Business

New Kennewick children's store is 1-of-a-kind

KENNEWICK -- There's a store in downtown Kennewick that's aiming to draw the attention of fashionable moms, grandmoms and doting aunts.

It's Swanky Babies and owner Jenna Boogerd, 24, has stocked it with high-end brand names such as Little Maven (by actress Tori Spelling), HulaMula and Blessence Maternity, all in sizes newborn to six.

"I'm appealing to those moms who shop online, who want something different from what's in Walmart and Target," she said. "I also buy just one of everything, one in each size. So if you see a red sweater you like, better get it now because if it sells, I won't reorder."

Boogerd also stocks a variety of mom-made clothing and quilts.

"I'm all for giving women, especially those in Washington who want to stay at home with their kids yet bring in some money with their sewing, an outlet other than Etsy," she said. (Etsy.com is an global marketplace for handmade items on the Internet.)

"All my mom-made items are made in Washington or as close to here as possible. I'm a great believer in shopping local," she said. "That way the money goes back to the community and not to China."

Her selection of handmade items makes her shop unique among children's clothing stores.

"If you want mom-made clothing you'll only find it at the holiday bazaars or some arts and crafts shows. They're seasonal; I'm yearround," she said.

About a third of Boogerd's stock is gently used consignment clothing and baby gear -- baby seats, strollers, bassinets.

"I get a lot of Nordstrom brand clothing," she said, reaching down to pat her almost 2-year-old son, Brody, on the head. "Some of his clothes came from there, but I didn't buy them new."

Consigning baby gear is popular, she said, because lots of moms tend to buy color-coordinated, or at least gender-specific, bags and carriers.

"If you bought pink for your daughter, you're not going to want to put your new son in it," Boogerd said.

Much of her stock is girls' clothing -- "I think designers just make more for them" -- including a selection of tutus in rainbow colored netting.

"That's one of the hottest trends for toddler girls -- tutus to wear out in public," she said.

Boogerd opened Swanky Babies in July but is having a grand opening at 10 a.m. today with special discounts until 1 p.m. The first 10 customers to spend $75 will get a bag of goodies full of items from other Kennewick businesses.

Swanky Babies is Boogerd's second business. She's also been a wedding photographer, doing business as Jenna Boogerd Photography, for three years.

"I've always wanted a retail shop ever since I was in fourth grade, working in my parents' hardware store in Montana," she said. "I've worked in other retail stores, including mall chain stores, but always knew I'd have my own one day."

It took Boogerd and her husband, Greg, nearly two years to draw up a business plan, find vendors and the best location.

"I always knew I wanted to be in downtown Kennewick. I believe in shopping in downtowns," she said. "People said, 'But there are tattoo parlors and bars in downtown Kennewick.' Sure, but there are also other shops, restaurants and antique stores too."

Swanky Babies is at 224 W. Kennewick Ave. Hours are noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The store also is on Facebook.

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