Each month Studio T features one of our retailers. This month we sat down with City Sprouts owner, Molly Curlee, to learn more about the store and Molly herself – it’s not every day you get named “Best All Around Kids’ Store” by St. Louis Magazine!
How did you decide to take the leap and open your own store? How long has your store been in business?
My first child, Maxine, was the inspiration for the store. When I was pregnant I searched for modern nursery furniture and clothing that was not frilly and pink but could not find it anywhere in St. Louis. I knew it existed because I saw so many cool products when I went to market to buy for Phoenix Rising, our gift store. We created a small baby section at Phoenix Rising and people loved it. When a space opened up across the street I jumped on it and opened City Sprouts. That was 8 years ago.
What is something that your customers would be surprised to learn about you?
I have owned another great boutique with my sister since I was 19. Also, I have a degree in biology with a minor in math. I loved science when I was a kid, it was like magic to me.
What is your favorite part of your day at the store?
Playing with the kids is the best. I also really enjoy putting together fun outfits for the kids and merchandising the store.
We know how special and unique all of our stores are, what makes your store unique?
We have an annual birthday celebration at the store and a great customer rewards program. We sell the best and most contemporary collection of children’s merchandise in St. Louis. We also have a great staff that provides excellent customer service.
At Tea, we “Go There”, how do you share in that mission at your store and/or in your life?
I try to sell merchandise from all over the world. We have bilingual books as well as wooden building blocks. I love to travel and cannot wait for my next adventure.
What is the biggest trend you see right now in either shopping or kid’s fashion? What are people coming in for?
People are still looking for products that are made in the United States. They are also looking for kids clothing that is fashion forward and easy to wear.
What do you do in your “spare” time? Laughable right?
Ha, what is that? I love my hot yoga class, but often do not have time to attend. I play with my three beautiful daughters and my German Shepherd.
How do you balance it all? What tricks can you offer us?
I currently live in a constant state of chaos. I have learned to let go of the little things and focus on the big picture. My house is messy, but my kids are happy – most of the time! I do not second guess my decisions and always look forward.
Each month Studio T features one of our retailers. This month we sat down with Dawn from Dawn Price Baby. From Taekwondo to running her own business, Dawn really is a mom who juggles it all. Continue reading to see how she keeps everything moving!
Dawn:Not much, I am pretty much an open book. I recently became a black belt in Taekwondo. I am a lawyer, accountant by degrees. I have three kids (set of boy/girl twins) and an old, sweet chocolate lab and LOVE watching kids movies with my kids snuggled with me on the couch. I love to talk about business and will sit with just about anyone to talk about whatever they are interested in doing.Tea: What is your favorite part of your day at the store?
Dawn: Before we open, I get to look around and evaluate the store — how it looks, what it needs, how beautiful it is!
Tea: We know how special and unique all of our stores are, what makes your store unique?
Dawn: We host two major events a year – Mom’s Night Out. It has turned into a fun night of shopping and socializing with friends. We really try to focus on customer service and expertise as we have a lot of bigger stores in the area. We also have a great rewards program that we offer our customers.
Dawn: We are having good success with sticking to items that are more unique and not viewed as a commodity. For example, we do better with specialty leggings over plain leggings. We have more and more customers coming in for multiple kids and multiple outfits. We try to make it easy by setting outfits for them and offering options to mix and match.Tea: We love sets!
Tea: What do you do in your “spare” time (if you have any)?
Dawn: I actually do a lot, but I sacrifice sleep and “me” time. I help with the kids running club at their school and my child’s lacrosse practice. I don’t miss their practices or games. I make a big deal out of birthday parties and friends over and, we are in taekwondo (as a family). Trade off is lack of sleep, migraines and circles under the eyes. I am currently in the kid stage of life, even though I am running a business. I try to enjoy every second I have either with the kids or a work. I joke around a lot in both areas and try to have a lot of fun.
Tea: Since you do it all, would you mind sharing your secret to success with us?
Dawn: Stay organized, stay focused and make the decision — whatever decision it is. I am not right all the time, but I do try to keep moving forward. I empower the people that work with me to look at the big picture and contribute versus just clocking in and out. I expect a lot and give credit where credit is due.
How are you celebrating Earth Day?
Today, we have Corey Villicana back on Studio T to share a beautiful DIY with you.
What better time to repurpose some of your children’s stained and abandoned tea brand clothing. Make a set of braided bracelets that your little ones can wear well into the summer!
Make sure you follow Corey’s adventures on her website and facebook page. We can’t wait to see the colorful bracelets you create. Take pictures and tag @tea_collection on instagram, your bracelet may just end up here on Studio T!
Thank you Corey for this gorgeous how-to!
Each month Studio T features one of our retailers. This month we chatted with Marlow from Lolly Garden. Dive into the whimsical world of Lolly Garden and discover their philosophy behind their success. They are the only children’s boutique in Midtown Tulsa with stroller- friendly aisles. (Moms love this!)
Take key pieces from winter into spring. Make them work extra time by mixing and matching. Double up on layers for the colder months and when it starts to get warmer, leave the long layer at home.
Here is one of our favorite layered girls outfits:
For the little guy in your life, shop our Rhinos and Stripes boys outfit: