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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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Photo by: Rolf Mueller/face to face/ZUMA

Congratulations to Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner who welcomed their first child, a daughter, on Sunday, July 17 in New York City! Our new Le Top Baby “Pretty Orchid” Collection woven dress and bloomer pant would be precious for the darling city baby!

“I just left the hospital and the baby is beautiful. [Ivanka’s] doing great,” Donald Trump says. “Arabella Rose is the baby’s name — I just found that out by the way.”

Ivanka added her own thoughts via Twitter: “Jared and I are having so much fun playing with our daughter! Arabella Rose is beyond adorable. She’s truly a blessing.”

Dress your little seedling in this two-piece long sleeve pink woven dress and coordinating bloomer pants. Delicate smocking across the bodice and pink satin ribbon rosebuds adorn this sweet look. Ruffle sleeve and ankle detail add delicate flair. Snaps in back of dress and gentle elasticized waist assist dressing.

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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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Courtesy: James Bailey

Le Top Baby "All Aboard" collection sunsuit and shirt

Congratulations to model and actress from 2 Fast 2 Furious Devon Aoki (also the heiress to the Benihana restaurant fortune!) and her fiance financier James Bailey on welcoming their baby boy! James announced on Twitter the birth of their new son this past Friday, June 10th saying, “Celebrating the birth of our son and Devon and my anniversary yesterday is more than I could ever ask for. Our  family keeps growing.” This Le Top Baby “All Aboard!” Collection sunsuit and shirt would be such a cute take-me-home outfit for the newcomer to the family!

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Alex J. Berliner/BEImages

Twitter fans of Alyssa Milano (and the fans at Le Top) have been guessing what the sex of her expecting baby will be! It is a boy! She revealed the gender when she wrote on Twitter, “As fun as it was reading all of your gender predictions on Twitter, I’m really bad at keeping secrets and had to share (not to mention, I was bound to unintentionally slip at some point),” the expectant actress, 38, wrote last night. We think he would look adorable in our NEW Le Top Baby “Set Sail! Boy” Collection footed coverall – you can’t go wrong with nautical in boyish baby blues, right? 

Le Top Baby "Set Sail! Boy" Collection Footed Coverall

 




It’s what the boys are wearing. This blue-on-white sailor print footed jumpsuit with coordinating striped knot sailor collar is crafted with soft stretch cotton for supreme comfort. Sweetly finished with embroidered sailboat appliqué and delicate striped footies and trims. Back and underneath snaps for easy dressing.

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Boys will be boys! It can be hard to find cool and cute boys clothes, whether it be a store or online…but have you heard of TheBoysStore.Biz? It is one of our FAVORITE online premier store retailers who carry all boys clothes online! Too good to be true? We got the scoop on the inspiration behind online boutique owner, Suzanne Remington, and what is in store for this spring season – for you!

The Boy’s Store
www.theboysstore.biz
888.267.1487

Join The Boy’s Store Facebook page and click HERE
Follow The Boy’s Store on Twitter and click HERE
 


1.   
What is one special or fun fact about your e-store that a typical customer wouldn’t know?
Suzanne: Every order is shipped with a hand-written thank you note and a small gift such as a toy, a craft item, stickers for the little boy (or boys) in addition to his new clothes.

2.    What inspired you to get involved in an online store for kids?
Suzanne: Right out of high school I was trained as a dressmaker and had dreams of being a designer. I moved to the US to attend Fashion Design School but had to give up my dreams, as I could not afford the cost of tuition on top of my daily living expenses. Several years later, after getting married and having children; I became very frustrated at the lack of clothing option for boys. I still had a zeal for fashion and found myself unable to dress my son in a manner that pleased me. After spending countless hours trying to find him a decent pair of swim trunks; I decided to take matters in my own hands and The Boy’s Store became my new passion. Being successful as an entrepreneur in any field, retailing, selling a service such as marketing or graphic arts takes tenacity and passion; without passion the constant challenges to your wits could drive you to just quit.  

3.    What sets you apart as a successful online children’s shop?
Suzanne: I was fortunate to have trained in dressmaking. This gives me an “edge” as I am familiar with the process of making clothing as well as the manufacturing of fiber and fabric, the dyeing processes…This knowledge allows me to be very critical of an item on quality, durability, finishing touches. We all want our children to look good, but not at the expense of not being able to wash and wear an item for an extended period of time. I want to provide my customers with boys clothing they will love to dress their boys in and also will become their boys favorite item to wear. 

4.    What is the funniest request you have received from an online parent customer?
Suzanne: I once had a parent call and ask if it would be possible to rent a backhoe. I am still wondering what would have happened if I had said “yes”. 

5.    Why did you choose to only carry boys’ clothing and not girls’ clothing? Do you plan on opening a boutique for only girls’ clothing?
Suzanne: Girls are extremely fortunate; there is a plethora of choices in clothing, accessories, shoes and more for them. Boys get the short end of the stick; most stores will carry a limited number of items for boys out of fear to be left with unsellable stock. I opened The Boy’s Storeto fill a need, to dress my son in durable, fashionable clothing and knowing from talking to other mothers of boys that I certainly was not the only one frustrated with the lack of choices carried by major retailers. I have no plans to open a girls’ only boutique. I admire those shop owners who do; as I would not know what to pick among with so many designers and manufacturers catering to girls. 

6.    Tell us the top 3 boys’ spring trends.
Suzanne: When I attended the San Francisco tradeshow last August; I was pleasantly surprise to find that manufacturers and designers are still bringing bright colors into the boys clothing.

  • Purple is gaining popularity and orange is still a real strong color for boys.
  • Organic and green products are gaining ground in popularity too. I loved the close attention paid to every little detail.
  • An increasing number of tag-less shirts, softer and durable fabrics are all trends I would like to see become a norm.

7.    What tip would you give to a parent dressing a child this coming spring and how to pick the “right” outfit online?
Suzanne: I think as parents we often fret too much over having our child look just so. Allow your child to express himself through his clothing choices; remember you are still setting limitations by purchasing items that please you. To me there is really no right or wrong outfit, you can mix and match, or just pick items that look soft and comfortable. Your child will be sure to let you know when he is displeased with his look; especially if teased by his peers. Let him make his own choices as long as he is not under dressed or over dressed for the weather conditions.

8.    What questions do most mommies or daddies ask when buying for their child online?
Suzanne: The most common questions I receive concern sizing and fit. From time to time I do get questions about the feel of an item. Most online shoppers are familiar with the brands I carry and have their preferences which brings questions to a minimum most are regarding returns and exchanges policies.

9.    Tell us about any special online events or promotions that you have planned at your online store and fun deals we can expect.
Suzanne: I run The Boy’s Store more like the shops I remember as a child growing up in Switzerland. Twice a year I hold a major sale with most items discounted by 75%; members on my mailing list get advance notification so that they can have first choice on some great deals on popular brands like Appaman, Wes and Willy, Mulberribush and Dogwood. As much as possible I try not to promote the sale of the day, week…  I prefer to concentrate on providing great service, fast shipping and less frequent but valuable sales. I tend to cater to my regular and loyal customers by offering them through my mailing list, new product notifications, promotions and discounts on a regular basis (every 3 weeks or so).

10.    Are you an active social media person? Why? Tell us 3 tips you use for online social media that a parent might want to know.
Suzanne: I spend some time every day on Twitter and Facebook. I also maintain a few other “social type” of sites in order to keep in contact with my customers. I think as an online retailer it is vital to keep in touch with your customers to better understand their needs and wishes.

11.    What collection or piece from Le Top do you love from the Spring 2011?
Suzanne: My favorite Spring 2011 item by Le Top is the Chameleon Camouflage Collection Shortall and Striped Shirt Set.

Le Top ‘Chameleleon Camouflage’ stripe shirt and shortall set with the matching explorer hat.

The Boy’s Store
www.theboysstore.biz
888.267.1487

Join The Boy’s Store Facebook page and click HERE
Follow The Boy’s Store on Twitter and click HERE

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This week we are looking for the cutest pictures of your babies and kiddos photographed with pumpkins, at a pumpkin-patch, dressed as pumpkins, eating pumpkin pie, anything PUMPKIN! These sweet photos of Jamee’s gorgeous children inspired us to reach out to our blog, Facebook and Twitter fans to submit your pictures starting TODAY through October 25th.

Miranda and Paulo parading around at the pumpkin-patch in their Le Top brother/sister outfits from the “Pony Tracks & Treats” collections.

We will choose a winner (at random) who will win a FREE Le Top outfit of choice from our new online boutique – www.letop-usa.com. The lucky winner will be announced on Monday, October 25th.

So, where to send these spooky, cute and ghoulish photos?

Email service@letop-usa.com or Facebook your image and blurb on our fan page by clicking here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/le-top/117553138255670?ref=sgm

Let the Pumpkin Contest BEGIN!

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