Neighbourhood Shop Spotlight: Billie Le Kid
1001 Avenue Laurier West, Outremont, QC
By Tina Christopoulos
When famed Deslongchamps children's store closed its doors in 2014 after 45 years of service on Avenue Laurier, co-owners Ariane Lescop and Véronique Saine decided to create a one-stop shop oasis for kids.
What inspired you to open a children's boutique?
It all started with our sister boutique for women across the street, Billie; the moms wanted a place to dress their kids but had nowhere to go. We really wanted to create a one-stop shop with clothing, toys, shoes, stuffed animals. We have a lot of newborn gifts that work very well too.
What can you tell us about Avenue Laurier?
We are so spoiled. We are surrounded by good restaurants, such as Lemeac, Jun I, Mandy's and more recently Fiorellino. It gets a bit expensive to eat here every day. On the weekend, families come shop with their children after enjoying a nice brunch. We had a lot of construction, but the street is beautiful now.
How would you describe your relationship with the local community in Outremont?
Once again, we feel so blessed. We live in the neighborhood with our families, and we work here. I often see clients in the park with their children. We are very involved in the community. We are surrounded by young families, good schools, and we often give to the foundations of the schools.
Is your clientele mainly local?
We get a lot of moms from Outremont, from Westmount, from everywhere. We have a lot of parents who look for French brands like Petit Bateau that they can’t find elsewhere and a large Hasidic community that loves more classic styles. Our clientele is truly diverse, but very loyal. We’ve been open for three and a half years and we’ve developed a very nice community, which also includes many dads, and who come back for the customer service. They like to bring their children to the store to play on the slide and for treats. We all have children and we’re used to them. We have a very welcoming vibe and tantrums don’t faze us!
What do you look for when bringing a new brand into your store?
We look for brands that meet the needs of our customers, whether dressy or casual clothing and for all types of budgets. We don’t go piece by piece. If we decide to bring it in, we want a good representation of the brand. We listen to our customers a lot, what they want to see. Everyday clothes, for events, a little bit of everything, but the most important is always very good quality.
What attracted you to Miles Baby?
Miles Baby is neutral in colors, for every day, perfect for daycare and affordable.
What do your children think of your shop?
I have 3 kids, including a 14-month-old baby, who spent his first year on the store counter. They love coming to visit mom. They find the store fun. Unfortunately, I always dress them with whatever is left, never the new collections. Sometimes I say to myself, "For a children’s store owner, your kids are really not very well dressed! "
Do you prefer to work on the floor or behind the scenes?
It depends on the time of the year, but we do both. Our manager Hélène has been with us from the beginning and we can almost call her a co-owner, she does everything with us, always with a smile. We like to be close to our clientele, but we can’t do everything.