Any adult can have an opinion on clothes for kids, but when you get one from a 4-year-old, it's time to take notice.
Evelina Socha's new baby boutique Pink Lemon Blue Lime opened in Goodwives Shopping Plaza last week. While grown-ups will clearly love her choices for clothes, accessory items and more, they'll want to consider that her daughter, Amelia, has offered valuable opinions on what's working on the preschool circuit.
"My daughter is very opinionated, so I take her with me to the trade shows," Socha said. "Some of the best-sellers in the store she helped me pick out, so she knows her market. She knows the 4 1/2-, 5-year-old market. And she definitely thinks it's her store, too. She likes to be in here with me sometimes."
Having seen a void of clothing stores for young children in Darien, Socha thought it was time to try her hand at a children's boutique. Her store specializes in items for kids up to 6, with a selection of clothes, crib blankets, books and pajama sets, towels, prints, and a variety of bunny-related gifts.
"I think what differentiates it from other stores is that we have a little bit of everything," Socha said. "We have a little bit of gifts, a little bit of bedding. ... It's just a lot of different aspects within a smaller-type store."
Socha comes from a background in sales and recruiting, but also possesses a love of fashion and accessories.
"I've always been the type of person that found different things," she said. "I'm just a good researcher, and I've always liked really pretty things."
The mother of two -- she and her husband, Christopher Rogers, also have a 2-year-old son, Graham -- Socha also sees the store as an opportunity for a creative outlet. "I love art and I'm a very creative person, and I think this has always been something I've wanted to do."
When it came time to choose a name, the Norwalk resident said, "I didn't want it to be very babyish. I wanted it to have more of a fresh type of feel."
Once again, her daughter proved an inspiration during a discussion about the possibility of there being pink lemons. In order to balance the gender implication, however, Socha added the second half, and so Pink Lemon Blue Lime was created.
"It doesn't really describe what it is, but I think it describes the feeling we wanted to portray, which is bright and clean and fresh," she said.
"I've been doing most of my kid shopping in New Canaan, and it's nice to have something closer to home," said Celia George, who lives in Norwalk.
"I just like her mix," George said, from simple, inexpensive novelty tutus to more elaborate special-occasion dresses. "It's a nice range."
She added, "In terms of style, it's great. I think I just like that it's classic, but with a twist. Nothing too out there, but comfortable and cute. ... And they carry stuff that not everyone has."
As for her location at the Goodwives Shopping Center, Socha said, "I waited for this spot for four months. I just waited and waited," knowing it was exactly where she wanted to set up shop.
During the waiting period, she started a website in order to begin sharing about the merchandise she already was accumulating, but she said her real love is for a "brick-and-mortar" shop.
"Goodwives is a good location," said Carol Wilder-Tamme, president of the Darien Chamber of Commerce, noting that nearby Learning Express and Baskin Robbins make it part of a kid-centric shopping area.
"All the boats rise in the water," she said, referring to sharing customers.
"We're so happy to have some children's stores opening in Darien," she said last week at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Pink Lemon Blue Lime. "We used to have so many of them."
Socha said, "I just saw a need, especially in this area, after Rugged Bear left. I just took that as an opportunity and I really went for it."
For information, visit www.pinklemonbluelime.com or call 203-202-9994.