Mom and Dad aren’t the only ones in the family who want to look stylish.
But after struggling to find one-of-a-kid clothing for their own small children, two best friends decided to open their own online boutique.
Meredith Croom, 29, and Charity Huffman, 25, offer unique clothing for babies on the edge with their online business Rock The Cradle. The business was started last summer to provide children’s clothing with attitude.
“I have a 15-month-old, and when he was 8 months old it got to a point where it was hard to find clothing for boys,” Croom said. “I know there’s a lot of parents here who get tired of seeing their kids wearing the same thing that everyone else’s kids are wearing.”
Rock the Cradle markets clothing to parents who want non-traditional designs and patterns for their tots. The usual hearts and teddy bears are replaced with skulls and crossbones and tattoo prints. they offer T-shirts and onesies in sizes newborn to 5T. Accessories include tattoo print diaper bags, bibs with flames and skeleton socks to bring out the rock star in every child.
“Prices range from $6.99 to a full set of chic outfits that go up to $49.99,” Croom said. “Right now we’re looking into offering hair bows and crochet hats for girls that will be available later.”
The business finds unique clothing and specialty items from wholesale vendors online and travels to Atlanta’s AmericasMart marketplace to find items including pink and black skull pom pom hats and guitar beanies from a wide range of children’s apparel brands.
“those striped pom pom hats are really popular, and the tattoos T-shirts and edgier T-shirts for boys have been very popular,” Croom said.
Croom and Huffman both work in their families’ businesses in landscaping and logging but wanted to start something of their own that would reflect their roles as young mothers and trendsetters.
“our styles are completely different, but it helps us with our opinions of selecting items for the store,” Huffman said.
Croom and Huffman also invite customers to host home shows, parties or baby showers with Rock the Cradle items available for purchase.
“our family and friends have been a big support and they would have home shows and we’ve had sales online that have shipped as far as Nevada and Florida.” Huffman said.
One fan of the business is Hubert resident Laura Yates, who has purchased T-shirts and accessories for her daughters, 14-month-old Ashlyn and 3-year-old Madison.
“The clothes are different and you don’t see them everywhere and I’m very picky about my kids clothing,” she said. “I like the whole alternative style like the striped leggings and bold contrasts. all of it seems comfortable for them to wear, and they hold up well when you wash them.”
Rock the Cradle is seeking local children’s clothing and accessory vendors to add to their collection. Jacksonville resident and mom Christina Reeve creates her own taggie handmade blankets with unique patterns like animal prints, cartoon characters and military themes for $19.99. Reeve is the owner of LeeLee, a baby and children’s couture business. she creates custom quilts, tooth fairy blankets, burp cloths and more.
“No two blankets are the same,” Croom said. “she might use the same fabrics but they are all original because she usually mixes and matches the fabrics. she also makes baby quilts that can match.”
Croom said that the business is interested in adding more accessories to their inventory as well as tutus and swimsuits for girls just in time for summer.
“we would like to have more baby booties or shoes, shorts or jeans or maybe even diaper bags and hair bows,” Croom said.
As their business develops, Croom and Huffman would one day like to give their online business a physical location in Jacksonville. For now, items from Rock the Cradle will be featured at the Zing Zumm Family Expo on may 21 in Jacksonville and the Holiday Home and Gift Show in New Bern in November.
“We’re probably going to present some of our items at some of the festivals here too — it’s all about getting our name out there,” Croom said.
For more information about Rock The Cradle, call 910-358-1823 or 910-389-9606 or visit rockthecradle.biz or Rock The Cradle’s Facebook page.
Contact Aniesa Holmes at 910-219-8473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.