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This week we interviewed owner Jean Johnston from Doll House boutique in Palos Verdes Estates, California for our “Premier Store Spotlight” this week. Not only is she young and hip, she knows how to keep your child on top of the trend curve and parents in-the-know on the best new baby, children, and tween’s products on the market. Read more to find out about the latest spring trends, Doll House’s upcoming Easter event that is not to be missed, as well as sign up for Facebook to get updates on their cool mommy and me yoga classes!

2325 Palos Verdes Drive West
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
949.439.8333

www.dollhousepv.com

 CHECK-IN and JOIN Doll House Facebook page and click HERE

1.   Tell us the inspiration behind the name Doll House? How long has your store been around?
I opened Doll House almost two years ago. While bouncing ideas around, my father suggested the name Doll House, and I thought it was perfect! Children are our little dolls, they are so much fun to dress up.

Le Top Baby "By the Sea" Romper

2.   Spring 2012 styles are coming into stores and brightening up any family’s winter wardrobe. What are your top 3 items (clothes, toys, giftables, etc.) for any parent shopping for warm weather items for a nice holiday vacation this winter?
Nautical stripes will transition a wardrobe from fall to spring, which has made Le Top’s ‘By The Sea’ collection very popular in the store.  Quicksilver rash guards have a built in SPF 50 that can be worn poolside or at the beach. Three Martha’s fold up chalkboard mat (comes with colorful chalk and a fun elephant shaped sponge) is a helpful way to keep kids occupied on long car or plane rides.

3.  Any special events that you have planned at your store for spring? Tell us the inside scoop about any special events and especially the fun deals we can expect!
You Don’t Want To Miss Spring Time At Doll House!

Doll House will be hosting a spring event on Thursday, March 29th. We will have a bunny petting zoo, a fun art project taught by a local artisan, face painting and a very special visit from the Easter Bunny!

Doll House has teamed up with Billabong and Zico Water for a great trunk show event for tweens! Doll House tweens will be the first to view and order Billabong’s 2012 fall collection while enjoying Zico Water.

Doll House is excited to start mommy and me yoga classes this spring! Check out our face book and website for updates!

Store owner, Jean, showing her display of the Le Top Tiny Bubbles collection

4.   What is your “go-to” baby shower gift in your store for boys and girls?
I have a huge demand for clothing and gifts made in the USA. Lisa Denver’s growth charts (made in Palos Verdes Estates), Scrumptious Blankets (made in Los Angeles) and Giggle Moon (made in San Diego) are popular gift items. 

Le Top Sun and Sea collection

5.   What are your top 3 children’s movies or books and why?
Doll House’s most popular books are ‘Guess How Much I Love You’, ‘Pinkalicious’ and ‘Casey At Bat’. The hardback books come as a set with matching Pajamas! These make bedtime a little more fun. ($44 set).

6.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Palos Verdes Estates? Did you grow up in the local area?
Doll House is located in Lunada Bay, a surf and beach community within Palos Verdes Estates, California. It is a lot like Newport Beach, where I grew up. The locals are outgoing and take pride in their local boutiques.

Store owner Jean Johnston

7.    What are the hottest trends for kids clothes right now?
Purple, pink, red and bright blue skinny jeans and shorts are going to be a hot trend this spring and summer.

8.    What Le Top or Rabbitmoon Spring 2012 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Le Top’s ‘Tiny Bubbles’ for girls and “Whales & Sails” for boys have been very popular collections. The prints are a great way to match brothers and sisters, and perfect to wear at the beach club and the 4th of July!

(left) Le Top Whales & Sales boy's collection (right) Le Top Tiny Bubbles girl's collection


Doll House

2325 Palos Verdes Drive West
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
949.439.8333

www.dollhousepv.com 

CHECK-IN and JOIN
Doll House Facebook page
and click HERE

 

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We wanted to “loop” you into our favorite boutique in Lodi, California this week – Zoop a Loop! Not only is it the cutest for its fabulous fashion finds, cute jeggings, upscale Melissa & Doug toys and the best baby shower gifts in town…it is the “go-to” children’s boutique for many local Californians in the Lodi area! We interviewed boutique owner Tricia Monahan on the history of her store, the hottest toddler trends, what she swore she would never do as a parent, and her favorite Le Top spring collection! 

Zoop a Loop

Children’s Boutique & Party Place
21 Downtown Mall
Lodi, CA 95240
209.367.1444

 www.zoopaloop.com

 CHECK-IN and JOIN Zoop a Loop Facebook page and click HERE


1.    Tell us the inspiration behind the name Zoop a Loop? How long has your store been around?
We’ve been a children’s store in Lodi, California for 20 years now. Unfortunately, I don’t know the story behind Zoop a Loop because it was founded many owners ago, but I absolutely love the name. It evokes animals, fun, a little craziness and whimsy and is the perfect name for a children’s boutique!

2.    Spring 2012 styles are coming into stores and brightening up any family’s winter wardrobe. What are your top 3 items (clothes, toys, giftables, etc.) for any parent shopping for warm weather items for a nice holiday vacation this winter?
Melissa & Doug have the most fabulous outdoor toys…butterfly nets, bug catchers, indoor/outdoor hopscotch games, and now they’ve added some great pool toys. Roxy and Quiksilver have the best hats every spring for boys and girls, and we love Le Top…the outfits are so fun, colorful and whimsical-perfect for spring!

3.    Any special events that you have planned at your store for spring? Tell us the inside scoop about any special events and especially the fun deals we can expect!
We often partner with nearby merchants for “tent sales” in the alley, we’ll have the Easter Bunny next month for several visits, and we always have great deals for the annual Lodi Street Faire in May!

4.    What is your “go-to” baby shower gift in your store for boys and girls?
My favorites are the handmade “Memory Books” that document all the milestones in the first five years. These beautiful albums are handmade by a local woman and the most unique that I have come across.

5.    What are your top 3 favorite baby or children books and why?
The very Hungry Caterpillar for the beautiful, colorful illustrations, Good Night Moon, because it was one of my daughter’s favorites and The Little House on the Prairie series because my mother read them to me as a child, and then I read them to my daughter…such good memories!

6.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?”  Say?  “Because I said so”!
I thought it would be so much better to just explain things to my daughter, but I quickly found out you can’t reason with a toddler and they can outlast you!

7.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Lodi, California? Did you grow up in the local area?
The store is located in the Historic Downtown area of Lodi, with several blocks of boutiques, restaurants and antique shops. It’s a great place to stroll in the afternoon. I didn’t grow up here, but my sister moved here 20 years ago, and I followed her 7 years ago. I love the small town feel, and it really does fell like everyone knows everyone else.

8.    What are the hottest trends for kid’s clothes right now?
Skinny jeans and jeggings, but I am seeing a big turn back to skirts with leggings, especially for the older girls. Bright, fun colors and patterns with and anything with embellishments-lace, glitter, jewels, etc.

9.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
We have a movie theater down the street in one direction, a pottery arts painting place on the other side, and a Children’s Science Museum 2 blocks away, so families can spend a whole day downtown!

10.   What Le Top or Rabbitmoon Spring 2012 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
We love the Sun & Sea Collection with the bright colors, fish cut-out on the the back of the Capri set and tulle embellishments on the dress and bikini…so cute!



Zoop a Loop

Children’s Boutique & Party Place
21 Downtown Mall
Lodi, CA 95240
209.367.1444

 www.zoopaloop.com

CHECK-IN and JOIN
Zoop a Loop
Facebook page and click HERE

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We interviewed Leigh Ann Coffey, owner of the sweetest (no pun intended) boutique in Humeston, Iowa called Sweet Southern Sass, for this week’s Premier Store Spotlight! Not only does she have great style, but she is the young mom of two toddlers and knows the ins-and-outs of kiddo style. Leigh Ann gave us the scoop on where to go in Humeston for family night out and her style picks from both Le Top and Rabbitmoon’s fall 2011 collections! Read more and discover a new gem of a store that only opened 3 weeks ago! Stop by and say hello (well, and feel free to do a bit of shopping)!

 

Sweet Southern Sass

120 Broad Street
Humeston, IA 50123
641.877.6178
www.sweetsouthernsass.net

CHECK-IN and JOIN Sweet Southern Sass’ Facebook page and click HERE

1.    Tell us the inspiration behind launching your new boutique? How did you come up with the name?
Leigh Ann:  The inspiration for launching my store came in the form of my two girls, Skylar (age 5 ½) and Kinsey (age 3). I love dressing them and was getting discouraged with the selection of clothes we have in our area (Southern Iowa). I have also wanted to have my own business for a long time, especially one that my girls could be a part of in the future. So the very unique opportunity arose to build my store next door to a very well established women’s clothing and gift store, which has a thriving clientele of grandmothers, so I have a ready made market!

Sweet Southern Sass' ribbon cutting ceremony with Leigh Ann (pictured center in striped shirt) and daughter Skylar cutting the ribbon!

I came up with the name, Sweet Southern Sass, because I’m originally from the South (Kentucky) and we live in Southern Iowa, so that part was easy. I have a friend that loves the word Sassy, and that seemed to fit the image I wanted. My husband thought just Southern Sass sounded like a barbecue sauce, so I threw in the Sweet (he said that wasn’t much better!), but it seemed to fit! It’s only taken me a few weeks to be able to answer the phone without getting tongue-tied!!

2.    Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned for your boutique for fall, especially the fun deals we can expect. Anything for Halloween next month?
Leigh Ann: 
We have just had our big Grand Opening sale last week, so I’m still working on what future events to have. Actually tonight, we’re taking part in Humeston’s Back-to-School night, we’ll be open late and offering a sale on all clothing. Maybe a Spooktacular Sale for Halloween?! Check back in later in the Fall, we will be having lots of events and fun sales, just haven’t gotten all the details worked out yet (been busy trying to figure out my cash register!!).  

3.    Back-to-school is here and in full swing – what are 3 trends you can tell parents to look for when updating their kids’ wardrobe this fall?
Leigh Ann: 
I would recommend something with a bubble skirt (the girls love them!), footless tights with flats, and bright colors!  

A patron showing off Le Top's "Vroom!" collection stripe shirt and stonewashed motorcycle jeans

4.    Please tell us 1 easy tip or snack/meal for a child’s back-to-school lunchbox?
Leigh Ann: 
My daughter loves “ants on a log”. It’s just a celery stick with peanut butter on top, then top it off with a row of raisins! Very healthy and filling!  

5.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Leigh Ann: 
Oh, this one is easy! My kids were never going to have pacifiers, they seemed so silly! Skylar was 4 when she got rid of hers and Kinsey was 3! I am a very weak Mom and they were so handy at bedtimes!!

6.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Humeston, Iowa. Did you grow up in the local area?
Leigh Ann: 
I actually grew up in Springfield, Kentucky. Met a farmer at a cattle show in Nebraska and moved to Iowa! But the people in Humeston and Southern Iowa make me feel as though I was born and raised there! We have a unique situation in Humeston, it’s a very small rural town on a main highway that attracts people from all over the state because of the great restaurant to eat lunch at (Grassroots Gallery and Cafe) and Snyder’s Variety and Gifts that carries womenswear and just about everything else. We’re located right next door to Snyder’s and across the street from Grassroots, we have a great location!

7.    Tell us about a “special” moment that has made your day working at your store since it has opened.
Leigh Ann: 
I’ve had a special moment almost everyday since I opened three weeks ago. Every time a customer compliments things, it just gives me warm fuzzies! But the most special times are when my girls help me in the store. We unpack boxes of clothes and they help me price them, put them on hangers, then decide on the spot to put them in the store. They even wait on customers! They love it and it is great to see them take so much ownership in the store. I want them to be a part of it and see that women can be businesswomen, as well as moms and wives. I think they’re going to be a great help in the future!

Inside Sweet Southern Sass

8.    You see celebrity children and their “celeb style” in the weekly magazines…what celebrity child has the best style and why?
Leigh Ann: 
I’m going to have to say Suri Cruise. She’s always so classy and cute! 

9.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
Leigh Ann: 
Our store is located on the main street in Humeston. So the absolute most popular place in Humeston is Snyder’s Variety and Gifts, located next door. They have something for everyone! We also have a wonderful park in town for the kids to play and a great art gallery/lunch spot across the street!

10.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Leigh Ann: 
They are all so cute! I’ve gotten lots of compliments on the Le Top and Rabbitmoon lines! I’ll have to say the Le Top “Vroom!” and “Under Construction” collections for boys has been very popular and the Le Top “Pizzazz” and Rabbitmoon “Harmony” collections have done very well for girls! Personally, I love the Rabbitmoon “Harmony” line the best, such a cute color combination! 

rabbitmoon "harmony" collection



Sweet Southern Sass

120 Broad Street
Humeston, IA 50123
641.877.6178
www.sweetsouthernsass.net 

CHECK-IN and JOIN
Sweet Southern Sass’
Facebook page and click HERE

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Back-to-school is in full swing, and we interviewed Stacy Rueckhaus, co-owner of one of the best (and most darling) children’s boutiques in Ohio – Pinky Scout – to get the inside kids-style-know-how and get you pumped up for fall fashion. Read more to learn just who exactly these mysterious “Pinky Scout” kids really are, the special “Pinky Scout” chant, what Stacy swore she would never do as a parent, great tips on fall fashion, and last but not least, parenting tips for back-to-school from the gals at Pinky Scout boutique!

 

Pinky Scout

5 East Main Street
Troy, OH 45373
937.440.1211
www.pinkyscout.com

CHECK-IN and JOIN Pinky Scout Boutique Facebook page and click HERE


1.    Pinky Scout is an fun and funky name! Tell us how you came to call your store Pinky Scout.
Stacy: 
The store was created by myself and my two sisters, Julie and Sarah. When we were kids we formed our own secret club and called ourselves the “The Pinky Scouts.” It was a special club where we would tell each other our secrets and bond. Growing up we would always link pinkies and reference “Pinky Scout” when we had something to share with each other.  Now our daughters have joined the club and we all bond together over our Pinky Scout chant….it’s a bit corny, but i’ll share it with you.  (You have to link pinkies and solemnly repeat):

I love my pinky, yes I do, and NO, my pinky is not blue!”

You can’t go back on your word after saying that!

2.    Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned for fall, especially the fun deals we can expect!
Stacy: 
At our store we support local designers and authors, there are so many talented individuals in our hometown! Most recently we set up a booth in our store to promote 2 local children’s authors, Hope Rethman and Meaghan Fisher, with a book signing. It was such a big success and our customers love the fact that we support local entrepreneurs. You can buy their books at: http://www.gypsypublications.com/GypsyMain/BookStore.html

3.    Please tell us 1 tip for a mom sending her child to school for the first time?
Stacy: 
Get them to bed on time! Believe me, we learned from experience. A fresh and well-rested child will have a much better day at school.

Le Top "Pizzazz" collection super soft stretch cotton multi stripe hot pink dress

4.    Back-to-school is here – what are 3 trends you can tell parents to look for when buying their kids’ wardrobe?
Stacy: 

  1. Accessorize! Hair bows, hair flowers, funky clips. Always add an extra special piece to make your child stand out!
  2. Comfort. Kids want clothes that are comfortable (like Le Top!) For the younger set, elastic waists and knits work best.
  3. Pull out the 80’s fashion. Neon, mesh and lots of rubber bracelets.  

5.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Stacy: 
That’s easy, my sister still teases me about this. My husband and I swore no store bought plastic toys or television for our Lily before she was born. It worked for a while, we bought her wooden toys and lots of books! When she started asking for Dora and The Wiggles it was all over. We couldn’t say No. Everything in moderation though. 

Inside Pinky Scout

6.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Troy, Ohio. Did you grow up in the local area?
Stacy: 
We are located in a beautiful historic downtown area with lots of mom and pop shops and restaurants. Think cobblestone walk-throughs and a roundabout in the middle of town with a huge fountain! It’s a perfect fit for us. My sisters and I all grew up in the surrounding area and wanted to bring some more style to the area. 

7.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Stacy:   
There are a lot of them. One that stands out is making Christmas Eve deliveries to a few out of town customers that couldn’t make it in to the store. “Saving Christmas” for them that year made it all worth it.  

8.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
Stacy: 
Our town’s weekly Farmers Market. Every Saturday through September, you’ll find lots of families out enjoying local food and arts. We love it! Our store occasionally sets up there to promote our business and some of the local artists we feature in our store.

Le Top "Vroom!" collection

9.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Stacy: 
Le Top’s Vroom! My sister just had a baby boy and we love the new Fall Vroom! Collection. The motorcycle jacket and matching hat is a must! 


Pinky Scout

5 East Main Street
Troy, OH 45373
937.440.1211
www.pinkyscout.com

CHECK-IN and JOIN Pinky Scout Boutique Facebook page and click HERE

 

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We interviewed boutique owner, Susan Johnson, of Ideas and Objects in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on her style advice, on staying true to classic style with unique twists and how “trendy” isn’t always what the customer needs, her store’s top 3 “go-to” items that are must-haves for any parent this fall, and a smart way to keep your kiddo’s lunch pail fresh and cool. 

IDEAS and OBJECTS

252 Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17101
717.234.4505

CHECK-IN and
JOIN IDEAS and OBJECTS Boutique Facebook page and click
HERE


1.    Tell us the inspiration behind starting your shop?
Susan: 
Having worked for years in the visual merchandising and store design arena, I recognized a missing venue for contemporary “neat stuff.”  IDEAS and OBJECTS was born In 1987 when I decided to try my hand at the ownership of a specialty shop featuring unique objects with BOTH contemporary form and great function for work and play, for young and old. This platform soon expanded to include some wearables for women and children. Here I am, nearly 24 years later, in a larger shop in the same building and the current merchandise mix is nearly 50/50 as to wearables and “objects.”

2.    Give us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned for Labor Day Weekend or back-to-school, especially the fun deals we can expect.
Susan: 
At IDEAS and OBJECTS the holiday weekend is not a high traffic weekend. We have discovered that here in central Pennsylvania this weekend (and when I say weekend, I mean Saturday since we are in a city center that is closed on Sundays and Holidays) is one when our customers tend to grab hold of one of the last outdoor event celebrations of the summer season. As to back-to school and fun deals…Unlike the mass market merchants, our best deal is ongoing in the UNIQUE lines of quality fashions we offer and the seasonal timeliness of our wardrobing choices. And when it comes to fun, I like to think that it is ALWAYS FUN to shop our little store of wonders!!!

Display features Le Top's "Pizzazz" Collection tiered tunic and ribbed leggings

3.    Back-to-school is just around the corner – what are 3 trends you can tell parents to look for when buying their kids’ wardrobe?
Susan:  
Looks like leggings and tunics are a strong trend, but some say that plaids may be finding a renewed appeal (although I am not convinced the youth think it is so, and I hear about a surprising fondness for the 70’s influence remaining). Of course the proverbial tees and jeans are still all too popular from my point of view. As in season’s past, we do not fit well into the “trendy” shoppers world, other than the fact that we do have delicious tunics and legging sets!! I have always shopped the market determined not to sell something just because the media is intent on dictating it as a “must have.” I do lean towards the bold and contemporary colors and patterns, but the lines and items I choose are based first on QUALITY, second on UNIQUENESS AND STYLE, and then PRICE.

4.    Please tell us 1 easy tip or snack/meal for a child’s back-to-school lunchbox.
SusanMy parental favorite was always “lunch money” back in the days when buying a school lunch meant a hot CAFETERIA MEAL, rather than pizza, candy and soda “food court” selections. Have to admit my lunch packing was rather ho-hum except for a little note or an unexpected sweet treat from time to time. I do like insulated lunch ”boxes” so that veggies and dip, mayo dressings and or salads, etc. stay cool. So my tip for a COOL lunch would be that when you are including a drink, try buying smaller plastic bottles of water or juice and put them in the freezer the night before. Partially frozen, they will be thawed before lunchtime and will also act as an ice pack even in an un-insulated lunch carrier.

5.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Susan: 
Reply with “BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!” to any question they may ask. I will admit I failed in keeping this vow to myself. And come to think of it, my daughter probably regrets my shortcoming even more than I do.

6.    What is your top selling 3 “go-to” items at your store currently?
Susan: 
Rabbitmoon and Le Top are always favorites, with extra applause for the boy/girl brother and sister groups! Grandparents are especially excited when we give them a call that we have something to “match” for their sibling or cousin grans. The fuchsia fleece jackets by Mack & Co are getting many “oohs and ahhhhhs” and the cordy plush from Jellycat and the Zolo line of creative playthings remain strong staples.

7.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Did you grow up in the local area?
Susan:  
IDEAS and OBJECTS is located in Strawberry Square, a mixed use city center in downtown Harrisburg. The center adjoins the Hilton Hotel and we are but a stone’s throw from the state capitol complex. I grew up about an hour from Harrisburg in a small (population 1,000 or so when I grew up) rural Lancaster County town, Terre Hill. I was the oldest of 4 girls and although we did not have extensive wardrobes or many shopping trips, that which we had was most often bought in family owned specialty shops!

8.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Susan: 
There have been so many…and the highlights truly have nothing to do with large sales. My best moments are the personal ones that convince me that we are a people, not just a business at IDEAS and OBJECTS. The thank you notes, the photos, the tales of good and bad, its the people moments that make it all worthwhile. Not so long ago a college-aged student came into my store and was just beaming as she looked around. She was between trains (Amtrak is a block away) and came to Strawberry Square to see if the shop was still here. She had moved away over 10 years ago, but had fond memories of her mother bringing her to the shop. As I and the shop grow older, it is good to be reminded that we are part of a family of customers with good memories.

9.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
Susan: 
Our neighborhood’s best include the Whitaker Center, that is home to an IMAX theatre, Science Center and Performance Theater and Gamut Theatre, home of the Popcorn Hat Players wonderful children’s theatre.

rabbitmoon's "Harmony" collection print swing dress

10.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Susan: 
The bold color of the Le Top’s Pizzazz collection “big dot” group makes me smile, while the current customer favorite is the Harmony collection from rabbitmoon.


IDEAS and OBJECTS

252 Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17101
717.234.4505

 CHECK-IN and JOIN
IDEAS and OBJECTS Facebook page
and click
HERE

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We interviewed New Jersey children’s boutique guru and fashion expert, Tiffany Patch, from Mama Bear’s Childrens Boutique – one of the BEST kids specialty stores on the East Coast – for this week’s Premier Store Spotlight.  She gave us the inside scoop on working as a family business, how their logo came about, their AMAZING sales going on right now for fall, a charity the store strongly supports (and so should you!), as well as the local family hangouts for your family and kids. Read more to find out!



Mama Bear’s Childrens Boutique

8 Village Center Drive
Beckett Village
Swedesboro, NJ 08085
856.467.6100




Go to www.mamabearschildrensboutique.com for more information

 CHECK-IN and JOIN  Mama Bear’s Children’s Boutique Facebook page and click HERE

Want to send Mama Bear a tweet?  Become a Twitter fan HERE

 

1.    What is the inspiration behind your store’s name?
Tiffany:
  We are a mother/daughter business and thought Mama Bears are warm and loving. We opened our store the week after my son was born. We used a picture from his baby book as the inspiration for our first sign. It was a mama bear reading to her baby bears. Hard to believe it’s been almost 17 years. My son now helps out in the business and has been involved with our buying since he was old enough to make decisions.

2.   Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned at your store as summer comes to an end, especially the fun deals we can expect.
Tiffany: 
We are currently having a 20-75% off fall and summer dress sale, 20% off all summer clothing, and always have a 50% off rack in the back of our store. We also offer special Facebook only promotions.

Le Top "Under Contruction" Collection double sleeve fire truck shirt and french terry pant

3.    Back-to-school is just around the corner – what are 3 trends you can tell parents to look for when buying their kids’ wardrobe?
Tiffany: 
For girls the animal print trend is still a big one for us and mommies seem to want colors other than pink. Big blingy headbands are selling like wildfire and are the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. For the boys, our customers are getting a little more adventurous with color, but it still has to be masculine. Anything with dogs, motorcycles or construction equipment is always popular. 

4.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Tiffany:
  I swore I would never put my son in a gown. He lived in the gowns for at least the first two weeks when he came home from the hospital. We love Le Top’s gowns, especially the converter gowns. They are practical and cute.

5.    What children’s charity do you most believe in and would love to support?
Tiffany: 
Alex’s Lemonade Stand. We have participated in Lemonade days in the past. There is a very special boy in our community we honor. His name is Mario. He has inoperable brain tumors that are treated by chemotherapy. We met him when he and his mom volunteered to help our lemonade stand. The community really comes together to raise money to find a cure for pediatric cancer. We also donate to many other charities related to pediatric illnesses and donate some of our clothing to organizations that help foster families.

6.    Please tell us 1 easy tip or snack/meal for a child’s back-to-school lunchbox?
Tiffany: 
For a break from the boring old peanut butter and jelly sandwich, try a peanut butter and nutella sandwich instead. For the mommy’s put a dollop in your morning coffee.

7.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Swedesboro, NJ. Did you grow up in any of the local area?
Tiffany: 
We are lifelong South Jersey girls. Our store is in a suburban area that is considered one of the fastest growing on the East Coast. It’s an area with lots of young families. The area surrounding our store was mostly farmland ten years ago. Now we have new businesses and lots of beautiful new homes.
 

rabbitmoon's "Harmony" Collection sweater dress

8.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made  your day working at your store.
Tiffany: 
There are so many special moments with our wonderful customers every day. Whether it is finding the special outfit to bring a baby home from the hospital, working with a customer to find the perfect Christening gown/suit, choosing a birthday outfit or helping a bride with flower girl dresses/boys suits. I am blessed to have a job that I love so much. We have a special bulletin board by our front door where we post pictures of our customer’s children in our clothing. It makes my day whenever our customers bring a picture or post a picture on our Facebook page. I have to say we have the cutest customers.

9.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
Tiffany: 
I asked my son that question since our business is a family affair. He said Dave and Busters. We have been taking him there since he was two-years-old. It was our tradition to go to the Philadelphia market to meet with the sales reps to buy for the store. If he was well behaved, we would go play afterward at Dave and Busters. With fall coming, we also have farms in the area where families can pick their own pumpkins, go on hayrides and corn mazes.

Le Top "My Best Friend - Boys" Collection stripe shirt and pant

10.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 Collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Tiffany: 
That was a tough choice. Both lines are fabulous as always. I love the My Best Friend collection from Le Top because I am a sucker for anything with dogs and so few companies do brother sister. I also love the rough and tough manly Under Construction group. If I had to pick my  favorite, I would say it’s Harmony from the rabbitmoon Collection. I love the unique color combination and bold prints. Our customers love that they are fashionable and still buttery soft.

8 Village Center Drive
Beckett Village
Swedesboro, NJ 08085
856.467.6100

For more information go to
www.mamabearschildrensboutique.com

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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
203.239.7644

or go to www.tinythreads.com
for more information

CHECK-IN and JOIN
Tiny Thread’s Boutique
Facebook page and click HERE


1.    Why did you pick the name Tiny Threads for your store?
Linda:
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?
Linda: 
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.
Linda:  
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”?
Linda:  
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!
Linda: 
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.
Linda: 
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?
Linda: 
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?
Linda: 
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
203.239.7644

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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