderful people our friends!

Welcome to Reverie Baby!

Reverie Baby welcomes you!

We wanted to share pictures and information about one of our “best friend’s” beautiful store – Reverie Baby, located in Santa Rosa. This part of California is home to beautiful countryside, fabulous wineries and one very distinctive children’s boutique! The owners – Eva and Arnie Levine – are very special people. They operated stores that specialized in fine linens for over 35 years – and just when they began to consider retirement, they happened upon the idea of opening a children’s specialty boutique. The store has been open for 5½ years, and is located adjacent to their linens store, Reverie Linens, in Montgomery Village Shopping Center. I don’t want you to get any mistaken ideas about Eva and Arnie being ‘ready for the rocking chair’ – when we go out to dinner they can “out-party” me!  Everyone needs friends who work hard…and know how to have fun!

rbarnie

Arnie with his friendly smile, ready to help

Their beautifully merchandised store specializes in clothing for children in sizes newborn to toddler – and is known by some as “Grandma Heaven!” Arnie tries to buy merchandise that is ‘special’ – and would appeal to moms and grandmothers who are looking for the classic baby outfit or gift. The moms especially love playwear that is unique – but never ‘over the top!’ Reverie Baby offers beautiful gift wrapping, and for years had one ‘signature paper’ – only the ribbon colors would differ. They have now added choices in gift wrap, because at baby showers in the area all the gifts would be wrapped in identical wrap! A gift from Reverie Baby is cherished and valued as something truly special and exceptional.

We asked Arnie, “What is the key to your success?” I loved his answer, because it is fundamentally simple – yet so difficult to achieve: “Everyone comes in my store happy, and they always leave happy.” The staff at Reverie Baby always greet you with a genuine smile and have excellent product knowledge – so nice, when compared to many retailers these days. We love Arnie’s philosophy, maybe THAT’S why he is our good friend!

Reverie Baby at Montgomery Village, 2406 Magowan Drive, Santa Rosa, CA  95405

Reverie Baby at Montgomery Village, 2406 Magowan Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95405. Click on photos to shop Reverie Baby online.

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