Virtual to Reality

Amanda Fink, co-owner of The Little Things, on their transition from online to brick-and-mortar retailers.

DSC_8818“Dallas is very traditional in its clothing, and that wasn’t really my style,” says Amanda Fink, co-owner of The Little Things boutique.“My husband and I started shopping around for brands that were a little bit trendier, but it turned out to be a challenge.” The solution? Recruiting her mother Cindy Weed as co-owner, Fink launched an e-commerce site in Fall ’14, offering one-stop shopping for parents seeking unique children’s brands. In the meantime, the duo continued searching for the perfect spot to open their dream store. In April of last year, The Little Things boutique made its brick-and-mortar debut in an old house in East Dallas.

Customers are greeted with bright-colored walls adorned with local art, rustic shelving and racks made from galvanized pipes. While the cozy cottage-feel is certainly welcoming, Weed and Fink knew their littlest shoppers would need something more to be impressed. “We always wanted a playroom,” says Fink, a mother of two familiar with the challenges of shopping with little ones. Filled with everything from coloring books to toys, the playroom is just one aspect of the store’s exceptional customer service. Another example? The pair works to maximize what the playroom has to offer by hosting special events for kids. “We offer story time and have themed parties,” explains Weed. “We always want our littlest customers to feel welcome.”

For stepping out in style, “Freshly Picked has the best moccasins for newborns to toddlers, and they are always inventing new colors and designs.” (www.freshlypicked.com)

Another brand that’s a hit? “We love Rylee & Cru for its sweet designs and unique custom fabrics.” (www.ryleeandcru.com)

The store’s top-selling toy? Hazel Village dolls. “They are such cute little stuffed animals, and they each have their own little story.” (www.hazelvillage.com)

Vierra Rose earns top marks for its mix-and-match versatility. “It has a great little feminine touch, but you can mix it. We’ve even sold it with a boys’ plaid top!” (www.vierrarose.com)

A great way to give back? Fink suggests necklaces by Pray4Trax, a philanthropic collection launched to help a family with a son suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. “One-hundred percent of the proceeds go to that family to pay for medical bills,” Fink says. (www.thelittlevikings.net)

Mim-Pi ranks as one of the shop’s bestsellers for girls thanks to its “colorful designs and whimsical themes,” Fink says. (www.mim-pi.com)

“We just started carrying Modern Burlap, which is a line I love—soft swaddle blankets in black-and-white prints, which is good for babies’ eyesight.” (www.modernburlap.com)

Fittingly, little guys love Joah Love, one of the shop’s bestselling brands. “Comfortable clothing, like this, always sells really well for boys.” (www.shopjoahlove.com)

For a more formal touch, Fink steers shoppers toward dresses by Lali Kids. “They have a timeless look, and they’re perfect for playtime because they’re not too fussy.” (www.lalikids.com)

“What little kid doesn’t want to be comfortable when they’re playing? For boys and girls, Nununu provides that comfort level.” (www.nununuworld.com)

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