We’ve all heard about the high failure rates of small businesses. Different numbers get thrown around but all of them are pretty extreme. Apparently, 20% of small businesses are tossed aside within the first year, so think of it like planet-destroying fast fashion, but… as a business.
Anyway, I say this because it’s easy to roll your eyes at some of the price tags you’ll come across in baby boutiques. Just remember: those businesses are hard to build.
Of course, I understand the skepticism. How can clothes that are tinier than regular clothes sometimes be more expensive, not less? Also, not gonna lie, a lot of those baby clothes are adorable, and they’re a way to dress up your adorable baby, and you love your baby more than life itself… so, it’s priced accordingly. Ugh.
Still, as one business advisory website stated, you shouldn’t be surprised if you need between $250,000 and $500,000 to start up a baby boutique, due to costs like the retail lease, inventory, display racks, accounting, etc. Furthermore, “if you are going for a big-box style store, minimum investment will be at least $1 million.”
Sounds like if you’re a baby boutique entrepreneur, you might break down, start crying, and be tempted by one of the pacifiers on your fancy cedar display stands.
Waa waaah! It’s a good thing that you learned to walk because, according to The Houston Chronicle, you’ll be running all over the place, building relationships with midwives, doulas, and delivery nurses in order to get an edge in this saturated market.
On the topic of Texas, did you know that Austin goes goo goo ga ga over its baby boutiques?
According to Yelp users’ ratings, some of the top baby boutiques in Austin are Enlightened Baby, SparkleKids Upscale Resale, Special Addition, Bright Beginnings Boutique, Sanctuary, Little Limbo, Terra Toys, and Buy Buy Baby.
Many shoppers found these retailers to be knowledgeable and supportive, with well-curated, creative, and cute baby fashion.
I wouldn’t be surprised if baby fashionistas took these boutiques by storm. Hey, what do you call a group of baby soldiers? An infantry.
Don’t worry, several more “dad jokes” from the internet will come later.
1. Enlightened Baby
This baby boutique appears to be a good choice, but is it an enlightened one? I don’t know. They seem to have pretty reliable, high-end car seats available, if that answers your spiritual questions for you. The car seats are certainly comfortable enough for your little one to zonk out in, during a road trip or a quick errand.
Hey, that reminds me:
How do you get an astronaut’s baby to sleep?
Enlightened Baby has 4 and ½ stars on Yelp right now, which is probably more than you’d give that last joke.
2. SparkleKids Upscale Resale
As the Yelp photos show, SparkleKids Upscale Resale has an absolutely gorgeous interior with chandeliers, brick columns, and walls that are painted pink (okay, that last detail went a long way with LittlePinkTop).
Many shoppers think that the clothes are well-curated, with Kim B. from Austin writing on Yelp: “the clothes are cute and I don’t have to search a gazillion racks to find the perfect item.”
Another comment just below this one also mentioned that thrift stores tend to be cluttered but SparkleKids is exceptional because it’s well-organized and “feels expansive with the great window light.”
This is considered “an upscale children’s resale boutique” (quoting their website), so there’s an opportunity here to bring in your children’s nicer, lightly-worn, and ready-to-sell items, in exchange for cash or a trade.
SparkleKids currently has 4 and ½ stars.
Sounds like there are lots of reasons to come into this baby boutique.
But why is that baby still in diapers?
I’ll give you two reasons: number 1 and number 2.
3. Special Addition
Speaking of numbers, you might be interested in checking out Special Addition at 7301 Burnet Rd #200M in Austin. They’re currently rated 4 and ½ stars.
In addition to baby clothes, they provide maternity wear, breastfeeding accessories, rocking/reclining furniture, and more!
If you go to their website right now, there’s a pop-up window offering 10% off your next online purchase after you join their mailing list.
4. Bright Beginnings Boutique
Baby Yoda’s first word probably came after his second word. Clever that joke is!
Sorry, I just thought I’d begin this time with the dad joke, since this baby boutique is actually called Bright Beginnings.
Yelp users say that they have a great selection of high-quality items. The reviews average out at 4 and ½ stars.
On their website right now, there’s a longhorn ruffle dress with burnt orange and white stripes. Putting a formidable-looking Texan breed of cattle on a little girl’s dress is so very Austin, and it’s a great way to encourage your daughter to have a feisty spirit. This dress is made out of 100% pima cotton, which has been described as “luxuriously soft and incredibly strong.”
One Yelp user revealed that they have a love-hate relationship with this baby boutique because they “can’t seem to get out of the store without spending money and buying a new shirt.”
6. Little Limbo
Jacques, a Yelp user visiting from Bellevue, Washington, “couldn’t help but laugh at a ton of items because they were either sarcastic or goofy.”
Little Limbo is currently rated at 4 and ½ stars.
7. Terra Toys
Terra Toys is a store described by Yelp users as “a hidden gem,” and many parents respected their carefully-designed and apparently strictly-enforced COVID-19 protocols.
Jonathan C. from Austin summed it up as: “Great Covid protocols. Temperature check. Door check. Hand sanitizer available. One way in. One way out. Separated.”
At the same time, negative reviews show some backlash against those protocols.
And one parent complained that the store wouldn’t let her child enter unattended, out of safety concerns. Nazanin G. from Austin complained: “If I can leave my 15 yo home alone and is safe and legal [sic] then why can’t a 15 yo can’t [sic] browse at a toy store by herself for five minutes while I’m waiting at the parking lot for my food order from restaurant next door [sic] to get ready?????”
Huh. It’s almost like some people prioritize their values differently… John didn’t want his family to die and Nazanin was really busy / hungry!
Even though Terra Toys is really more of a toy store than a baby boutique, the photos show that it’s a charming, colorful place, so we couldn’t help but include it here. This small business started out in 1978 by making hand-crafted, beautiful wooden toys. The entrance is kind of magical with a backdrop of stars on the sign, and a mounted dragon to greet shoppers.
In the ultimate expression of empathy for worn-down parents, they even have an espresso bar, complete with cold brew, macchiatos, chai lattes, etc.
There happens to be a Zoltar machine by the espresso bar if you, as a parent, want to revisit your childhood through nostalgia over the movie “Big.” Actually, even Tom Hanks did that on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Terra Toys currently has 4 and ½ stars.
8. Buy Buy Baby
Buy Buy Baby is a chain, of course, owned by Bed Bath & Beyond. Shoppers have written mixed Yelp reviews on the location at 5400 Brodie Ln Ste 400, which currently averages out at 3 and ½ stars.
In April 2021, a user named Maya wrote that she went to Buy Buy Baby to buy an Easter outfit and bunny for her daughter. The cashier assumed that she was a grandma and commented on the perks of that familial role: “all the sweet stuff and none of the hard work.”
Maya tried to correct her but the information that she was a mama, not a grandma, apparently didn’t get through, which made Maya insecure and ruined her day.
Maya explained that she was in her thirties, with dark brown hair and very few wrinkles, though she was frequently “knee-deep in two a.m. feedings and spit-up.” It’s possible that this cashier was experiencing her own difficulties in life and, in a sleep-deprived state, misheard her, or perhaps was even hard of hearing, but unfortunately, Maya’s wounded ego made her question if the employee was “just not intelligent enough to ascertain a person’s actual age.”
Maya concluded that “this is why people just order stuff off Amazon.” But another reviewer, Michelle from San Antonio, characterized herself as old-fashioned and shared that she likes to see what she’s buying. She picked up a stroller and carrier there.
This whole conflict actually reminds me of the dad who tried to keep his wife happy through labor. He kept telling jokes, but she didn’t laugh once. Do you wanna know why?
It was the delivery.
…Also kind of related, a friend asked me if she should have a baby after 40. I said no, 40 babies are enough.
…Anyway, if you feel like staying home for whatever reason and want to order some baby clothes online, LittlePinkTop is willing to play some fashion peek-a-boo with you.
Just close your eyes, then open them and check out these Western-style baby outfits I assembled from Zappos, an affiliate partner.
Here’s a charming sky blue dress with lovely roses from the brand Janie and Jack. Its ruffles and frills make it super cute and worth considering for your sweetheart.
Now she just needs to show some Southern hospitality and not cry violently when your family is visiting next. Alternatively, you might offer her a pacifier, just like the one below from Babywise (a LittlePinkTop affiliate partner). That’s how I dealt with my little sister when she was naugty. (There’s a significant age difference between us siblings; it’s a whole story; also I’m mostly joking.)
These adorable little cowgirl boots from Roper, a 56-year-old authentic Western brand, would add a Texan touch to that pretty dress.
These boots have beautiful, embroidered flowers and butterflies, and even some sparkly decorations that add a little glam. This footwear is a great way to proclaim, “I’m stylish and ready to take over this ranch!”
In hot weather especially, don’t forget about the hat. This little straw cowgirl hat actually has a tiara crown attached to it, which might be a little too much, but might suit her personality perfectly. The tiara part would match well with the sparkly decorations on the boots. Or, if she feels like you’re trying to stage mom her, maybe she’ll just rip it off and be like, “I’m a real cowgirl, I don’t need your princess version… you can show yourself out.”
(Wow, this girl sounds both respectable and chilling.)
This brown T-shirt for infants/toddlers has a rustic vibe and comes in Burberry’s “rebranded” logo. Chocolate B’s are interlocking hazelnut T’s, and those letters are all over the place! This stylish piece of clothing might have some educational value and come in handy when your baby boy is ready to learn his ABC’s (I mean, not really, but you’ve gotta justify Burberry somehow).
To some parents (and really, I mean most), the price tag is excessive and a comical suggestion. Their kids are growing up fast, but money isn’t growing on their trees. In which case, you could always swap the Burberry T-shirt for this preppy-looking short-sleeve shirt from Janie and Jack. It’s currently 20% off and will cost you about six times less!
If you did opt for the Burberry T-shirt, you could pair it with these Burberry shorts.
These brown shorts have a very homely feel (even from a luxury brand). They would be comfortable because they’re cotton twill and have a flexible waistband (with the Burberry stripe) and a drawcord.
If you want a less expensive option, get these brown shorts from the Children’s Place. They are similar in style and color, and cost fifteen times less than Burberry!
Here is a perfect pair of shoes for your little gentleman: elegant, smooth leather loafers!
That distinctive, visually interesting quality you’re responding to? It’s the scalloped vamps. The vamp is the front part of the upper shoe.
These little loafers also have rubber nubs on the outsoles for traction.
Conventional fedora hats are made of felt, which might be too much for summer. So, there is an alternative for warmer days: straw fedoras! People like to wear them to smart social events like the polo, race tracks, or beach weddings. Not sure where your baby is heading today, and he’s hopefully not gambling at the tracks, but a straw hat might be a good idea nevertheless.
This lightweight little fedora also has an adorable fringe brim that emits relaxed vibes, in case you and your kiddo go listen to some of Austin’s live music.
And there you have it, the best baby boutiques in Austin, Texas, and some ideas on how to style your little love all on your own. Click around on LittlePinkTop for more fashion news and style advice!