Hey Diddle Diddle in Westerville

Even before you opened your children's clothing and gift store, you always felt Uptown Westerville would be a great location for a shop. What attracted you the area?
It's different. It's quaint. It has a comfortable, small town atmosphere.

Has the concept of your store changed much since you opened 10 years ago?
It's still very similar to when we opened. We have more gifty things. It took time to figure out how I could have a store where every single person who walks in could find something in their price range and style.

Let's talk about boy clothes. Your stock seems to favor girls. Why is that?
When I opened, I had 50-50 boys and girls. I wanted to be known for boys' clothes and blankets. I've got the blankets nailed. I quickly learned if I did not cut back on boy stuff, I would be out of business. People don't always want to pay the price for boy clothes. I can't carry as much as I would like to.

Boys aren't always excited about clothes. Do you sell anything that they love to wear?
If you want to get a boy something that he's going to be excited about, the rain gear is it. We carry fireman raincoats, boots and umbrellas. We also have the whole ensemble in frogs.

A local woman makes the tiny pearl bracelets you sell. What makes them so popular?
People give them as newborn or baptism gifts. They're freshwater pearls strung with a sterling silver block. The blocks come with initials, hearts or crosses on them. We do all kinds of special orders on those. Even if you have a mom that's not a keeper, this is a sentimental thing that's small enough to put in her own jewelry box. Some customers buy them with the intention that the baby will put it on their bridal bouquet.

How important is it that the lines you carry maintain their quality?
To me, that's the most important thing. I will discontinue a line my customers like if there's a change in the quality. Number two is that it's something different. When somebody walks out the door, she doesn't have to worry that she's going to go to a baby shower and someone else gave the same gift.