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Posts Tagged ‘Le Top premier retailer’

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

 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 

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This week we travelled to Lewes, Delaware to interview one of the cutest children’s boutiques we know – Kids’ Ketch! Owner, Teresa Ford, gave us the inside scoop on what “ketch” means in sailing, their upcoming event for the Italian Fun Fest, back-to-school trends, the fabulous local hangouts for families, and a fun tidbit to leave in your kiddo’s paper bag lunch to make their day! Read more and discover fun facts about Kids’ Ketch boutique!

KIDS’ KETCH
132 Second Street
Lewes, DE 19958
302.645.8448

or go to www.kidsketch.com for more information

CHECK-IN and JOIN Kids’ Ketch Facebook page and click HERE

1.    What is the inspiration behind your store’s name? Give us 3 fun facts about your store that a typical customer wouldn’t know.
Teresa:
We are located where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, so I wanted to have a name related to the sea and to children. A “ketch” is a two-masted sailboat and when I combined that with “kids” I liked the sound of it.  As for 3 fun facts a typical customer wouldn’t know:

  1. We started as a small store in 1990 with just 450 sq. ft.  After two moves, we are in our spot today, with 3,700 sq. ft, which is the only way a lot of people have ever seen us. We’ve been in this location since 1998.
  2. My two children have both worked here, my son still does, my mother who is 90 years old continues to work here, and my two nieces have worked here. So it has really been a family affair.
  3. We have a large fish tank in our store that the children love, and my husband, who is the mayor in this town, takes care of it. When people ask who takes care of our fish tank, we tell them “The Mayor does!”

2.    Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned at your store this  summer, especially the fun deals we can expect.
Teresa: 
On Friday, September 23rd, our downtown businesses are having an Italian Fun Fest where the street will be closed to cars, and we will celebrate all things Italian. In our store, we will feature Quercetti toys, which are made in Italy. We’ll raffle off a Bocce set, and have a fountain set up in the street where kids can make a wish and throw in a coin. The proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.

(left to right) Teresa Ford, store owner, Mayor Jim Ford, Drew Laroche, and Karin Evick, store manager, celebrating the Best of Delaware award for children's clothing store in 2010.


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?
Teresa: 
Back-to-school trends I love are:

  • The deep rich colors and mix of textures this fall
  • The mix of prints, especially in girls clothes that have cute tops and dresses, with leggings of a coordinating different print
  • Appliquéd flowers that create a 3-dimensional look on garments

4.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?”
Please share!
Teresa: 
One thing I swore I would not do is spoil kids or grandkids by giving them too much from my store.  All I needed to do was think of the kids that don’t have much, and realize that kids can get by with less than you think. I think I followed that rule with my children, but I don’t have grandchildren yet, and I bet that will be more difficult! 

5.    If you could pick one item to pack in a paper bag lunch for your kid, what would it be?
Teresa: 
The one item I would put in a paper bay lunch is a note or funny picture that would make them smile.

6.    Give us your must-have essential for a boy and a girl’s back-to-school wardrobe from your store.
Teresa: 
A must-have essential is a vibrant, colourful tunic top with fun contrasting leggings.

7.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Lewes, Delaware. Did you grow up in
any of the local area?
Teresa: 
Our store is located on an old-fashioned “main street” with small boutiques and restaurants. Shoppers often see their friends and neighbours while strolling the area. The town was founded in 1631, so many of the buildings are historic architecture. One block over is the canal where many boats are docked, and walk a couple more blocks and you’re at the beach! 

8.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Teresa: 
The special moments that come to mind are when I get to interact with the children and they let their guard down and allow me into their world. This often happens when they are playing in our play area that has a train table and kitchen set up, or when they let me teach them a new game they enjoy playing. Special events allow us to interact with the kids more than usual, and I  guess it’s my latent “school teacher” genes I inherited from my mother that make it so much fun.

 9.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
Teresa: 
The best place to go – the Beach! We have the best beaches here, plus the Cape Henlopen State Park with it’s rolling sand dunes. We  have a wonderful Canalfront Park with playground, and the best places to get ice cream – like Kings Homemade Ice Cream, the Dairy Queen, and Two Dips.

Le Top "Cute Cookie" Corduroy Dress & Footless Stripe Tights

10.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Teresa: My favorite Fall 2011 Collection – Cute Cookie by Le Top for its vibrant colors, mixture of textures, and easy-to-wear styles.

KIDS’ KETCH
132 Second Street
Lewes, DE 19958
302.645.8448

or go to
www.kidsketch.com
for more information

 CHECK-IN and JOIN
Kids’ Ketch Facebook page
and click HERE

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We cannot get enough of the cutest (not to mention the most charming) boutiques in the South! This week we interviewed Jona Carver, owner of The Carousel in Columbia, South Carolina. Not only does the store have the best in back-to-school trends, Jona gives us the top trends for fall for southern belles and boys, must-haves for any new mom and her “before she had kids, one thing she swore she would never do!”. Read more for a playful Friday interview with one of our premier Le Top and Rabbitmoon boutiques!

 THE CAROUSEL
4525 Forest Drive
Columbia, SC 29206
864.505.4141

 or go to www.carouselkidsboutique.com for more information 

CHECK-IN and JOIN The Carousel’s Facebook page and click HERE

 1.    How long has your store been around and what was the inspiration behind the name of your store?
Jona: 
I opened this store in February of 2010. Everyone told me I was crazy to open a store at that time, but I knew I could do it! My children and I love horses and the carousel ride at any amusement park was always my favorite, as well as my kids! The carousel represented to me the magic and imagination of childhood.

2.    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.  
Jona: 
The Carousel is truly lucky to be part of a wonderful shopping center called Forest Village. The other stores and I are hoping to plan a fall festival for all the kids with games, costume contest, apple bobbing and who knows what!! The Carousel is also working with local artists to promote their wonderful talents in our store with special previews and sales!

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?
Jona:  
Parents, like myself, are always looking for a good value, durability and quality. When I brought Rabbitmoon into my store in the fall of 2010, parents were intrigued. No one else in my area carried this line from Le Top. When the spring line of this year arrived, I was blown away by all the comments I received. Parents told me how the Rabbitmoon outfits were their children’s favorite. How they were pleased with how they washed and held their shape.  I could hardly keep the spring line stocked!!

4.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Jona: 
Adhere to the “5 second” rule.  All of my friends had babies before I did, and I would watch as “little Johnny” would throw his bottle or paci on the floor. My friends would always say “5 second rule”, blow it off and hand it back to “little Johnny”. Well, I just thought that was unsanitary until I had one of my own. After running back and forth one day numerous times, rinsing bottles or paci, I had had enough. Now the “5 second rule” RULES in my house!!

5.    Give us your top 3 essentials for a kid’s back-to-school wardrobe from your store.
Jona: 
For the boys, the staple in the south has to be a good polo shirt and khaki pants. We carry Bella Bliss that has outstanding quality and the soft cottons. And what little southern belle wouldn’t be complete without her smocked dress. Le Za Me from Louisiana fits our bill for this traditional school apparel.

6.    If you could pick one essential for a new mom for her baby from your store – what would it be and why?
Jona:  
The biggest, softest blanket you can find. We have Little Giraffe blankets and they are the best blankets around!

7.    Describe the neighborhood of your store locations in Columbia, South Carolina. Did you grow up in any of the local area?
Jona: 
Our store is located in Forest Acres, a city within our capital city Columbia. Although our address is Columbia, our store is within the city limits of Forest Acres. Forest Acres is wonderful community full of great schools, local flavors and true southern charm!

8.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Jona:  
Soon after I opened the store, a little girl named Lily came in with her mom. They had been shopping at other stores that day and Lily was getting tired of trying on clothes. She was looking for a special dress for her birthday and just could not find what she wanted. After many go-arounds, Lily found her dress. The next day, Lily and her mom came back to the store with a thank-you card Lily had made for me. She said that she loved her dress and that everyone thought she was the most beautiful one at the party. I nearly cried!!

7.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Spring/Summer 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Jona: 
This would have to be the Rabbitmoon Empress Collection. Any piece in this collection! I literally sold out of the dress from the back room before it could even be steamed!! This print was my best seller!

 



THE CAROUSEL
4525 Forest Drive
Columbia, SC 29206
864.505.4141 

or go to
www.carouselkidsboutique.com
for more information 

CHECK-IN and JOIN
The Carousel’s Facebook page
and click HERE





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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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Gear up, because back-to-school is around the corner, and if there is one store you can use as your “one-stop shop”…it’s Baby Bundles! They have two fabulous locations in Knoxville, Tennessee and Lexington, Kentucky – double the fashion, and double the fun. We spoke with co-owners and kids fashion gurus: Sherri, Margaret and Marie to get the low-down on children’s warm-weather fashion, upcoming deals at their stores and the “do’s” and “don’ts” in dressing the most fashionable baby and kiddo.

 Store Locations:
7600 Kingston Pike, #1460
Knoxville, TN 37919
865.690.4454

161 Lexington Green, Suite B3
Lexington, KY 40503
859.309.0459

 or go to shopbabybundles.com for more information

CHECK-IN and JOIN Baby Bundles Lexington’s Facebook page and click HERE

Baby Bundles in Knoxville

1.    What was your inspiration behind opening your two children’s clothing stores – how long have each been open and do they cater to different clientele?
Baby Bundles:
  Baby Bundles was started in Knoxville, Tennessee ten years ago by Sherri. Sherri wanted a store that would offer a comprehensive one-stop shopping experience for parents looking for specialty items. In 2010, Sherri partnered with Baby Bundles Manager, Margaret and her sister Marie to open Baby Bundles in Lexington, Kentucky. Both stores offer traditional and trendy children’s apparel. While the stores are in different locations, the spirit of the clientele remains essentially the same. Our customers range from new parents to grandparents looking for a local shopping experience from a knowledgeable sales staff, whose primary goal is to assist them in selecting merchandise that reflects their child’s unique style and spirit.

2.    Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned at your two stores and e-boutique this coming summer and fun deals we can expect.
Baby Bundles: 
 As we wind down summer, Baby Bundles Lexington will be hosting our “One is Fun” First Birthday Party. The event will feature an Alex’s Lemonade Stand hosted by local pre-school students, a petting zoo and visit from local horse hero, Lash, who has recently been made into a plush doll. We will follow that event with a visit with silhouette artist Clay Rice in October.

3.    What are this season’s latest trends for kid’s clothing in Kentucky? Tell us the 3 “do’s” and 3 “don’ts” in kid clothing style.
Baby Bundles:
 

Do’s…

  1. Accessorize…a great hair bow, headband or cute tights can make the outfit. 
  2. Invest in a pair of Monkey Bar Buddies to go with your Le Top dress. The underwear covers come in great colors and are perfect for back to school. 
  3. Let your child have voice in which outfits to purchase…you are never too young to take pride in how you look. 

Don’ts…

  1. Don’t dress your child above their age. As we tell our customers, “Children are only small for a short period time.” Celebrate childhood by selecting age appropriate clothing.
  2. Don’t be afraid to purchase brother and sister matching outfits. Le Top has cute designs that our customers with siblings love.
  3. Don’t forget to purchase a white sweater. This simple purchase can help your child’s wardrobe transition into different seasons.

Baby Bundles in Lexington

4.    Why did you pick the name Baby Bundles for your stores?
Baby Bundles: 
The original concept was to offer a one-stop shop where parents could buy a variety of specialty store items for their children. The word bundles seemed to work with the original mission and then baby seemed to be a natural fit. 

5.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Baby Bundles: 
We can’t really think of anything. I guess all three of us just gave up hope of controlling every situation and just decided to enjoy the ride.

6.    Describe the neighborhoods of each of your store locations. Did you grow up in any of the 2 local areas?
Baby Bundles: 
The Knoxville store is located in the West Town Mall, Knoxville’s premier shopping center. The Lexington store is located in the Mall at Lexington Green, which primarily caters to locally owned boutiques and businesses. Sherri grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and Margaret and Marie grew up just outside of Lexington. Marie still resides in Kentucky. 

7.    What would you say are the top 3 requested clothing and/or accessory items requested from your store this summer?
Baby Bundles:

  • Texture was a primary concern of customers this summer. Soft knits from Le Top were great sellers because of they feel great and are easy to care for. 
  • Le Top bathing suits with matching cover-ups
  • Big Sister and Little Sister outfits that compliment without matching exactly. 

8.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Baby Bundles: 
Having to name just one is hard. Perhaps the most memorable was when a Knoxville customer who traveled regularly from Eastern Kentucky to shop learned that we were opening a store in Lexington. She was so excited that she starting jumping up and down and waving her hands like the head cheerleader on game day!

Le Top "Ship Ahoy!" swim trunk, shirt and anchor cover-up


9.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store locations?
Baby Bundles:  
When in Knoxville, stop by and ride the train that travels around the West Town Mall. When in Lexington, a stop by Fro Joes for fresh frozen yogurt, feed the ducks at our big pond, or visit Shilito Park that is just down the street.

10.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Spring/Summer 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Baby Bundles:
Our favorite was the Ship Ahoy! Collection. It was ideal for boys and girls from newborn through size 6. Whether land locked or beach bound just looking at it made us think of the perfect summer day!


Baby Bundles Store Locations:
7600 Kingston Pike, #1460
Knoxville, TN 37919
865.690.4454

161 Lexington Green, Suite B3
Lexington, KY 40503
859.309.0459

 or go to shopbabybundles.com for more information

 CHECK-IN and JOIN Baby Bundles Lexington’s Facebook page and click HERE

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Beat the summer heat and take a break to read about the most adorable and fun boutique in Decateur, Texas – Sunshine Square! We spoke with owner Laurie Washburn about the inside scoop on her latest summer deals at her store, warm-weather fashion, her “go-to” items from her store if she was deserted on a tropical island, as well as what she swore she’d never do before she had kids!  Enjoy and become a fan on Facebook below!

108 West Walnut Street
Decatur, TX 76234
940.627.3394
sunshinesquare@embarqmail.com

or go to www.sunshine-square.com for more information

CHECK-IN and JOIN
Sunshine Square’s Facebook page and click HERE

 

1.    What was your inspiration behind opening your children’s clothing store – Sunshine Square? Where did the name come from?
Laurie: Having three children and constantly searching for unique clothing inspired me to have a vision of a store dedicated to great quality boutique fashions. The name Sunshine Square came from a collaboration of friends and family.

2.    Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned at your store this coming summer and fun deals we can expect.
Laurie: 
We are located on the Historic Downtown Square, so there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. From special parades, family movie nights, girl’s night out, petting zoos, antique car shows, and Santa Claus, there is always something going on at the square. Of course we just started our annual summer clearance sale to make room for our new fabulous fall styles. We are also getting ready for a big back-to-school sale. I am always thinking of creative sales to offer my customers – so check out our Facebook page and website so you don’t miss out!

3.    What are this season’s latest trends for kid’s clothing? Tell us the 3 “do’s” and 3 “don’ts” in kid’s clothing style.

Sunshine Square's interior features Rabbitmoon's Fall 2011 "Magnolia" collection

Laurie:  This season’s latest trends for kid’s clothing would have to be bold and colorful, fun, ruffles, rompers and tutus.

  • Dress your child in comfy clothes that feel good to move around in.
  • Let your child pick out a few clothing items themselves.
  • Make your child feel good about what they are wearing – make them feel like a princess or prince.
  • Don’t dress your child in restrictive clothing that makes them uncomfortable and fussy.
  • Don’t dress your child older than what they are – cherish every moment they grow up so fast.
  • Don’t judge what your child chooses to wear – they have the right to express themselves.

4.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Laurie:  
Before I had kids, I swore I would never lick my thumb and wipe my kid’s face clean (also known as a “spit bath”). I did not like it when my mom did it to me and my kids do not like it when I do it to them.

5.    Decatur, Texas sounds exciting! Describe the neighborhood your store is in for us.
Laurie: 
Sunshine Square is located on the Historic Downtown Square. The courthouse sits right in the middle of the square and is made of solid pink granite. It is a beautiful site to see. The square is full of antique shops, clothing stores, gift stores and restaurants. There is shopping and food for everyone.   

6.    What do you feel are the three biggest keys to your success?
Laurie: 
The three biggest keys to my success would have to be:

  • Longevity of the store – Sunshine Square has been in business for 27 years and we see generation after generation shop in the store.
  • Loyal customer base – I always keep an open mind and am receptive to customer suggestions and cater to their needs and wants.
  • Variety and selection – We have a great selection of unique and stylish clothing for our customers to choose from.

7.    If you were a new mom and got stranded on a deserted island – what 5 items could you not live without from your store?
Laurie: 
If I were stranded on a deserted island I could not live without: 

  • Any clothing piece by Le Top or Rabbitmoon – you just can’t beat the softness and durability.
  • An incredibly soft, ultra plush blanket by Little Giraffe – all babies love to snuggle up with this blanket and take a nap.
  • A pair of Mooshu squeaky sandals – the squeaky sound helps me to keep up with my little one.
  • Blossom’s Buddy Blanket by Bunnies by the Bay – plush floppy eared bunny with snuggly soft pink velour security blanket.
  • Kalencom diaper bag to keep all of the great baby items together. 

Their boy's section features Le Top's Fall 2011 "Ready for Takeoff" footed coverall and Rabbitmoon's Fall 2011 "City" stripe coverall

8.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Laurie:
A special moment that made my day was last Christmas when we adopted a family and the kids came into the store and picked out outfits and accessories. The sparkle in their eyes and their smiles lit up the whole store. We all shared a special moment.

9.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store locations?
Laurie:  
The best family hangout around our location would have to be Sweetie Pies Ribeyes. They have the best steaks around! It is a great family restaurant and the kids love their chicken fingers.

Of course we are only about 30 minutes northwest of the Dallas/Fort Worth area so we are close to everything imaginable – several zoos, water parks, Six Flags, Texas Motor Speedway and much more.

10.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Spring/Summer 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Laurie:  
Our favorite collections would have to be the Le Top “Heart’s Delight” for the girls and the Le Top “Puppy Pals” for the boys. We love the bright fun colors and the softness of the fabric. These styles started selling before we could get them unpacked! Of course any Le Top or Rabbitmoon style sells out super fast.

or click HERE for the Sunshine Square website for more information

CHECK-IN and JOIN
Sunshine Square’s Facebook page and click HERE

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We interviewed one of the most darling and hot children’s boutiques in Edmond, Oklahoma this week – Marissa’s Room! Founder and owner, Melissa Morton, gave us the inside scoop on where the store’s name comes from, what fun events you can expect this summer, and knowing what her customers want from being a local for the past 20 years! Read below for more.

Marissa’s Room
3224 South Broadway #124
Edmond, OK 73013
405.285.7777

or go to http://www.marissasroom.com
for more information and locations

CHECK-IN and JOIN Marissa’s Room Facebook page and click HERE

1.    What was your inspiration behind opening your children’s clothing store – Marissa’s Room?
Melissa: When I was a little girl my Grandmother, Mother and Aunts looked for special things to buy for me. When I had my daughter, Marissa, my family was so excited to continue this tradition. We looked all over to find sweet things for her that you couldn’t find other places. We were so excited to dress her up! After shopping for her, I realized what was missing from the stores in our area. Our goal for Marissa’s Room is to provide unique and special gifts and clothing to our customers. 

2.    Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned at your store and e-boutique this coming summer and fun deals we can expect.
Melissa: We have only been open a month now, but our Grand Opening was a huge success! We made our own “Marissa’s Room” perfume and lotion and Hello Kitty visited. Edmond Krazy Daze’s sale is coming up at the end of the month and we will be sure to update you what days this will take place! During which, we will host a sidewalk sale. In addition to that, we are planning future special events for moms and grandparents.


3.    Tell us a secret/fun fact about your store that not that many would know?
Melissa:
Marissa’s Room is a family run store. We all play a part in the running of this business. My entire family works at the store. I think sometimes, people are surprised by that. It takes all of us, my husband, my mom, my sister, and my brother! Marissa, my daughter, who is now 9 years-old has been going to market since she was 2! Her input matters and she knows what she likes. We make our decisions about products to sell and clothing lines to carry with our hearts. We care about our store and our customers. If it wasn’t for our customers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we love!

4.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Melissa: I never thought I would be one of those parents that took pictures of everything that their child did. My poor daughter! Every moment of her life has been a photo-op. My grandfather used to babysit her for us. He would take pictures of her constantly. I am pretty sure she had the run of the house while he was watching her. The pictures he would share with us are priceless!

5.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Edmond, Oklahoma. Did you grow up in the area?
Melissa: We opened our store front location in Edmond, Oklahoma on June 4th of this year! This business is not new to us though, we have been in the children’s clothing business for over 7 years. Our new boutique is located in Edmond in Shoppes on Broadway. Edmond has over 80,000 people and is growing strong! Edmond is located in Central Oklahoma, and is a friendly and family oriented community. However, our customers are not limited to just the Edmond area; we have customers from all over Oklahoma and the world. My family and I have lived in Oklahoma for over 20 years.

6.    What would you say are the top 3 requested clothing and/or accessory items requested from your store this summer?
Melissa: We have had some very specific requests this summer. Customers know what they want. Our customers love the outfits from Le Top with matching hats. We also have a lot of requests for matching outfits in different sizes. Usually customers are trying to put together a cute family photo. Finding options for something like this is easy to do with Le Top. Another request is for special birthday outfits. 

7.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Melissa: I love it when customers come in and are so excited to buy something special! It makes my day to see how excited they are to find that perfect gift or outfit. It reminds me of my family buying for my daughter.

8.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store locations?
Melissa: Our Children’s Boutique is located in a busy area in the heart of Edmond. We are next to Bella Strada Salon and across the street from Chick-Fil-A!    

9.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Spring/Summer 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Melissa: Oh, don’t make me pick! I love Le Top! My favorite is how they put detail on the back of the clothing. A lot of times we hang things backwards so customers can see the sweet detail. Le Top thinks of everything, and once a customer buys Le Top, they will come back for more!


Marissa’s Room
3224 South Broadway #124
Edmond, OK 73013
(405) 285-7777

or go to
http://www.marissasroom.com
for more information and locations

Check-in and join Marissa’s Room
Facebook page and click HERE

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We interviewed super chic boutique owner, Sandra Murphy, of P. Cottontail & Company located in Half Moon Bay, California to find out “what’s hot” and “what’s not” for kids clothes this summer. She gives also gives us the inside scoop on her store events and super sales to look out for, as well as the best hangouts in the store’s area. Read more to find out about her fashion tips and the best beach gear this summer that you can’t live without!


P. Cottontail & Company

527 Main Street
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
650.726.0200 

Check-in and join P. Cottontail & Company’s
Facebook page and click HERE
 

1.    What was your inspiration/ behind opening your children’s clothing store – P. Cottontail & Company?
Sandra: I really did not have a single inspiration — being in the garment industry my entire career — and the kids business for a large part of that…it was a natural progression.  

2.    Tell us about any special events that you have planned at your store this coming summer and fun deals we can expect. Sandra: Our special events this summer?…On July 4th we have an old fashion hometown parade. We will be handing out flags to all of our kids. Also our BIG end of season sale will start in mid-July. Of course, do not forget THE PUMPKIN FESTIVAL in October. Please visit us early for all things pumpkin AND the best costumes ever.  

3.    What are this season’s latest trends for kid’s clothing? Tell us the 3 “do’s” and 3 “don’ts” in kid clothing style.
Sandra: Do’s and Don’ts…

  • Do go for all things comfy and soft — babies and kids both can develop sensory issues at an early age give them all the help you can.
  • Do go for the accessories — it makes the outfit — boys love hats and cool shoes, girls love purses just like mom.
  • Do go for lots of great dress up clothes, it’s not just for b-day parties, and not just for girls!
  • Don’t ever buy any garment that even LOOKS itchy — this is especially important in dressy dresses — also tags inside the garment — many
    of the moms ask us to remove them after they purchase the outfit because they bother the kids so much.
  • Don’t ever go for anything tight or restrictive — kids need to be kids.


4.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?” Please share!
Sandra: I never had anything I swore I would never do — I’m a firm believer in “never say never.” I have one daughter — one amazing daughter — and being in the apparel industry, she was exposed to all types of clothing and styles and is quite the diva.

5.    Describe the neighborhood of Half Moon Bay, California where your store is located. Did you grow up in the local area?
Sandra:
Half Moon Bay is a coast side town about 20 minutes south of San Francisco — the ocean is a big attraction for families — there are also tide pools at The Fitzgereld Marine Reserve where kids get a real hands-on experience.  

6.    What are your top 3 best selling beach gear items that you would suggest as the perfect “go-to” items for a family on vacation?
Sandra:
Top 3 items for beach gear — SUN SCREEN – a sun hat with a large brim and sunglasses – I’m very big on sun protection — start you kids early. 

7.    Tell us about a “special” moment that made your day working at your store.
Sandra: Hands down favorite moment in the store is when one of my favorite little girls came in, sat down on the floor, opened her piggy bank–dumped out all the pennies–and asked me if she had enough money to buy the horse outfit!! 

Le Top "Flutterbye Butterfly" Hooded Zip Front Coverup and Bikini

8.    What swimwear or cover-up piece from Le Top or rabbitmoon do you love from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection?
Sandra: My summer swimwear collection favorite piece…is the pink zip front cover-up from the Le Top “Flutterbye Butterfly” Collection – I also love the bikini-don’t forget the sun hat!  

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

Check-in and join
P. Cottontail & Company’s
Facebook page and click HERE

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We interviewed our favorite online swim retailer that carries everything from the top beach gear to the best family and children’s swimwear! They know the “do’s” and “don’ts” in warm-weather swim style – read below for the latest and greatest tips from the fabulous buying team from the SwimOutlet.com.

SwimOutlet.com
www.swimoutlet.com

Join SwimOutlet.com’s Facebook page and click HERE
Become a Twitter fan of SwimOutlet.com HERE

 

1. What was the inspiration/ behind starting e-store – swimoutlet.com?
SwimOutlet.com started as a website called SwimLessions.com. Our CEO had the idea to create a website where swim students could connect to instructors. The site grew to include locators for public pools, directories for swim schools and an aquatic job board.

Selling swim products was the next step in its natural progression. Today, SwimOutlet.com is the largest online specialty shop for swimming, water polo, fashion, beach, and surf products in the US.

2.  Tell us about any special online promotions that you have planned this summer and fun deals we can expect!
Our e-store has promotions and deals throughout the year! Sign up for our newsletter or check out our ‘clearance corner’ to get the lowest prices on swimwear. 

3. Summer break is here and families are travelling and in need of fabulous swimwear and swim products. What are 3 family swimwear must-have items that are available at your online store for summer?

Our top 3 must-have items for the summer:

  • Sun protection: Protect you and your family from sunburn this summer! Here are our suggestions: Sun blocks, sunscreens, sun suits, UV protective swimwear, cover ups, sunglasses, and hats!
  • Swim aids: Help your child gain confidence in the water! Arm bands, swim vests, flotation suits and USCG approved life jackets are great options!
  • Goggles: SwimOutlet carries a variety of swim goggles including: Competitive, prescription,
    snorkel, and kids goggles!

4.  What are this season’s latest trends for kid’s swimwear? Tell us 3 “do’s” and 3 “don’ts” in kid swimwear style.  

This season’s hottest trends in kids’ swimwear are ruffles, bright colors, and floral.

The 3 “do’s” in kids’ swimwear style are:

  • UV protective materials: Rashguards, sun suits, cover-ups, and hats.
  • Comfortable fit: The more comfortable the swimwear, the more your kids will enjoy wearing it. Choose a swimsuit not too tight or loose; if your child is between sizes, pick the larger size for them to grow into.
  • Popular styles include: One pieces, tankinis, bikinis, and monkinis for girls and boardshorts, volley shorts, and surf styles for boys.

The 3 “don’ts” in kids’ swimwear are:

  • String tops and bottoms: These are sure to fall off active children!
  • White swimwear: Dirt is more likely to show up on lighter suits.
  • Complicated: Buy swimwear that is easy to put on / take off!

5.  What are qualities parents should look for in children’s swimwear? Wearability? Comfort? UV protection? Please tell us your 3 rules to buying perfect children’s swimwear!

  • Definitely comfort
  • Easy to put on / take off
  • Fun for your child

6.  What are your top 3 best selling beach gear items that you would suggest as the perfect “go-to” items for a family on vacation? 

  • Beach umbrellas
  • Towables
  • Beach games and toys

Le Top "Beachy Keen Monokini"

7.  What swimwear or cover-up piece from Le Top do you love from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection?
We love Le Top’s Monokinis—they are absolutely adorable! The entire Ship Ahoy! collection is a close second!

SwimOutlet.com
www.SwimOutlet.com 

Join SwimOutlet.com’s Facebook
page  by clicking HERE

Become a Twitter fan of
SwimOutlet.com HERE

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