As the mother of 2 toddlers, I am always looking for unique, fashionable clothing for my little ones. I am a huge advocate of self-expression, even from an early age, and I allow my toddlers to help pick out their clothing. I like my kids' clothing to reflect their own larger-than-life personalities, and I like the sense of pride they feel when they choose an outfit, all by themselves. (Usually from an assortment of pre-selected clothing to avoid complete and total clashing, of course.)
Sophie, my 2 and a half year old, is a very girly girl, but she has a bit of an edge to her. She is a Princess, through and through, and she knows it. (I'm sure Daddy's constant spoiling certainly doesn't help!) Sophie loves to wear frilly dresses with bold, bright colors. She also likes somewhat of a punk-rock look, such as animal prints and black paired with neon pinks. A contradiction in tastes? Perhaps. But that's what makes Sophie the special little girl that she is.
On the other hand, my 1 and a half year old, Xander, is very mellow and laid back. He is easy to please and generally doesn't have a care in the world. (Unless he's tired...Then it's a total Jeckyll and Hyde routine.) Xander isn't at the point yet that he cares much about fashion. He proves this quite well when he tries to wear Sophie's furry pink hat, which is cute, but not at all gender appropriate. So while his own style develops, I try and dress him in cute, trendy clothing. Granted, with a boy, there's usually less selection available than for a girl.
Sure, I am guilty of buying basics like onesies, sleepers and socks at big box retailers, but I much prefer to build their wardrobes around pieces that are more special. You know, pieces you can't readily find on the rack at a mass market retailer. This is why I love smaller, generally family owned, children's boutiques and specialty stores.
Where I live, these shops simply don't exist. So I search the web far and wide, and I have found some amazing options. I'd love to tell you all about one of my new favorites, Small Concept. This great boutique is owned by an amazing lady named Julie. She has been an absolute pleasure to work with, and truly devotes herself to her business.
At Small Concept, each customer is treated like a friend, and the entire staff is always there to make sure your experience always meets or exceeds expectations. Gone is the impersonal feel you find when shopping at a large chain store. Small Concept is all about family, and this is exactly how they'll make you feel. Once you shop there, you become a part of the Small Concept family. This is precisely why I love smaller businesses. The personal attention and little touches make all of the difference!
Here is a note from Julie, telling her story and how she became a business owner:
I’ve always been up for a challenge, and Small Concept is the newest adventure in my life. A little over a year ago, I embarked on a search for a quality business to run. One of my primary priorities was to adopt a business from owners who didn’t simply want to drop their company into a new owner’s lap. I was seeking a well-established, healthy and thriving business with owners who were passionate about their brand, and who truly cared about the company’s future success. I was incredibly fortunate to find that—and more—with Kelley and Chuck. They have been amazingly generous and invested great time and energy to ensure that their “baby” is left in good hands. I have to thank Kelley and Chuck for all of their hard work in making Small Concept a success over the past six years. They are the best!
Now, a little about me: I am a mother of two and a grandmother two with one more grandbaby on the way next month. (You can imagine how thrilled I am!) Throughout our lives, my husband and I worked hard to make our children our top priorities. Now, the grandchildren are such a wonderful extension of our children. Our daughter Kristina has been married to Joe for almost three years, and they have two precious boys. Our son Benjamin is a newlywed—he and Teresa were married in May of 2011, and their first child is due next month.
On a sad note, this has been a trying year for all of us. I lost my husband of 30 years this spring to the dreaded disease of cancer. He was the love of my life and my best friend. Although it is difficult to get up every day without him, I know that he would want me to continue to make our children and grandchildren my top priorities. I’m grateful that he’s no longer in pain or confusion, and I know that he will continue to watch over us.
You can imagine why the Small Concept brand strongly resonated with me as I conducted my search for a new business venture. It was important to me to immerse myself in a company that I could connect with on a deep level. For me, I can’t think of better fit than a business focused on children.
Doesn't she sound lovely? Julie is a wonderful lady, and I admire her strength and determination. I couldn't think of a better owner for this business, as she is truly passionate about children.
Now that you've "met" Julie, I'd like to tell you what makes Small Concept shine. This, of course, is their wide variety of children's clothing and other must have goodies! Not only can you find the most adorable apparel from top brands like Cupcakes and Pastries and Appaman, just to name a couple, you can also find toys, decor, and even mealtime and travel solutions! For cloth-diapering parents like me, they also have a selection of fluffy products available, too! I especially love the Thirsties Duo.
Here are just a few of my favorite offerings from Small Concept. As you can see, they have adorable options for girls and boys alike! Mamas of boys know that finding truly special clothing for their little men can be a challenge. Small Concepts has you covered there, with a larger than average selection of boys' clothing. You boys will be handsome and your girls will look like the princesses they are when decked out in apparel from this awesome boutique.
See what I mean about clothing that's truly special? I could spend hours just drooling over the clothing at Small Concept. It seems that have just the right outfit for any occasion and for any budget. The awesome folks at Small Concept generously sent me a couple of pieces to review. For Sophie, they sent the feminine and fun Deux par Deux Flounced Dress Douce Marine, and for Xander, we received the Wes and Willy Peace Rashgaurd.
When these items arrived, I was immediately impressed by the quality of these garments. They're both extremely well made, and show great attention to detail. Both pieces were free of any loose threads or manufacturer defects, and have held up very well, even after several washes.
Durability is so important, especially when children's clothing is concerned. I have found some of the cutest outfits in stores, gotten them home, and they couldn't stand up to my very active toddlers' playful lifestyles. It's always such a shame to find a great looking outfit and have it rip or tear almost immediately. Small Concept offers clothing that's made to be played in and can withstand the use and often abuse of active children.
I absolutely love the Wes and Willy Peace Rashgaurd. This garment has a Uva/uvb rating 98+ Upv rating 50+. Sun protection is so important for a toddler's delicate skin, and this rashgaurd provides just that. It's not at all flimsy and helps keep my little man cool while he's splashing in the pool or sprinkler. The material is also quick drying, helping to reduce any heat rashes or irritation. Plus, I just love the fun peace sign design and the great blue colors! This rashguard looks wonderful on my son and seems to be very comfortable for him to wear, too!
As the mother of a little girl, I adore feminine dresses, especially during the warmer months. The Deux par Deux Flounced Dress Douce Marine is the perfect summer dress, in my humble opinion. First of all, the colors are right on target for any Independence Day celebrations or family cookouts. Wearing this red, white and navy dress will not only make your little one the belle of the ball, it also helps show patriotism, which is so important in my family.
The dress also features some fantastic details, such as flirty ruffles and a cute bow at the collar. This adorable flounced dress is made from a very forgiving blend of cotton and spandex, which makes it easy to care for, even after a day of climbing and playing. My 2 and a half year old likes to play like a little monkey, so she has put this dress to the test on the playground and even out in the yard. Even after several wears and its fair share of stains, this dress still looks as good as new! Sophie loves her dress and it's quickly become a wardrobe staple.
I know that photos can be deceiving, and sometimes something looks far better on the rack than on a person. (I have had to learn this the hard way, as I am a bustier gal and have had trouble buying dresses in the past.) So I'd love to show you several photos of these garments in action. I think they're very flattering on my babies, and they sure do enjoy wearing their clothing from Small Concept!
Overall, I couldn't be happier with my Small Concept experience. I am quite impressed by the level of quality and customer service that comes from this small business. Julie and her staff sincerely care about their customers, and are dedicated to excellence, both in product and in customer satisfaction. My kids have gotten tons of compliments on their apparel from Small Concept, and I am happy to point other moms in their direction for only the best children's clothing and accessories. I would definitely call Small Concept one of the internet's best kept secrets! Since they are always getting new inventory, I know I will be back regularly to see what treasures I can find for my children. I have my eye on a few pieces now! Of course my husband doesn't want me to purchase anything until after we make the move to Ohio in a couple of weeks. I'll see if I can hold out that long, since the Little Mass Sweet July Tiered Dress and the Mr. Fix It Hooded Romper are calling my name!
HOW TO CONNECT:
You can check out the awesomeness that is Small Concept on their website.
You can also connect with them on Facebook and on twitter to stay on top of their latest products and promotions!
One very lucky reader will receive a $50 Gift Certificate to Small Concept! How cool is that?!
Simply enter on the Rafflecopter form below!
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents 18+ until 11:59PM on August 5, 2012. No PO Boxes. Winner will be drawn using Rafflecopter's Random Number Generator. All entries will be verified, so play fair! I will notify winner via e-mail and they will have 48 hours to reply before I am forced to redraw winners. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. This contest is not affiliated with Facebook in any way. Thanks for entering, and Good Luck!
***Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample to facilitate my review. No other compensation has been provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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