Each month Studio T features one of our retailers. This month we sat down with City Sprouts owner, Molly Curlee, to learn more about the store and Molly herself – it’s not every day you get named “Best All Around Kids’ Store” by St. Louis Magazine!
How did you decide to take the leap and open your own store? How long has your store been in business?
My first child, Maxine, was the inspiration for the store. When I was pregnant I searched for modern nursery furniture and clothing that was not frilly and pink but could not find it anywhere in St. Louis. I knew it existed because I saw so many cool products when I went to market to buy for Phoenix Rising, our gift store. We created a small baby section at Phoenix Rising and people loved it. When a space opened up across the street I jumped on it and opened City Sprouts. That was 8 years ago.
What is something that your customers would be surprised to learn about you?
I have owned another great boutique with my sister since I was 19. Also, I have a degree in biology with a minor in math. I loved science when I was a kid, it was like magic to me.
What is your favorite part of your day at the store?
Playing with the kids is the best. I also really enjoy putting together fun outfits for the kids and merchandising the store.
We know how special and unique all of our stores are, what makes your store unique?
We have an annual birthday celebration at the store and a great customer rewards program. We sell the best and most contemporary collection of children’s merchandise in St. Louis. We also have a great staff that provides excellent customer service.
At Tea, we “Go There”, how do you share in that mission at your store and/or in your life?
I try to sell merchandise from all over the world. We have bilingual books as well as wooden building blocks. I love to travel and cannot wait for my next adventure.
What is the biggest trend you see right now in either shopping or kid’s fashion? What are people coming in for?
People are still looking for products that are made in the United States. They are also looking for kids clothing that is fashion forward and easy to wear.
What do you do in your “spare” time? Laughable right?
Ha, what is that? I love my hot yoga class, but often do not have time to attend. I play with my three beautiful daughters and my German Shepherd.
How do you balance it all? What tricks can you offer us?
I currently live in a constant state of chaos. I have learned to let go of the little things and focus on the big picture. My house is messy, but my kids are happy – most of the time! I do not second guess my decisions and always look forward.
Earlier this week we asked you to share your family photos on instagram with the hashtag #teaheartsmoms. Keep tagging those photos – we love seeing all of these smiling faces. Wishing you a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!
Things we found and want to share from this past week:
Mother’s Day, the one day dedicated to all mother’s around the globe. You work so hard to keep the kids on schedule, to make sure everyone is fed, you sacrifice your few precious hours of sleep to tend to sick babies. It’s no easy job. Every Mother’s Day we try and thank those who’ve raised us and looked after us for so many years – the ones who still pick up our calls to listen and never stop encouraging us to explore the world. We’ve gathered a few recipes and DIYs for this year’s special day, and while we realize most of our Mother’s Days won’t be so calm and collected, it’s nice to dream, right?
This Mother’s Day, let’s…
Spend all morning diving into the pile of magazines and books we never seem to have time to read. Surround ourselves with fresh flowers. Drink our coffee slowly… in silence. Buy outfits for ourselves. Re-read old Mother’s Day cards and remember the first time we heard “mama”. Open pretty packages. Enjoy a long brunch with family. Remember the women who helped us become the ladies we are today. Get lost in art and celebrate the everyday beauty of being a mother.
Cinco de Mayo is a day for celebration! The fifth of May is the anniversary of the Mexican army’s unlikely victory in 1862 in the fight for independence from French forces. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’ve rounded up a few recipes and DIY’s for this year’s fiesta.
Tablescapes – Mix & match old vases with cigar boxes to create a unique tablescape. Add bright flowers and succulents to bring your table to life!
Embroidered Textiles – The art of embroidery dates back thousands of years. Today, the hand stitching can be found anywhere from cocktail dresses to cocktail napkins.
Paletas – These pineapple and lime Mexican ice pops are sure to be a hit.
Piñata Crackers – This is a DIY your little ones won’t want to miss. Fill them with candy as set them out for your guests to takes as party favors.
Mexican Corn Salad – Bright, delicious, and easy to throw together!
Paper Garland – We were smitten with Lovely Indeed’s orange & pink flag garland. An easy DIY to liven up your fiesta.
Upcycled Vases – Rinse out your old tin cans, fill them with sand & succulents (or fresh flowers!) to create new vases.
Piñata Sugar Cookies – Mini piñatas in the form of cookies? Yes, please!
Posted by: Jessie
Time: 11:30 AM
Kwaito, a style of dance music from Johannesburg that is often called the sound of the new South Africa, is the rhythm behind this print. Shop the Kwaito Smocked Peplum Dress here.
Each month Studio T features one of our retailers. This month we sat down with Dawn from Dawn Price Baby. From Taekwondo to running her own business, Dawn really is a mom who juggles it all. Continue reading to see how she keeps everything moving!
Tea: What is your favorite part of your day at the store?
Dawn: Before we open, I get to look around and evaluate the store — how it looks, what it needs, how beautiful it is!
Tea: We know how special and unique all of our stores are, what makes your store unique?
Dawn: We host two major events a year – Mom’s Night Out. It has turned into a fun night of shopping and socializing with friends. We really try to focus on customer service and expertise as we have a lot of bigger stores in the area. We also have a great rewards program that we offer our customers.
Tea: We love sets!
Tea: What do you do in your “spare” time (if you have any)?
Dawn: I actually do a lot, but I sacrifice sleep and “me” time. I help with the kids running club at their school and my child’s lacrosse practice. I don’t miss their practices or games. I make a big deal out of birthday parties and friends over and, we are in taekwondo (as a family). Trade off is lack of sleep, migraines and circles under the eyes. I am currently in the kid stage of life, even though I am running a business. I try to enjoy every second I have either with the kids or a work. I joke around a lot in both areas and try to have a lot of fun.
Tea: Since you do it all, would you mind sharing your secret to success with us?
Dawn: Stay organized, stay focused and make the decision — whatever decision it is. I am not right all the time, but I do try to keep moving forward. I empower the people that work with me to look at the big picture and contribute versus just clocking in and out. I expect a lot and give credit where credit is due.
It’s almost time to break out the swim suits and pack up the beach toys – pool days and beach trips are right around the corner! This year, Tea has you covered on the swimwear. Our first ever swim collection is just what you’d expect from us, colorful and comfortable; it’s the Tea way!
To celebrate the warmer temperatures and longer days, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites for this year’s beach bag.
1. Zoe b’s Fantastic Beach Toys – They’re bright & colorful and biodegradable. Made from corn, this five piece set won’t hurt the environment on the off chance it becomes a set of 3.
2. Green Toys Ecosaucer – This frisbee is made from 100% recycled milk bottles!
3. Green Toys Sand Play Set – Made in the USA. Actually, made just up the road from the Tea offices in Mill Valley, California.
Our new swim line has us dreaming of summer days and we were curious to see what a few of our blogger friends have planned for the months ahead. Click through each blog below to see what they’re up to!
A big Thank You to PJ, Laura, and Helen for being a part of this!