Thursday, February 24, 2011

Having a passion for fashion is fun at any age. Being able to pick out clothes to represent who you are and what you're feeling at that very moment is one of the best ways of self expression that there is. Fashion for yourself and for your fellow adults is one thing, but when kids and babies are entered into the equation? Well, that's a whole other ball game of fun. Though I have no children, I am a sucker (like so many others) for teeny fashionable styles for the little ones. Just one glance at a little baby girl walking down the street in a colorful dress or a little boy in a flannel shirt and small jeans? Come on. It's only natural for hearts all over to melt. 

Where to go in Savannah for the most adorable children's styles? Look no further than Sara Jane Boutique. This wonderful boutique is located in the Historic District (look for the lovely building with polka dot awnings!) and carries magical merchandise for everyone from newborns to size 8 for girls/boys.

Head over there immediately whether you're a mama to be, an already mama or if you're looking for the perfect gift! But first, check out this interview to learn more about the boutique!

1. Hi Sara! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview! I must say that your boutique is absolutely precious. I'm currently studying fashion marketing and management and one day I hope to own my own boutique. What is one extremely important thing you'd want to tell any person out there with dreams of starting their own boutique? 
My biggest advice would definitely be to never give up. Secondly, you are never too young (or too old) to live your dreams. I'm not the stereotypical "children's shop owner"- I'm 25, I don't have children (yet!) but I have an amazing support system and love what I do!
2. Since opening in November, what has been some of the most surprising (both good and bad) aspects of running your own business?  
Although I've been in the children's wear business for years (as manager, sales associate, as well as a buyer), being the owner of a business is a completely different experience. As much as I knew it would be hard work, times that by 10! Owning a business (at least at the beginning) is a 24/7 job- but also 10 times more rewarding than I ever thought it could be. I'm so blessed at the response we have received from the Savannah community and the relationships I've already built with my customers. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

3. I imagine ordering all of the beautiful children's clothing is so much fun. What is your favorite part about owning a boutique that's directed toward children? 
I absolutely love kids! It's really fun to see soon-to-be moms shop for their little one on the way, then seeing their new arrival, and watching as their children grow up. Fashion is very personal and creating that connection with your customer is amazing. My customers aren't only clients, they become good friends.

4. As a Savannah native, how would you describe the quintessential "Savannah style", and how has it changed throughout the past couple of years? 
Savannah in itself is one of a kind and I think that directly translates to the fashion here. Certain influences (such as SCAD) have definitely taken this small historic town into a more fashion forward city. Years ago who would have thought we would house a Marc Jacobs store before a mainstream shop such as Jcrew. 

5. Your location is really wonderful! It's not exactly downtown, but it's nestled in a cozy and more suburban area of town with better parking. Do you feel that your 'far from Broughton street' location has really helped you stand apart from other retailers in the area? I know your shop has caught my eye so many times driving down 37th street, and I absolutely love your logo.
Broughton Street wasn't ever really an option for us. Although Broughton street has fabulous shopping- the lack of parking and distance wasn't convenient for our customers who are primairly moms with strollers or small children and grandparents. Our location has really turned out to be the perfect spot for us- and you can't miss our polka dot awnings!

6. Do you have any specific inspirations that help you when it's time to narrow down your merchandise orders?
I'm lucky to have a mother that is willing to be my CFO (her day job is running a bank). I can see how easy it could be to over buy at market. There's so much out there it can be overwhelming, but I am constantly searching for unique designers and lines that maybe haven't made it to Savannah yet. When you are buying boutique clothing I think you aren't looking for the mainstream cookie cutter merchandise, but something special and different. That's what I always consider when narrowing down my orders.

7. What are some of the trends that are happening lately in children's wear and what has been selling best in Savannah? 
Children's clothing has really become more of an extension of the parents style more than anything. While smocked clothing is always going to be present in the South, we've tried to have a good mixture of funky and traditional at the shop so we have something for everyone. Owls and anything nautical inspired has especially been big trends this season in children's wear. 

8. Obviously Sara Jane Boutique is the place to go to in Savannah for truly adorable children's clothing. However, when it's time for us grown ups to go searching for stylish items in Savannah, what places do you recommend? 
Well, I happen to be a closet shopaholic so this is quite easy for me. Bleubelle of course has always been a favorite of mine, but recently I've had some great finds at J Paige, Fab'rik, Terra Cotta, and Palm Avenue. (I have a weakness for fun prints)

9. What are some of your absolute favorite things about living in Savannah? 
How could you not love this weather! Mixed with the coast, beautiful downtown, shopping, and friendly Southern hospitality Savannah is truly an amazing place to grow up. My favorite by far is how Savannah is the biggest small town. Everyone knows everyone or is related to someone you know. Although this isn't always the best case scenario in some circumstances- I find it comforting.
10. It was brought to my attention on Sara Jane Boutique's facebook page that there is going to be a charity tea party in March. That sounds like every little girl's dream! Please tell me more! 
My vision for the shop has always included giving back to the community. One of my first jobs was at my parents bed and breakfast (they were formally owners of the Hamilton- Turner Inn) as an afternoon tea server. Nothing says southern like sweet tea, big hats, and a party. That mixed with our "Sweeteas" book series theme and book signing from author Rochelle Fraizer, it will definitely be a little girl's dream. We are even fortunate enough to be able to donate all the proceeds of this event to a great organization- the March of Dimes. We, as well as the Sweeteas characters, believe charity is an important lesson to teach all ages.

for more..
Sara Jane Children's Boutique
202 East 37th Street
Savannah, GA
'like' them on Facebook here!

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