Ph.718-237-0670, email: email@example.com
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
Just about 5 years!
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
Prior to owning Picnic I had worked in womenswear for many years doing both fashion show production and sales. After the birth of my daughter Grey I was wandering around our Brooklyn neighborhood while on maternity leave searching for cool, unique infant clothing. When I couldn’t find anything (shocking, as Brooklyn is the birthplace of cool?) that I wanted to buy the concept of Picnic started to take shape. I ended up leaving my corporate position when my daughter was six months old and we opened Picnic when she turned eight months old. It was a completely insane time, but sometimes a hint of insanity goes a long way!
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
We are first and foremost a neighborhood boutique. Brooklyn has a strong sense of community and we really feel responsible to constantly grow and change with our customers. We have an incredible, knowledgeable staff that all of the children adore. Our service is very personal no matter if it is your first time in the shop or we see you on a daily basis. If we have the ability to go the extra mile we do it… and we have amazing customer loyalty because of that reason.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Our slogan is “outfitting kids for everyday adventures.” When you look at the world from a child’s perspective everything becomes so fresh, fun and exciting. Picnic is about embracing that excitement and providing product that makes both children and parents smile a little brighter. For a little girl there is nothing more fantastic than wearing a dress covered in rainbows or a tutu skirt with a hint of sparkle… the same goes for our guys who love superhero capes and dinosaur tees… we like to help get their imaginations going wild! For the parents, I like to think we provide a nice range of unique, quality products that make them feel good about what they are buying for their children. We always try to address their specific needs while making sure that we add a bit of whimsy for the kids!
How do you positively impact your clientele?
We’re kind. People often overlook kindness as an aspect of the retail business, but it is SO important. We help you with the door, we ask your kids their names, we ask what events you have coming up… We actually CARE!
Everyone can have a hard day, moms and kids especially… we’re here to help alleviate some of that stress and kindness is the best way. It seems so simple, but it is something often overlooked.
What is your favorite part of your job?
There are so many wonderful things about being a shop owner. I get the luxury and privilege of being a full-time mom while having a career that inspires me every single day! I get to talk to neighborhood parents, most of whom have become friends and I get to discover amazing product that makes me smile.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
I need to list two because we are always BROOKLYN first and foremost… my favorite Brooklyn hangout with my daughter is probably The Painted Pot in Carroll Gardens. She and her friends can sit and paint pottery in a local, mom and pop kind of environment and my mama pals and I can hang and chat… and they’ll even let you bring your own wine (come on now, mamas…you’re with me). The Picnic staff and I have gone there too for a group outing. It is such fun!
In Manhattan I am an Eloise at The Plaza girl… I’m pretty sure Eloise is my spirit animal…My daughter and I read the books all of the time and we love going to the Rawther Fancy Tea Parties in the Eloise Shop. They make some great brownies for my little chocolate lover and we always leave with some new things from the shop.
How do you benefit mamas?
We’re friendly. Sometimes the world of Mommyhood can be a scary place to navigate alone. Maybe you just had your first baby, or your second or third… someone just started kindergarten or broke their arm… all of a sudden your kid stops wearing dresses and only wants to wear black… There are SO many permutations of things that go on as a parent and we like to be here, to listen, to relate and to understand. It’s nice to know that you have a place in the neighborhood where you can go in and chat, no questions asked… We’re not pushy, if you want to browse and chat, we’re cool… but we know the product is pretty irresistible too…
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
It actually happened just the other day. A mom and her daughter came in to select a handmade princess dress (Cinderella) from the shop to use both for dress up and for a Halloween costume. We had a lovely time and the little girl was very sweet and excited.
About 20 minutes later they came back in and the little girl was wearing the Cinderella dress because she “Had to come back to show the nice lady at the shop how beautiful it looked!”
Can you get a better compliment than that? I was in total heaven for the rest of the day.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
Jacquie Kelleher, Lou for girls (Park Slope). One of my best friends and an amazing mama and inspiration.
Ann Cantrell, Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store (Park Slope). If you haven’t been to her shop you don’t know what you are missing… like, everything is perfection.
Stephanie Goldstein, Stoopher and Boots (Upper West Side). She’s like my Upper West Side twin… we have the same taste and while we need to buy slightly differently for our stores we love shopping at the trade shows together. Her line Sparkle by Stoopher is also one of our best selling brands at Picnic.
Stacey Fraser, Pink Chicken. My favorite children’s designer hands down… and an awesome mama and inspiration. We basically carry everything Pink Chicken and Blue Rooster (her newish boys collection) do in a MAJOR way.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Do what you love and love what you do… it really is true. The key in that is giving it your all and going the extra mile. You can never take your finger off the pulse of the business. If I am out of the shop for a week I practically have a panic attack that I haven’t been “present” enough for my staff and customers.
My father is a “big wig” in finance and has seen a lot of retail businesses fail in his day. He was skeptical when I decided to open Picnic and I can honestly say that has made me work even harder to be at the top of my game. He has always been an exceptionally hard worker and watching him and the dedication he has to his career is inspirational. It always makes me feel good to know he is proud of what we’ve accomplished here at Picnic.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Routine, routine, routine! It may sound mundane but it keeps everyone heading in the same direction without too many headaches. My daughter is 5 years old and sticking to her routine with school, activities and responsibilities keeps us all a bit more sane.