New and used kids gear on offer at new Bryant St. business

By Diane Averill

The entrepreneurial spirit of Bryant Street acquired a distinctly youthful vibe April 22, when children’s store Periwinkle Fox opened for business at number 5910.

Sizes newborn through toddler and up to kids’ size 10 are available both brand new and gently used. Sprinkled among colorful garment displays, stuffed animals, puzzles and block toys lend a playful air. There are also practical items such as teethers, hair brushes and blankets.

“Second-hand really drove the business idea,” said proprietor and HP resident Amanda Crossland. “I saw a need here, lots of young families.”

Customers can trade outgrown or unused children’s clothes for store credit.

With an emphasis on high-quality apparel that washes well, Amanda takes things home to test in the laundry and on her two daughters, ages 18 months and four years. One label that, to her knowledge, she is introducing to Pittsburgh, is Little Green Radicals, a UK company providing certified fair trade organic cottons in unisex colors. The shop also stocks Goumi, a US brand that combines organic cotton and bamboo clothing with a social service component.

“Why now?” One might ask of a young mother embarking on a challenging business model, the brick and mortar retail store during the age of internet shopping.

“A few things lined up,” Amanda said, rather sooner than expected, as she was contemplating her eventual return to the workplace. Tending towards modeling the American dream of self determination for her daughters, she found a great deal of support not only in the community but in her family. Her husband, a business owner himself, has been very helpful, she said, and her mother recently took an apartment in Highland Park to help with the children during the crucial first year of establishing the store.

There’s plenty of experience to go with the support Amanda enjoys. During college, she worked at a clothing boutique, and spent a junior year semester studying retail fashion marketing at the Lorenzo de’Medici Institute in Florence, Italy. After college, she worked sales and marketing for a small designer denim clothing manufacturer called, not coincidentally, Periwinkle. Adding “fox” to the store’s name seemed to provide a touch of elegance.

While orders will be taken online through the website, Amanda has bigger plans for her mailing list. Parents and caregivers will be kept apprised of events such as storytelling or arts and crafts activities, and there is hope that a Kindermusik teacher can be hosted at the store. “We don’t want to be just a retail store,” Amanda said. “There are always things we can share with our little ones.”
Periwinkle Fox is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. with evening hours until 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Now through May 15, anyone who registers on the website for the email newsletter will be entered for a $50 store giveaway.