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Posts Tagged ‘Community’

P. cottontail 005

P Cottontail's Historic Downtown Store Front

Nestled away in the quaint ocean-side town of Half Moon Bay you can find the home of P Cottontail…yes, look… right there in the historic Main Street shopping district!  Not a bunny…but a darling children’s boutique that will soon be celebrating its 25th anniversary as part of this unique community.  Half Moon Bay, founded in the 1840’s was the first settlement in San Mateo County California, around 30 miles south of San Francisco.  The beautiful locale, a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean boasts postcard perfect vistas that include whale watching, acres of flowers, 2 lighthouses, redwood preserves, wineries, golf courses, luxury hotels and charming inns and a historic Main Street with unique shops.  This is where we find Peter Cottontail’s ‘home’ – not situated next to Mr. McGregor’s garden, but rather in a vacation ‘destination’ for lucky residents and tourists alike.

P. cottontail 003Sandra Murphy took over P Cottontail & Co a few years ago, but had known of the unique children’s boutique for years and “Really wanted it!”  She loves seeing the little babies that come into the store grow up and says “They are like my own little family!”  When asked what was the key to her success the answer was simple, yet succinct, “Very, Very, Very hard work!”  Sandra remembers that a friend once told her “Remember the first word in Specialty Store is ‘Special’ – and I have always tried to remember that!”  The area locals love merchandise that reflects the community – especially the horse lovers and world class surfers that frequent the store.  A local customer commented:

P. cottontail

Stocked up on Le Top Halloween costumes

I have always found this store to have the kind of clothing that makes shopping local a unique experience. Informative, attentive and friendly service, plus you actually get to deal with the same person the next time. The last time we went in, the sales person remembered my son’s name. He was thrilled and I was impressed.”

Sandra’s customers have even included some celebrities that stay in the beautiful Ritz Carlton nearby – including Angie Harmon and Brad Pitt!  Of course she stocks up with appealing and distinctive items at this time of year in preparation for the scores of tourists that will soon arrive…as she gears up for Half Moon Bay’s well known Art and Pumpkin Festival! (Check back on Monday to see more about this) 

Sandra’s good friends and family all pitch in to help at P Cottontail for this amazing community event – so popular that it attracts tourists from all over!  She is stocked up with lots of Halloween costumes – ready for all the festivities.  They have a costume parade, and as Sandra says, “Pumpkin Everything!” – including the weigh-in for the biggest pumpkin, pumpkin carving, pumpkin muffins, cookies and pancakes and lots of fun!

P. cottontail 001If you are a fan of the ‘Great Pumpkin’ – or just want to have a beautiful and relaxing break – make a visit to Half Moon Bay.  Stop in and say hello to Sandra, she is really fun!  After all, she’s the one that quotes “I LOVE Le Top!”


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

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Everything a Kid could Want!

Giggles for Kids in Portage, Wisconsin

Joan Indermark had always dreamed of owning a children’s bookstore.  During a trip she visited a unique store in New Hampshire that was exceptional – it seemed to have everything a child could dream of owning – books, toys and whimsical fun clothing.  Wow, what a great idea!  Children’s books and clothing – what was the clothing she saw in that store that inspired her?  le•top!  Now Joan’s store Giggles for Kids showcases wonderful clothing, toys and books that elicit whole-hearted giggles from happy children!

Three years ago Joan’s little dream store opened – located in a unique commercial venue that showcases business ventures and imagination.  The Portage Main Street Mercantile Co-op was created in the historic downtown area of Portage Wisconsin as an incubator for small businesses.  The ultimate goal is to restore this notable area to its historic roots as a center for trade.

The historical distinction of Portage lies in its unique geographical location between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.  Here the two rivers, one flowing north to the St. Lawrence, the other south to the Mississippi, are separated by a narrow neck of land over which, for two centuries, Indians, missionaries, trappers, traders, adventurers and settlers traveling the waterway had to portage their canoes and heavy packs from one stream to another. As a trade center for central Wisconsin, the downtown retail district was a beehive of activity as early as the 1860’s.  Many of the buildings have been preserved in their original Victorian architecture, providing a colorful background for the busy retail area of today.

Joan appreciates interacting with her community, especially the other merchants that are located within the historic building.  She loves the fact that her customers can find unique and special children’s clothing, toys and books without making the 40 mile drive to a bigger city.  Her biggest fans are customers who love the originality and quality of the merchandise in her warm and inviting store.  Joan’s reward?  The giggles of happy children!

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If you are fortunate enough to visit this unique community, rich in history, stop by Joan’s special boutique:

Giggles for Kids
The Mercantile Co-op
Portage, Wisconsin
608.745.5768

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Nicole Jodan

Heidi Hulse had finished up her Master’s Degree and had a momentous choice to make…the nearest job would have been an hour commute away.  Heidi choose instead to use her education within her community, and fulfill a perceived need – she knew from experience that the closest place to shop for children’s clothing was over 50 miles away – so she opened a delightful boutique that catered to the local community.  Family was an important consideration as well, and to honor this priority the boutique name is the combination of her two children’s middle names – Haylee Nicole and Hunter Jordan.

Nicole Jordan’s Children’s Clothing Boutique is located in charming and historic Mount Vernon, Ohio – founded over 200 years ago – an important stop along the railroad that connected Pittsburgh to Chicago and St. Louis.  One of Heidi’s favorite things about her decision to open Nicole Jordan is the friends she has made within the community. She is constantly running into customers and their children around town.  The children love the store (especially her toy room!) and the dad’s know her because “You’re the one that has the store where my wife spends her money!”  Heidi loves the craziness of “Sale Days” and wondering “What is going on here???”  She also loves “Grandmas with a ‘shopping problem!”  One of Heidi’s biggest ‘perks’ is having flexibility, including the ability to have her children with her at the store.  (Although Heidi does confide that “Some days I don’t always feel that way!”) 

Heidi Holding a Striped Coverall from the Walking with Dinosaurs Collection

Heidi Holding a Striped Coverall from the Walking with Dinosaurs Collection

Customer comments prove that Heidi has done a great job with her decision:

“For the best dress selection: The service is very personalized and the hand-picked selection is adorable. From the moment you walk in you know you are in a special place.”

“Great place to buy children’s clothes: I am always pleased when I shop at Nicole Jordan’s.  She carries beautiful dresses for infants.”

Nicole Jordan is known for special occasion clothing, including Communion, Easter and Christmas dresses.  Heidi’s impressive personalized service is another attractive reason to visit the store.  She also is pleased and happy to accept phone orders!  If you are visiting this pleasant area north of Columbus Ohio drop in and say hello – Heidi will be happy to make you feel like a local!

Nicole Jordan’s Children’s Clothing Boutique
23 N. Main Street
Mount Vernon, OH 43050-3203
740.397.9922

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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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gardenTopOne of the great things about the San Francisco Bay Area is that we seem to be one of the hubs for the “green” scene. No matter where you live, I think most of us walk around with the question in the back of our minds: “How can I be a little more green?” No, not Kermit the Frog green, but eco-green.

The City of Hercules is about two exits away from le•top headquarters and is on their own “green” kick. Linda (a friendly voice on the le•top phones) teamed up with the City of Hercules on the Hercules Sustainable Community Garden Project and put le•top into action, helping this eco-friendly community garden build from the ground up.

Tony (our warehouse crew worker) loading the le•top boxes into the community garden van

Tony, our warehouse crew worker, is loading le•top boxes into the community garden van.

With Linda’s initiative, le•top has helped donate approximately 22,000 sq./ft. of cardboard needed for the garden’s bed. The cardboard is a great mulch for the ground as it dampens and deteriorates into the ground creating a great layer for the seeds to sprout. It’s also a wonderful weed preventative.

We are excited to be apart of this eco-friendly garden and can’t wait for its grand opening! I am personally looking forward to many a lunch-time to walk around it.gardenBottom

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Our family moved to a new community when my daughter was 14 months old. It was tough to be a stay at home mom and figure out how to meet new people. I decided to try a local LeLeche League meeting. My daughter and I had a solid breastfeeding relationship going (and yes, she was a nursing toddler). I just felt drawn to meet other mothers in similar situations. One of the best finds from attending this meeting was hearing about a Wednesday playgroup. I got the information and called the woman who organized the activities.

playground

It was fall season, but the group of moms and toddlers meet every Wednesday morning for two hours with varied activities each week. One week they would do an outdoor adventure, one week they would meet at someone’s home and play with the toys there, and the other two weeks of the month, they would meet at a preschool room of a local church. Such a schedule evolved, as the mothers wanted to avoid spending time at the local McDonalds during those months of poor weather! They meet at local parks during the summer months.

At first, I wondered what a playgroup would be like – would I get to talk with other mothers and visit about parenting ideas? Would my child make new friends and learn different social skills than she got when we were home alone? I soon realized these were high expectations. At the playgroup gatherings those first few months I had to stay pretty close to my daughter as she wanted that more than playing with other children. More than once I wondered if we were getting anything out of it, but the chance to interact with other families made me keep going back each week. Slowly, as my daughter grew up and her confidence blossomed, she was able to play on her own or with others. The mothers could talk a little until a fight broke out about toys, or a child began to do something dangerous.

I began to see it as a new fact of life that seldom were sentences (yet alone conversations) completed without interruptions from children’s needs. The same group continued to meet weekly and time passed into years of attending playgroup. The children watched each other grow up, learned from one another, and the mother’s friendships deepened. As new families would join, we could learn from one another, hear different perspectives on parenting, and see the diversity in children’s behaviors (that was helpful for me – the mother of one!).

One five-year old boy told his mom, “The play is for the kids and the group is for the moms.” He was sure correct on this, as the playgroup gatherings were like a form of therapy and sanity for us all. It’s been seven years now and although schools have forced us apart, our playgroup still comes together for social gatherings several times a year! I’ve been grateful and thankful for this group of families helping me along my parenting journey.

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Lucy and Monelle preparing for the runway...

Lucy and Monelle in le•top's Strawberry Fields collection preparing for the runway

I was so surprised to hear from J. at Yellow Turtle the other day. I mean, not only was it a Sunday, but it was Mother’s Day! J. has two gorgeous, wonderful children, Jessie and Alec, who (along with Liana Hunt) were the very early le•top child “models”, so I know they were all celebrating together. But J. was thinking beyond Mother’s Day and sending me emails about the wonderful event Yellow Turtle had taken part: the 9th Annual Stowe Weekend of Hope. This event, held in Stowe, Vermont “is an annual forum for education, enlightenment, and recreation for cancer patients and survivors with any type of cancer…and their families.”

One of the events was a fashion show, and Yellow Turtle had two adorable girls modeling le•top! Lucy (3) and Monelle (19mos) are both devoted Yellow Turtle customers. 😉 The outfits they modeled were received with many “oooohs and ahhhhhs”, according to J.! Sounds like the fashion show was an enormous success and a wonderful event for cancer patients and survivors, taking place in beautiful and restorative Stowe. As a cancer survivor myself, I can see why this event would be a joyful and hope-filled experience, given the venue. Stowe is a wonderful place, the people welcoming and warm. I hope this event continues to grow and inspire many. Congratulations, Yellow Turtle for contributing to this great event and giving back to your community and beyond.

Lucy and Monelle with Lisa Hunt of Yellow Turtle

Lucy and Monelle off the fashion runway with Lisa Hunt of Yellow Turtle

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