Neighbourhood Shop Spotlight: Small Wonders
637 Wyckoff Ave. #6 Wyckoff, NJ (www.smallwondersnj.com)
By Tina Christopoulos
Community enthusiast, Rosanna Young embodies what it means to be a neighbourhood shop: she calls her clients friends, organises community outreach events, and feels blessed to be surrounded by people who are driven to support their local businesses. The success of her brick and mortar and online children’s store is therefore no small wonder…
What inspired you to open a children’s store?
As a mother of two active boys, I know how precious time is. I was inspired to open a local children’s boutique because I realized there was a need for parents (and grandparents!) to have a convenient place to shop for their children that didn't require a long trip sitting in traffic. I wanted to bring everything you would get at the mall right to their doorsteps.
How would you describe being a local boutique?
Being a local boutique means more than just a convenient place to shop. We’ve become a member of the community. I recently spearheaded our first community outreach event with an Easter Egg Hunt that all the business owners in our shopping center participated in. It's important that our customers know we aren’t just looking at them as sales opportunities, but as friends in the community.
What can you tell us about your neighbourhood?
Wyckoff is a great community for families! Everyone is super friendly and participate in lots of community activities. Everyone is very driven to support their local businesses so we will constantly see our customers throughout the week at either sports events, other stores, or local fundraisers for example.
Is your clientele mainly local?
We are located in a great community that really supports local businesses. Most of our clientele are locals, many have become regulars that stop in weekly, sometimes multiple times. When customers come in, we genuinely want to get to know them. Not only does it help us tailor our service to create the best shopping experience, it lets them know they are important to us. I live in a neighboring town, so I frequently see customers at events, and I love that I have developed close relationships with many of them.
What do you look for when you bring a brand into your store?
We love discovering new and interesting brands for the store! Personally, I look for collections that are unique in design, soft textures, and a reasonable price point—in that order. Part of the reason I opened a boutique was to find clothing that didn’t look like big chain brands. Secondly, the fabric texture is super important. I hear all day from the little ones that come in that they won’t wear anything that isn’t comfortable and who blames them?! Lastly, I try to stay in a moderate price point because I know at the end of the day, these kids are growing pretty fast and parents don’t want to feel like they are throwing money away on outfits they are going to outgrow by the following year.
What attracted you to Miles baby?
What instantly attracted me to Miles Baby was the coordinating pieces for siblings! I love, and so do the customers, that we can pair a printed dress with the same print shorts and tee for two different looks that aren't too matchy-matchy but look fabulous together. Miles Baby brings a fresh twist to children’s wear design that is modern and cool. A lot of the pieces can work across the board for boy or girl which has been growing in popularity. The price point is also a big selling point when customers pick it up.
What kind of relationship do you have with the other business owners in your neighbourhood?
Wyckoff has so much to offer! There is a farm equipped with petting zoo right down the road, restaurants abound, and the Wyckoff Shopping Center, where we are located, truly is the perfect one stop destination. There are several restaurants and various boutiques. What’s really great is that several stores down from us is a children’s shoe store so we frequently work together sending customers back and forth to complete their outfit needs.
What do your children think of your boutique?
I have two boys, Roman (9) and Maxwell (6). They think it's so cool that their mom owns a store and especially get excited when I let them go through line sheets to get their opinion on products. You can find their handsome faces frequently modeling on our social media—they like to think they’re local celebrities!
Do you prefer being on the floor in the store, or behind the scenes?
There’s something about being on the sales floor and interacting with the customers that is so fulfilling! I take a lot of time and planning when I go to market for products and you hope that your customer will have the same vision you did when you selected them. So, when they come in and need help with a gift idea for example and they find exactly what they were looking for, it’s validating to know that I really do understand their needs! My favorite part of the job is when I get to style complete outfits for holiday cards or picture day, etc.