Proud parents, doting grandmothers and stylish toddlers now have more shopping options in town, with the opening of a new children’s clothing and accessory store, Rain Puddles Kids Boutique, on Coupeville’s Front Street.
Christian Chambers, who also owns the sea-themed gift store, Aqua Gifts, anticipates serving tourists and locals alike with the range of products for children aged from birth to five-years-old.
“I think locals during the off-season will really appreciate not having to go off-island for simple baby gifts,” he said.
Located at 10 Front Street, Suite A, the store carries a variety of child-sized items, ranging from everyday use, baby showers, new baby gifts, birthdays and back-to-school supplies.
As a business-owner, Chambers has made it a point to stick to his key principals: all store merchandise is ethically sourced from start to finish, safe and organic and fairly priced.
“Also, just being fun,” he said.
The eye-catching items that will delight children as well as young-at-heart adults, include “Mini Swag” suspenders and bow-tie sets, mismatched patterned socks that come in sets of three, bamboo fabric onsies and a variety of eye-catching animal-themed backpacks that feature sharks to pandas to a deer with ears.
Non-clothing items include blankets, stuffed animals, cards and a handful of books.
“I feel like it’s all fairly priced. I didn’t want to go really expensive, which I know organic can be,” Chambers said.
Right now, the items are “about 50 percent made in the U.S. and 50 percent made all around the world,” he said. That includes socks from Italy, items from India and collections from California.
Because he only sells items that he feels good about purchasing, he does comprehensive research, looking at work environments, labor practices, fabric-sourcing, safe trade and environmental considerations.
With back-to-school season underway, the front of the store currently features a row of the kid-friendly animal backpacks. One young child spotted the bright blue shark backpack and started singing the baby shark song, he said, laughing.
The image of children splashing in rain puddles with rainboots inspired the name of the store, Chambers said. Rain Puddles Kids Boutique had a soft opening for the recent Arts and Crafts festival weekend.
“It’s been a fun experience, I enjoy the work. It’s a really good job for me,” the longtime Coupeville resident said of owning two Front Street stores. He said he enjoys working with the employees and downtown visitors and workers.
“I like shopping for things that people will like and buy and enjoy,” he said.
Once the store is fully up and running, standard business hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and closed on Wednesdays, with extended hours for holidays and summer.