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Keeping Your Baby Layette Sets Stocked Between Seasons!

Greetings to all our wonderful customers & friends! Linda from Haute Baby here to give you some ideas on how to maximize your sales floor during the holiday season—in ways which you may now be ignoring! As a former retailer (after all, that’s how Haute Baby got its start as a boutique in Houston in 1997) I can remember my baby area looking very sad during the Christmas rush. The fall had sold through & I was left with little to offer customers in the way of baby take-me-home apparel. It’s an area that I just overlooked amid the holiday flurry. That started me thinking…which led to us developing a “Signature Collection” to cover the need.

The same Signature line is now available to you. Don’t miss another newborn gift sale in November—December just because fall is out the door & spring hasn’t arrived. Take a look at (3) of our most adorable Signature outfits currently ready to ship & be prepared to cash in on additional sales this season! Our Amy’s Garden Footie, the Lacey Rose Gown & our Sweet ‘n Sassy Criss Cross Set are just a few of the items that will bring customers to your door & asking for more. Each of the silhouettes can be paired with matching hat, headband & blanket for a head-to-toe look. And don’t forget that we offer more than one silhouette in each collection—which means that your customer who loves gowns can also purchase them in the Amy’s Garden collection or Sweet ‘n Sassy too!

Don’t let the holidays be just about the holiday if you know what I mean! Lots of baby showers & newborn baby gifts need to be purchased during this time—and not every mom loves red & green! Do yourself a big favor….visit our website & click on “Signature” to see what Haute Baby has to offer.

First Portrait Outfit Selection & Take Home Sets

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for…the time to shop for the perfect new baby outfit to bring him or her home from the hospital! To me it’s the greatest joy to shop for this at the end of the pregnancy. You can tenderly caress each fabric & imagine how those tiny soft garments will look on your very own newborn. As I think back on my own I still get teary-eyed just remembering the experience!

Now along with all the emotions there are some other aspects to be considered when making your selections. Some parents make a really big spectacle of the take-me-home ensemble & want to spend to the moon at a children’s boutique near them. And this is where Haute Baby can help. Here are a few things to consider if you’re one of those over the top moms!

  1. Make certain that your baby’s outfit will be as soft & comfy as the cocoon she’s thrived in for nine months. With Haute Baby you can rest assured. All of the knits are 100% cotton & pre-washed for added softness. Our laces pass the “no scratch” test will flying colors. Whether you select a tried & true collection like Chic Petit, or a fashion ensemble from this season’s Daphne, you will be in love with the feel.
  1. Do you have your eye set on a gown or a set for this important event? There are pros & cons to both, and it really depends on who is doing the talking. Moms love the ease with which a newborn can be easily diapered in a gown. It’s as simple as pull-up the bottom, change, & pull down. But gowns do present a bit of a problem for the ride home in the car seat—which is a MUST. They can get bulky & bunchy as an anxious new dad tries to get the harness buckled in place. Maybe a legging set is the answer as there is plenty of room to position baby without all the fabric in the way. Luckily Haute Baby makes both! So decide the route to take & enjoy. FYI–We probably sell twice as many gowns to legging sets for girls with the tables turned in favor of sets for boys.
  2. Would you eat a sundae without the whipped cream & cherry? Maybe—but then it wouldn’t taste quite the same. So in the case of the perfect newborn ensemble don’t forget the “little luxuries” that make a big difference. We’re talking about accessories…blankets, caps, & little headbands to complete the look. I’ve included some of my favorites from this season & past ones too. Haute Baby makes the cutest, frilliest blankets & hair accessories for girls. After all, what other time in your life can you wear a flower in your hair that’s as big as your head?! And don’t you just love the bear ears on this little guy?

In the end, this very personal decision is a family affair. Include grandparents & siblings in the process. They love to plan with you for baby’s debut. And remember to take plenty of pictures!

A Recipe For Perfect Family Portraits

Taking pictures of a robust, energetic family can be a demanding exercise in patience & self-restraint. Need help dressing up for your family portraits? Here are a few tips to make the whole experience a pleasure for all!

  1. When you are working with a family that includes little ones, especially babies, timing is everything! It’s essential to pick a time & a location that’s kid friendly. Try to schedule when feeding & naps are not going to be an issue. Or if an issue, be prepared with snacks & a comfy place to sit. In addition, the location must provide adequate shade so kiddos can smile without squinting or sweating!

It’s also helpful to photograph someplace where they can run & play while taking shots of older siblings or mom & dad alone. Some of the best shots can come when children are not aware of the camera’s presence. We’ve had some of our “Haute Baby Best” taken like this!

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2. Think outside the box. Just because you’ve always dressed in “church clothes” for a family portrait doesn’t mean that casual couldn’t be just as meaningful. I love the fact that our Haute Baby collections offer such a diverse assortment of looks for family picture-taking. If your preference is for the traditional & sweet, look no further that our breath-taking Princesa silhouettes for babies and toddlers. Or, you may want to try something more laid back like September Song. I can’t tell you how many pairs of cowboy boots have been sold this fall because of this one little dress!!

  1. Don’t make them “say cheese” What I’m saying is you should want personality & joy to be the essence of the moment. Yes you need to see all their faces but don’t be so rigid that you let your baby’s “bubble-blowing” ruin your experience.
  1. Play up the accessories. Lots of little girls (including my own) need a bow, hat or hair clip to finish the look. Think of this as the icing on the cake. Yes, it tastes good without but oh so much better with! It’s all about the drama at this age anyway & when can you ever wear a bow again that’s twice the size of your head? I’ve included some of my nearest & dearest from previous Haute Baby shoots…enjoy!

How to Make My Children’s Clothing Store More Successful

7 easy steps to a thriving business!

1. Get the paper work DONE!

Chasing paper is a chore but rule #1 is to make sure you have all the necessary documentation:

1) Your business structure has to be discussed and blueprinted by a certified public accountant familiar with retail businesses. Your accountant will help you pick the right business structure, but the most common are sole proprietorships and limited liability companies.

2) Don’t forget to get business liability insurance. It’s a very important step & without it your business may be liable for accidents/injuries on site which could prove to be very costly.

3) You also need to get a business license at your city or county clerk’s office.

4) Finally, contact your state department of revenue for a sales tax license.

2. Location, Location, Location!

1) Is your building easily reached via main roads?

2) Is there enough parking nearby?

3) Do you have a nice display window that can be seen from a distance?

4) Is your location kid friendly—i.e. lots of children in the area?

5) Are there other similar businesses nearby?

6) Do you have a nice sign that is visible and eye-catching?

7) Can a customer easily tell you’re a children’s store before they even walk in the door?

If any answers to the above are “NO” you may need to make changes or even consider a better location.

3. The competition game

Make a list of your store competition. Visit all of these stores and observe each store’s product lines, general layout and staff friendliness. While you are there identify good children’s clothing that’s not sold in these stores; those represent a potentially profitable opportunity. Also look for bestsellers and brands that every store has. Those can become your milking cows!

4. Displays, displays, displays!

Your display windows are the most important part of you store. You have to make sure you have the best displays possible. Do you include store display as a necessary part of your monthly budget? If not, what are you waiting for?! Buy display fixtures and mannequins, clothing racks, hangers etc. Add several child size mannequins on which you can display your bestselling children’s fashions. We suggest you also print large posters of children wearing the clothes. We live in a very visual world and parents may fall in love with the picture and want the same look!

5. You can’t be everything to everybody!

As a new business owner you may be tempted to buy all the kids clothing brands you can find to please each and every customer entering your store. However, over time you will see what lines sell for you and what lines don’t. If you’ve tried selling a brand for a couple of seasons but it doesn’t seem to be popular among your clients, it may be wiser to drop it and introduce something new (like Frilly Frocks🙂 ! Asking your clients what brands they’re missing at your store may also be a good idea. You also have to be very careful on size selection . If you’re a store that does mostly registries for newborn babies, you probably don’t need many size 10 dresses. Or if you only sell girls clothes, don’t spend on boys’ outfits.

Once you’ve made your clothing selections it’s time to think about accessories. Shoes and headbands are a must to have and most parents will thank you for being a one stop shop. Also consider unique gifts such as jewelry & girls’ purses.

6. Do you rate 5 stars?

Not only does your staff have to be very friendly, polite and outgoing, as the owner you also must be at your store and know your customers. Make your customers feel loved: remember their names and the birthdays of their kids. Have a child-oriented event from time to time. Pictures with Santa, storytelling nights and other social events bring attention to your store and increase awareness & sales. Do you gift wrap the purchases made at your store? Do you have your shopping bags personalized with your store name? Do you make sure your customer finds what she is looking for? You’ll make your customer want to come back again and again when you make them feel special & showered with attention. It’s called superior customer service—and it’s the key to retail success.

7. Be a social butterfly

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube… Get active on social media as this is where your customer spends a lot of her time. Of course being on all platforms and staying active everywhere is very hard and may be overwhelming. Pick two or three that work best for you and concentrate your attention on them. Stay very active and get your customers to participate in contests and giveaways. Posting customer’s pictures wearing an outfit they bought at your store is a very good marketing tool.

Make sure your customer can very easily contact you via email or text as young moms don’t make very many calls these days.

Create your website and include crucial information: your address, hours, phone number, email address, & brands offered.

The easier the access to information about your store, the more likely your store is to be found on Google and local boards.

Thank you for taking your time to read this little article. We are here to help you grow. Feel free to contact Haute Baby corporate office if you need help with anything. Our haute line is 713-334-9006.

First Haute Baby Model Look Out Event at Zandy Zoo’s Was So Much Fun!

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What a purrrfect event our first trial turned out to be! Babies & Moms were happy and made friends. Zandy Zoo’s was happy as they were busy selling Haute Baby outfits & accessories all day long!

We used lots of props including a Christmas scene complete with “snow”. Our “snow” was a hit! We blew it, we played with it, we threw it, we even ate it! Wouldn’t these make great holiday gift cards?!

Our #1 seller from fall “Anna Louise” was a BIG hit!! Lots of little models wanted to be photographed in their fave outfit from this collection and everyone was ready to say “cheese”!

The weather was perfect for outdoor shots &the babies had plenty of time to run & play when they weren’t in front of the camera. We couldn’t ask for more!

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We made smiles…we shed tears…from newborns to 11 years!! And what an opportunity for us to see our designs on so many little ones! We fell in love over & over with each new face. How will we ever pick the best little models for our next catalog shoot? We want them A-L-L.

Book a MODEL LOOK OUT at your boutique now!

For more information please email us at info@hautebaby.com

Clothing by Haute Baby & Purrfect

Models by Zandy Zoo’s

Photography by Barberries Photography