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This week we had the true pleasure of sitting down with Southern Children boutique owner, Susan Broom, to ask her about the cutest boutique in Columbia, South Carolina and discover her secrets to 22 years of business. She gives us memorable moments, funny children’s comments and the low-down on her 22 year anniversary event this Sunday, February 20th – go visit the store! Read more to find out about this very special children’s store.

Southern Children
9003-7 Two Notch Road
Columbia, SC 29223
803.736.2753
http://www.southernchildren.com/
Monday-Saturday: 10:00-5:30 EST 

Join Southern Children’s Facebook page and click HERE.

1.      What was the inspiration behind the name Southern Children?
Susan: In selecting a name for my store, I considered the type of clothing I wanted to carry, and sought a name that would represent my interest in that preferred style and niche. I wanted the name to evoke the feeling of traditional, classical, timeless and conservative styling for children. I sat down one evening with a notebook and pen, and I brainstormed twenty possible names for my store. Southern Children was my seventh name on my list. I made this name up myself, and I was so proud of it. I liked its sound and the warm feeling of traditional style it evoked. 

2.      Describe the neighborhood where your store is located. Tell us about Columbia, South Carolina. What made you pick this location?
Susan: Southern Children is located in the northeast section of Columbia, South Carolina. At one time, Columbia Northeast was ranked as one of the top 10 fastest growing communities in the United States. Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina and is centrally located within the state. I have lived in Columbia Northeast throughout my married life of nearly 32 years. I selected the site for my store because it was a new shopping center that had opened in the area, and it was a very attractive strip center with its building, grounds and landscaping.  There was very little new retail development in our area at the time, 22 years ago. The closest children’s boutique in the area at that time was 15 to 20 minutes away from our strip center. I can make the drive to my store from my home in typically seven minutes, unless there is heavy traffic, which is so convenient for me.

3.      It’s about that time to start packing up some of the old winter items and cleaning out the closet for spring clothes for your little one. What are 3 spring must-have items that are in your store?
S
usan: Three spring must-have items that are in my store are something from Le Top’s “Sunny Ducky” collection, a cute pair of sandals, and a matching hairbow from either Wee Ones or Bibbity Bobbity Bows. For boys, something from Le Top’s “Sunny Ducky” collection, a pair of blue and white seersucker (or solid white) pants or shorts from either Bailey Boys or E-Land American Classic, and a pair of white shoes or two-tone saddle oxford shoes would be spring must-have items from our store.

4.      There are plenty of blooper funny moments being around children and mom’s all day in your store – tell us something funny a child has said that made you giggle.
Susan: One episode in particular stands out in my memory that was funny to me.  I had a very young and articulate little girl in the store. She was quite expressive and interactive. I was enjoying listening to her talk and found that she was exceptionally intelligent for her young age. I said to her, after being quite amazed at her vocabulary and statements, “You are SO SMART!”  With that being said, she balled up her little fists by her side, stomped her foot, and said to me in a very furious and argumentative tone, “I am NOT SMART!” I thought I would die laughing! She did not understand that I had paid her a compliment and thought I had, instead, insulted her. I just laughed, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “Okay!”  The little girl’s mother giggled!

5.      What would people be surprised to learn about your store?
Susan:  I had wanted for years to own a retail specialty store, and I decided to open a children’s clothing boutique seeing the need for one in our community. I opened the store when Amy (my daughter) was six-years-old. From a very young age, Amy took great pleasure in attending the market shows with me. She was always a hit with the sales representatives, particularly when she would “like” their merchandise or wear their clothing to the market shows. On the rare occasions that Amy could not attend a market show, the sales representatives would all want to know why she wasn’t with me and ask half a dozen questions about her. Amy joined my staff in 2004 as an employee and has been my right hand and rock. We really enjoy working together. It was never intended that Amy would work at my store. In 2004, while Amy was still in college, I was short of employees and Amy stepped up to fill in. She’s never left! So, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a minor in Psychology from the University of South Carolina, Amy manages Southern Children and is the web designer and webmaster for our store’s website. Amy is definitely the best thing that has ever happened to Southern Children!

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