What’s Selling: Buttercup Baby Co. – Las Vegas, NV

Although a children’s store might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the Las Vegas Strip, Brenda Diaz confirms: “If you build it, they will come.”

The ace up Buttercup Baby’s sleeve? Extensive staff training for every product on its floor.

Although a children’s store might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the Las Vegas Strip, Brenda Diaz confirms: “If you build it, they will come.”

Nestled in a shopping center at the south end of casinos’ row, Buttercup Baby Co. offers a wide selection of clothing, gifts and gear for infants to five years old. While it took a few seasons to get rolling since opening its doors in 2016, the business has come out ahead. Diaz credits knowledgeable customer service as the ace up the store’s sleeve. From strollers to car seats, employees receive extensive training for every product on the floor. “Customers come in knowing our staff can walk them through the latest gear and accessories,” Diaz says. “The more confident you are in what you’re selling, the more confident the consumer will be with their purchase.”

Diaz, a former head buyer of a furniture store for nearly 20 years, had no plans to try her luck at childrenswear retailing. Having retired on the heels of the Great Recession, she was looking for a change of scenery. That’s when she decided to help out in her brother’s recently opened baby store in Las Vegas. Two years in, however, he decided to close shop. But Diaz had fallen deeply in love with the market and rolled the dice on opening Buttercup Baby Co.

Learning from miscues made at her brother’s store, Diaz offers a highly curated selection of apparel, including Mud Pie, Kickee Pants, Kissy Kissy and Mayoral. “We’re steadily growing as people realize we’re not some overpriced corporate entity just because we’re on The Strip,” she says. “We get locals as well as tourists, who stumble in but then come back every time they’re in town or continue to support us online. That’s the power of good customer service.” 

What are your best-selling clothing labels? We’ve done a lot of business with Little Sleepies bamboo fabric pajamas. They’re a smaller company but have a great following because of Instagram. For special occasion, we do well with Mayoral because it’s a great quality. Kickee Pants is a staple for loungewear and pajamas. We also just started carrying Rylee + Cru, which people have been going crazy over. As for accessories, I’m on the hunt for a good headband company, and we’re looking to get into shoes soon. 

What about popular shower gifts? We do a lot of business with Mud Pie and Sophie the Giraffe. We also just started carrying Steiff, which make the perfect first teddy bears.

What’s the most innovative baby product you’ve come across this year? We just got in a Venice Child bassinet that repositions easily. If a baby has acid reflux, you can put it at an angle close to the bed to help ease the symptoms. Baby gear has come a long way!

What gear item has been hard to keep in stock? We’re selling lots of double strollers. Parents are planning ahead. They’re also asking for travel strollers that can fold down and fit into an airplane because more parents are travelling with their children.

What’s the biggest challenge facing your business right now? Direct-to-consumer shopping. People come in and say, ‘I can just go to the brand’s website, and they’ll give me 20 percent off plus free shipping.’ That’s challenging! But we’re established with brands like Uppababy, who stopped doing DTC all together and just have a store locator on their site. Other brands give us exclusive colors or time frames. Still, it’s tough. We hear people say daily that they can find it on Amazon. We price match, but I also got certified recently as a car seat technician and can help install the car seats if they buy through us.

What do you look for in a brand before adding it to your merchandise mix? We look at the quality of the stroller, gear or clothing. I prefer to look at it in person first to see how it feels. It’s nice when you know the paint won’t be chipping off the next day. When I first opened, I’d purchase through catalogs but oftentimes what arrived wasn’t what I expected. When customers come in, I want them to say, ‘this toy has great packaging’ or ‘this is a great product, and it’s only $1 more than at Toys R Us!’

What do you see in Buttercup Baby’s future? In the next five years, I would love to open a second location in a different part of town that’s more family-oriented. It’s also my dream to open a store in a different state, like California, possibly.

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