Posts Tagged ‘christening gowns’

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

or go to www.tinythreads.com
for more information

Tiny Thread’s Boutique
Facebook page and click HERE

1.    Why did you pick the name Tiny Threads for your store?
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?
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.
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”?
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!
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.
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?
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?
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

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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We interviewed our first ever online premier retailer this week for our “Online Store Spotlight” – CrabApple.Kids.com.  Husband and wife team, James and Anna Incledon, Jr., tell us about their favorite Halloween costumes as kids, common questions from internet mommy and daddy shoppers and leather biker jackets for kids!  Read more to discover about CrabAppleKids.com.


1.      What is one special or fun fact about your e-store that a typical customer wouldn’t know?
James:  Our children are the primary models for our website.

2.      How did you get into the online retail business? What inspired you? What sets you apart as a successful online children’s shop?
Anna:  We love shopping and our two daughters are always dressed to perfection!  People constantly compliment them on their attire.  Then, in preparing for the birth our son, we found it was difficult to find clothes that we liked for him.  It was at this point that we decided to enter the retail business–we could dress our children in the best of the best while making a business out of what we already love to do. 

What sets us apart from others?  We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service.  Most companies today claim to offer great customer service, but we don’t feel the bulk of them truly understand what that means. For example, it is often difficult to find a customer service number or email address for an online business to even begin the process.  Or when you do finally email them, they don’t reply back.  If a customer has a question, concern or just doesn’t like placing an online order, we are here.  If we can’t help them immediately, we will get back to them in a timely manner.

Aside from great customer service, from a product point-of-view, we offer wonderful matching family and twin outfits and boy’s clothing.  The family and twin outfits are ideal if you have twins or multiple children of differing ages and want to dress them in outfits that have a similar look and feel, while not being completely identical. This way both mom and the children are happy!  We also specialize in designer boy’s clothing because we understand how hard it is to find boy’s clothes that aren’t limited to t-shirts (but we do have some of those too!).

We also pride ourselves on having a great collection brand-name Christening clothes. 

3.      Where did the name Crab Apple Kids come from?
James:  After dreaming up 397 names (yes, we actually have a list of every one we didn’t use), some of which just didn’t test well, and some of which were already taken, finding a unique name was a lot more challenging and time-consuming than we expected.  We actually placed some of our first orders under the “no name” company! 

Our ultimate inspiration came when we were doing some remodeling and looking through paint color names.  A small change to the name and Crab Apple Kids was born.

James and Anna's son, Parker (wearing Le Top Spring 2010 Hip Hop Grasshopper), inspired them to open Crab Apple Kids

4.      Back to school is here – what have been the most popular baby and child fall “must-have” items?
James:  Our most popular item has been the Harley-Davidson Biker Jacket.  But the new must-have is truly our Weboo Shoes.  We haven’t seen anything else like them in the market place.  They are the very definition of cool, hip and fun!  We also carry some unique birthday and baby shower gifts such as cereal bowls shaped like tires and eating utensils shaped like tools, tractors and airplanes.  Our WubbaNub and Billy-Bob pacifiers have also been a big hit.  And of course, we love our Le Top—Lots O’ Fish was a hot style for us.

5.      Do you do anything special for Halloween at your e-store? What is your favorite memory of a costume you wore as a child?
Anna:  We love Halloween, or for that matter, any holiday.  Our family often makes the newspapers and newsletters because of our excessive holiday spirit.  We have some great outfits that not only will make your Halloween Season festive, but can be worn beyond Halloween.  My favorite costume when was young?  A Hippy – I loved all the bright colors, big hair and peace sign jewelry.  My husband’s… the two-person Chinese dragon (he still can’t find anyone to be the butt).

6.      What tip would you give to a parent dressing a child for fall and how to pick the “right” outfit online?
Anna:  Children like to feel comfortable, no matter what age.  Whether they are one or eight years old – comfort is the key to a successful purchase.  Crab Apple Kids’ pride ourselves in the latest fashions with comfort in mind.  Our rule of thumb is if our children won’t wear it, then neither will our customer’s kids.  One of our favorite new items are jeggings–leggings that look like blue jeans.

7.      What questions do most mommies or daddies ask when buying for their baby online?
James:  Most questions are focused around comfort, size and matching sibling outfits.  There is no point in looking great if they are not comfortable.  Because we all know, an uncomfortable child is not a happy one.

8.      There are so many websites now that sell children’s clothing – If you had one piece of advice for someone trying to break into children’s online retail, what would it be?
James:  Don’t!  Seriously, it is a much more competitive business than we ever anticipated.  It requires a lot of start-up capital and patience.  Children’s clothing is not your typical drop ship business.  In most cases, you are ordering one season in advance of the next.  So you have to make a guesstimate of what you think your customers are going to buy, to avoid having too much or too little inventory.  And then when it finally does arrive, you need pay for it, warehouse it, photograph it, and write copy for it. And then, hopefully, ship it!  Online or not, at the end-of-the-day, both businesses require the same amount of work.

9.      What is the funniest request you have received from an online parent customer?
I can’t specifically think of one that is funny, but I can definitely think of one that is fun.  We recently had a bride call and request two of our Harley-Davidson Biker Jackets.  She shared with us that she was having a wedding with a 50s theme and that her nephews were going to be walking down the aisle in jeans, white t-shirts and our Harley-Davidson Biker Jackets.  How fun is that! 

10.      Why do you love Le Top? What collection or piece from Le Top or Le Top Baby line do you love from the Fall/Holiday 2010 collection?
Anna:  We love Le Top because of the great designs, comfort and value.  The collection we like the best from the Fall/Holiday 2010 line is the Haute Dog Collection.  It’s bright and fun…and what child doesn’t like puppies or dogs! 

Crab Apple Kids
877.327.7533 toll free

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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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