Move over Children's Place and The Gap; there's a new children's clothing store in town. Dot, which opened before the holidays on Amsterdam between 82nd and 83rd, specializes in girls' clothing. Although the new storefront, which carries carefully-curated lines of pajamas, dresses, accessories and everyday wear, isn't doused from ceiling to floor in pink, owner Pam Giffin hopes that it will become the fashion destination for neighborhood girls.
The name, she says, is a nod to her belated fashionable grandmother, Dorothy. It's also meant to evoke a sense of fun, because everyone loves polka dots.
"A lot of the girls, especially the older ones, are experiencing their first time having a voice in what they wear, and I try to provide that atmosphere," said Giffin. "I'm about making sure everyone is well taken care of. It's about the experience as well as the offerings."
This is Giffin's first business venture. She started in specialty retail experience at the SAKS Fifth Avenue buying office, but made the decision to leave a year ago. Originally from Michigan, she lives downtown on the west side now. She doesn't have any children of her own, but remembers how when she was growing up, she loved dressing her little cousins and going shopping with the girls she babysat.
Pam divides her product options into "casual, party and play," carrying everything from casual denim and sweatshirts, to dresses and more fashionable options. Some of the brands she's carrying right now include Joe's, Pink, Autumn Cashmere and Un Deux Trois. For the younger girls, it's a bit easier to sell them casual play dresses and sweaters. But for the older girls it can be a bit tricky, she says, to strike that balance between grown-up and not too grown-up.
"I've tried to create a space where the parents feel good buying for the girls and the girls feel good about what they're picking out," said Pam. "There's such a great sense of community here that doesn't exist in other parts of the city and of course lots of families with children. I wanted to create a neighborhood destination."
She said that so far the neighborhood has been very welcoming and she has high hopes for her small business.
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