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Posts Tagged ‘le top Store Spotlight’

This week we interviewed a fun boutique in Poughkeepsie, New York for our Premier Store Spotlight called – Quackles! Mother-Daughter Duo and co-owners, Kathy Lorenz and mother Phyllis Lorenz, gave us the scoop on their upcoming Friends & Family event (don’t miss out on it) along with their favorite holiday movies and Le Top and rabbitmoon “must-have” winter essentials for your kiddo’s wardrobe. Read more on the best family hangouts and the inspiration behind their store Quackles and more!

Quackles

44 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
845.471.2250
store.quackles.com

CHECK-IN and JOIN Quackles’ Facebook page and click HERE

Interior of Quackles


1.    Tell us the inspiration behind opening your own boutique?
How did you come up with the name?
My mom and I had always shopped in boutiques when my 1st daughter was born and the more we shopped the more we thought that we could do the same thing. As for the name, my 2 daughters called the plural of ducks “quackles”.

Quackles participated in the Silhouette of a Woman Fashion Show to benefit the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation featuring Le Top's "Seeing Spots" outfit

2.    Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned for your boutique for the holidays, especially the fun deals we can expect! Anything for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas?
As of Saturday, November 19th we will post on Facebook our Quackles Friends and Family discount through Thanksgiving. For Hanukkah and Christmas, we have a special day hosting a Holiday Bazaar at the store and at my daughter’s dance academy. We are also hosting a Holiday Cookie Swap!

3.    Please tell us 1 fun Thanksgiving tradition you had with your family as a child that you can share with our readers.
We always went to my godmother’s house for Thanksgiving and she lived on a golf course. My brothers and cousins would venture out with bags and collect golf balls and then we would compare how many we each collected. Then we all sat down to a wonderful traditional Thanksgiving meal. A good time had by all.

4.    What would you suggest as the top 3 essentials in the winter that any parent should buy to brighten up their child’s wardrobe?
Fun hat, playful mittens and versatile boots.

Scene from "A Christmas Story"

5.    What is your favorite holiday film past or present for kids/family?
“A Christmas Story” and “Polar Express.”

6.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?”
As a grandmother I vowed I would never break the rules regarding “spoiling” them, but that’s the best part!!!

7.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
Diamond gymnastics, Poughkeepsie Children’s Museum, Debra T’s, and family ice skating at Mid Hudson Civic Center.

8.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Le Top’s “Candy Cane Cutie” Collection for the holidays and the Rabbitmoon “Soho” Collection for boys.

Le Top "Candy Cane Cutie" Sweater Dress and Red Dot Tights


Quackles

44 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
845.471.2250
store.quackles.com

CHECK-IN and JOIN Quackles’ Facebook page and click HERE

 

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This Friday we are giving you the gift of Trendy Treasures as our “Online Premier Store Spotlight.” We know the holidays are quickly approaching and what mom has time to go out into the cold and shop ‘til they drop? We know we are busy elves over at Le Top prepping for the holidays. We would love for you to check out Trendy Treasures for all of your holiday clothing needs and a gift or two for others (‘tis the time for giving right?). We interviewed Dawn Watson and Karen Schirmer of Trendy Treasures to find out about their upcoming sales and deals for the holiday, wintery style tips, Thanksgiving traditions and of course the top gifts to buy this year from their boutique!


Trendy Treasures Online


818.263.1501

www.trendytreasuresonline.com

CHECK-IN and JOIN 
Trendy Treasures
Facebook page by clicking
HERE



1.    Tell us the inspiration behind opening your own eboutique? How long has your online store been around?
My inspiration to open our Trendy Treasures Online store came from a few different things: 1) the birth of my third daughter who is now 7 years old 2) curiosity 3) and my 20 year sales background. Trendy Treasures Online was founded in 2007 and has grown tremendously since then.  Trendy Treasures Online is a family owned and operated global business.

2.    How did you come up with the name?
We originally had a cute pink treasure box (as seen at the bottom of our homepage) as part of our original logo and we knew we wanted the word Trendy as part of our name. We chose the word trendy because part of our goal is to keep up with new and old high quality clothing from all over the world.  So, we combined the word Trendy with the treasures toy box idea and magically came up with the name Trendy Treasures. Since we are currently only an online store we added the word Online at the end when we came up with our formal logo that you see today.

3.    Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned for your eboutique for this winter, especially the fun deals we can expect! Anything for Thanksgiving or Cyber Monday this month?
Although we always have some sort of a sale going on, this year we have two super special sales.  We are having two special 20% off sales on Black Friday, November 25th and Cyber Monday, November 28th from midnight to 11:59 am PST.

4.    Please tell us one fun Thanksgiving tradition you had with your family as a child that you can share with our readers?
Since most of our family lived on the East Coast in Connecticut, my parents, sister, brother and I, along with a few family members here in California, got together for a traditional Thanksgiving Feast. Part of the fun was sharing this meal while using china that was passed down from our great grandparents. What brings back my fondest memories are the times that we used our matching pewter silverware, glasses and plates because we purchased them as a family on a trip that we took together to Connecticut. We still use these today on Thanksgiving as they remind us of our father that passed away in 1990. What was also special is that we would all make phone calls back East to speak to all of our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.      

5.    What are a few of your “go-to” staples to keep kiddos warm this winter on your website?

  1. Warm and comfy brand named pajamas and robes for all ages including: Esme, PJ Salvage, B Up, Books to Bed, Petit Lem and more.
  2. Socks and leggings from Country Kids and Jeffries.
  3. Our top selling Pluie Pluie kids raincoats and matching kids rainboots and umbrellas.
  4. And our trend setting variety of Le Top and Rabbitmoon baby and toddler winter matching sibling outfits.

6.     If you had to give 3 great kids gifts for a “jump start” on holiday shopping from your online store, what would they be and why?

  1. Books to Bed matching books and pajamas because they encourage boys and girls to read and they are always kids favorite gifts.
  2. Esme and PJ Salvage mom and daughter matching pajamas.
  3. Zoobies character pets, which are plush toys, comfy pillows and cozy blankets all-in-one.

7.    Many families are looking for outfits for family holiday portraits for kids. What are some of the hottest trends right now?
Matching sibling outfits from Le Top and other brands and matching Christmas pajamas.

 

 
8.   Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?”
I swore I would never say, “Go ask your father.”

9.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
For boys, the Le Top “Run Run Reindeer Collection” and the matching girls called “Little Deer” Collection outfits.


Trendy Treasures Online

818.263.1501
www.trendytreasuresonline.com

 CHECK-IN and JOIN Trendy Treasures Facebook page and click HERE

 

 

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We interviewed boutique owner, Elliesha Villanueva, of The Green Onion Children’s Boutique in Brooklyn, New York. Elliesha gives us the lowdown on Halloween happenings in the Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens neighborhood, her views on growing up in the community and the perfect take-me-home gift for baby. Read more to discover more about The Green Onion!

 

The Green Onion

274 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
718.246.2804

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

 

1.    Tell us the inspiration behind opening your own boutique?
Having my own business has always been a dream I wanted to pursue. The Green Onion was originally founded and opened in 1998, and I had the opportunity to purchase this successful existing children’s boutique in 2008 and I love it!

2.    How did you come up with the name?
The name was already conceived, and I kept it because it stood out, and people always remembered us because of our name.

Inside the Green Onion

3.    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?
Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens is a great neighborhood to raise a family – we have an amazing community! We normally open for Halloween and give out candy. Cobble Hill Park and Carroll Park both have separate parades. Prospect Park, which is located in Park Slope, is one of our nearby neighborhoods that has a ton of events during the weekend leading up to Halloween.

4.    Please tell us 1 fun Halloween tradition you had with your family as a child that you can share with our readers?
I grew up in Cobble Hill Brooklyn, and being an urban child during the early 80’s in New York was a different experience than it is now, but our tradition was to keep the “trick a treating “ within our local small business community. I have fond memories of Halloween in my neighborhood!!!

5.     What is one fun way to decorate a pumpkin or your home for Halloween?
My Husband and I love to fill our home with the scent of cinnamon and we also love to decorate our windows at home and in the store!

6.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?”
We have not started our own family yet, but my husband and I have sworn to never let our children create a habit of sleeping in our beds.

7.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Brooklyn, New York. Did you grow up in the local area?
I grew up in Cobble Hill Brooklyn, New York and it is and was a great neighborhood to grow up in. Downtown Brooklyn is socially and culturally diverse. Those who don’t know Brooklyn tend to think of it as a middle & lower class dormitory suburb of Manhattan. That’s not the image most New Yorkers have nowadays. Like Manhattan, its smaller cousin in terms of population (2.5 million versus 1.5 million), it has always been a borough of many neighborhoods, some rich, some poor and many solid middle-class. The challenge for the coming years will be to manage Brooklyn’s growth and maintain its cultural diversity.

8.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
From Le Top we love the layette bunting (or what Le Top calls a “snugglebag” that also comes in blue and pink) in mint green! It has been one of our best sellers since fall 2010. We love it because it’s a great take-me-home piece and a fabulous gift for a new baby. Our other favorite are the knit sweaters from Rabbitmoon

rabbitmoon "anjou" color-blocked sweater dress





The Green Onion

274 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
718.246.2804

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

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We spoke with storeowner, Melissa Delancy, this week about her over the top adorable and great to shop in boutique in Southern Pines, North Carolina. She gave us the scoop on how she started her store, where the best local family hangouts are these days, as well as her top Le Top boys and girls collections this season for your kiddo. Did we mention she gives a special discount if you dress up for Halloween and come to her store? Go get your costumes soon! 🙂 Read more below about one of our favorite Le Top boutique retailers – Belli Bambini.

Belli Bambini

118 Northwest Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28387
910.692.6926

CHECK-IN and JOIN Belli Bambini’s Facebook pageand click HERE

1.    Tell us the inspiration behind opening your own boutique?
Melissa:  
I started working in the children’s industry at Gap Kids when I started college. It was a very hard, exhausting, and rewarding job. After the long hours. I swore I would never work retail again. But I went on to work at private boutiques and fell in  love …22 years later here I am, and still loving it.

Le Top Fall 2011 "Zoo Kazoo" collection

2.    How did you come up with the name?
Melissa: 
Decisions can be my worst enemy. I had at least 40 names to choose from and my husband finally told me I had until the end of  the day. I wanted something sweet that was about both boys and girls. That’s why we are called Belli and not Bella. 

3.    Fall is in the air and Charlotte Magazine mentions you are a store for posh tots! You definitely are on the local style radar – what are 3 staples you can tell parents to buy from your store for when transitioning their kids’ wardrobe from summer threads to warm clothes for the fall?
Melissa: 
Everyone must have a pair of TOMS, plus every shoes you buy, TOMS donates a pair to someone in need of shoes! Jeggings! Denim and colors…a great way to pair with an assortment of tops. Le Top red and white styles…perfect for Christmas and Valentines Day!

4.    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?
Melissa: 
Halloween we will dress up and if you dress up we will give you 15% off any regular price item. 

5.   Please tell us 1 fun Halloween tradition you had with your family as a child that you can share with our readers?
Melissa: 
As a child I loved to dress up, but I didn’t like to ask for candy, because I didn’t feel it was appropriate. But I loved and still love to hand out candy and tell all the trick-or-treaters how adorable they are. Funny thing is my middle child has always been the same way. 

6.    What is one fun way to decorate a pumpkin or your home for Halloween?
Melissa: 
We, or shall I say my husband, traces and cuts our pumpkins. He is very precise. 🙂

7.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?”
Melissa: 
I swore I would never make my kids wear something they didn’t like, especially dresses! I hated to wear dresses and every Sunday my parents made me wear one to church. I wanted pants like my brother…guess what I lied! I must approve the attire. 

8.    Tell us about a “special” moment that has made your day working at your store.
Melissa: 
It’s too hard to pick just one “aha” moment, but I must say its such a pleasure when a couple goes to the doctor to be told they are expecting a little miracle. Their first stop being Belli Bambini, either as a way of celebrating, or as a gift they give to their parents to tell them they are going to be grandparents. While I feel all children are so special, another “aha” moment is to see the smile of a mother-to-be who is awaiting for the birth mother(adoption) to give birth to their baby. What a blessing!

9.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Did you grow up in the local area?
Melissa: 
I was raised in San Antonio, Texas. My husband serves in the military which is what brought us to Southern Pines. Southern Pines is a beautiful little town. The train house and railroad tracks divide the shopping street into two sides. The best way to describe it is its “like living in Mayberry.” Plenty of unique boutiques, tasty restaurants, parks where you will see families walking their dogs, strolling their babies and eating an ice cream cones.   

10.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
Melissa: 
Grab a bench, sit and enjoy the view. If you need more, we do have 27 golf courses and we are in horse country. 

11.    What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Melissa: 
I love the Le Top “Zoo Kazoo” Collection  and for girls its the “Cute Cookie” Collection! 

Belli Bambini

118 Northwest Broad Street
Southern Pines, SC 28387
910.692.6926

CLICK HERE to CHECK OUT Belli Bambini on Facebook

Le Top Fall 2011 "Cute Cookie" Collection

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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

 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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