We talked to Kathleen Gibbons, owner of Belles & Beaux Children's Boutique in Gahanna
Kathleen Gibbons opened Belles & Beaux Children's Boutique in 2001 because she wanted to provide a destination for unique children's items.
The Gahanna shop carries quality clothes plus special toys and gifts. Gibbons said she tries to create a friendly shopping environment where customers can always discover something new.
And the experience has increased her appreciation of Central Ohio.
"I believe in Columbus," she said. "I think it's a fabulous place to have a business. There are lots of people with good taste."
Your store currently offers music classes. You also invite photographers in to take holiday photos for your customers. And you allow customers to hold private shopping events. Why do you offer so many extras?
It's a service we want to provide mostly because it's fun. I like to see the kids growing up and changing - especially with the photos.
Do you ever hear from parents who want youthful looking clothes for their daughters? It seems like you make an effort to carry age-appropriate clothing for young girls.
(Parents) thank me on a regular basis. Their children are only little for a short time. Why dress them like big people? It doesn't make sense. They also say, "Thank you for keeping these clothes classic and not too trendy so they can be passed down."
Is there an item in the store that you wish was available in grown-up sizes so you could wear it or use it?
Any of the Lilly Pulitzer stuff. We also have some leg warmers that would be fun (in) adult sizes.
Tell us about your non-clothing items.
We sell tons and tons of hair bows, tons of accessory headbands, and hats with flowers. We have art sets and backpacks that could go all the way up to 8 years old. We have wonderful CDs, a huge collection of birthday party hats and tutus, blankets and stuffed animals. Our entire window is full of Ohio State stuff.
You seem to take a personal interest in many of your shoppers and even moved to this end of town to be closer to them. Do you consider them friends?
I get invited to their birthday parties. I get invited to their baptisms. I've gone on vacation with people. That's the best part of it - the customers.