When I found out L was going to be a girl, I was immediately filled with thoughts of dressing my sweetheart up in all things ribbons and lace. My taste for her gravitates toward a classic bohemian style, so when I stumbled upon the small shop clothing scene, I was tickled to find so many shops that fit that bill!
Below, you will find my favorite picks and go-to shops for dressing my little wildflower. Keep in mind, small shops tend to be a little pricier than conventional clothing (not always, though!), but I tend toward “quality over quantity” when it comes to clothes. Many of my picks will last through playtime and spilt milk (literally), and I plan to save most of my purchases for future posterity.
If you’re looking to save in the kids clothing department or want to be even more eco-friendly than these shops already are, there are buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook for many small shops, where you can find gently used items for less or re-sell your items when your babe grows out of them. I’ve linked these as well. Also, to balance the cost of handmade items, I mix them with basics from Gapkids or Old Navy. You can almost always find things like T-shirt’s on clearance for super cheap!
Besides the cute and enduring goodies, my favorite thing about purchasing from small shops is that it is a way for me to support another woman’s dream (well, and man too but I have yet to find a male-run children’s clothing small shop!). It’s true when they say a real person does a happy dance when you shop small, and it is such an accessible way to help someone achieve his or her goal. In my opinion, the world needs a little more cheerleading these days!
(Full discolure: I’ve worked with or do work with some of these shops. But I would ONLY work with shops I would also purchase from and NEVER recommend anything I wouldn’t also buy!)
So, without future ado, here are my favorite shops to dress Lu in, arranged by type of item!
Tate and Adele: This shop is one of the first I came to know and love! The owner, Amy, is incredibly nice and down to Earth and the clothes are so high quality and beautiful. She uses very durable fabrics, so the Summer Romper below, one of our favorite pieces ever, has held up for almost a year of play! The detail in the Charlotte Top and the Paige Dress are made with such thought. Amy also changes her prints and designs enough so there’s always something new to choose from! (Facebook Group: Tate & Adele VIP and BST)
Dear Loa: It was instant love when I found Dear Loa on IG. Lu wears something Dear Loa at least a few days a week because the shop’s style aligns with mine so well. She has such a classic style and offers the sweetest colors and prints. My favorite pieces from Dear Loa are the High-Wasted Bloomers (pair well with simple jersey tops from Gap or Old Navy) and the Daisy Romper.
Home Grown Knot Co.: Another instant connection for me. Kay runs her shop out of Canada and has the coziest and most unique knitted pieces! The Lennon Sweater is right out of a cozy toddler knit dream and Lu rocked her Penny Lane Vest most of Summer! You wont find the quality of these knits in any other shop. Home Grown Knot Co. has limited drop times, so make sure you keep up on drop days/times to get your hands on her goodies!
Sweet As April: SAA is the shop that started it all for me! I found Carrie’s bonnets on someone’s IG that I followed in October 2017, and immediately needed (okay, wanted) to get my hands on one of them. They are all made with vintage or “pre-loved” textiles, as she puts it, and are truly heirlooms. On top of a great product, Carrie is the most genuine and kind person. She is constantly impressing me with her character and it is a blessing to support the dreams of someone like her! FYI, SAA has monthly drops and they sell out in SECONDS, so you’ll need to have fast fingers to score, but it is so worth it! (Facebook Group: Sweet As April Chat & BST)
Elle Belle Baby: If you’re looking for bows or bow-ties, look no further than Elle Belle Baby! Brandi is another shop owner who is so kind and works incredibly hard to achieve her dreams. We have quite the collection of bows from Elle Belle, ranging from little pigtails to oversized to thin and long. There is always a print for everyone at every drop, and I especially love the florals she finds!
Ives and Indy: This is a relatively new small shop, but I have been SO impressed with their headwraps! We have collected about 10 in a short amount of time because I love them so much and the prices are incredibly reasonable (2 for $15 with a code on their Etsy!). There are frequently new print and textures to choose from, turnaround time is lightning fast (2 days for me), and all have been very comfortable on my kid’s gigantic head.
Adelisa & Co.: I am a “one good pair of shoes” type of person. I would much rather spend some money on a pair of shoes that will last a long time than some cheapies that won’t and/or are uncomfortable. Last year, I bought Lu the Paseo boots from Adelisa & Co. and she wore them all winter. They still look brand new! They held up so well that I bought us both mom and babe sandals from them for Summer and just purchased her second pair of boots for this year. Bonus: the shoes are made by Nicaraguan artisans, so you know your money is going somewhere good! (Facebook group: Adelisa & Co. Community & B/S/T)
Humble Soles: Another shoe shop with heart, Humble Soles also supports Nicaraguan artisans! They are the first pair of small shop shoes I purchased, and though they don’t make the style below anymore (I bought ahead during a clearance sale at the end of last winter season), they have tons of new and precious styles this year. These Maya mary janes also held up perfectly last season! (Facebook group: The Humble Soles Insider & BST)
Zara: Zara is not a small shop in the least, but I adore their clothes and often turn there when I need something complimentary to my small shop goods. They have the sweetest, whimsical children’s clothes. HACK: Wait for Zara’s twice yearly sales, usually in early July and late December, to get most everything at least 1/2 off!
So there you have it, my complete list of what I would dress Lu in for the rest of her days if I could. Of course, there are so many more wonderful shops out there! I tend to be a loyal consumer and these are the shops I’ve found myself going back to again and again.
Are you able to shop small? What are some of your favorite shops?