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Dandelion Kids: An Adventure In Beautiful and Whimsical Designs

Dandelion Kids: An Adventure In Beautiful and Whimsical Designs

Across the street from the bustling Grandview Park in Vancouver’s hip and hippie Commercial Drive neighbourhood is Dandelion Kids, a gem of a kid’s boutique that strives to balance modern and urban with the ethical and natural sensibility of the local residents.

“Dandelion Kids has become known for its interesting mix,” say owners Stefanie Missler and Maria Livingstone, who claim that the combination of their tastes is what gives the store its unique variety. The two stock the store with brightly coloured kids products that have a modern – yet sometimes retro – feel. Stefanie and Maria use words like “streamlined”, “ethical”, “vibrant” and “of good quality” to describe Dandelion Kids and the products it offers.

The owners opened the boutique six years ago at a time when there were few “general stores” for kids in Vancouver. They saw a need for a shop that had fun, high-quality and interesting goods at a variety of price points. With so few kids’ shops but so many families in East Vancouver, Stefanie and Maria sought out a location on The Drive.

Going into Dandelion Kids is a bit of an adventure. The store is neither a “baby store” nor a “toy store” but a generalist boutique that offers high-quality gift items and toys, and kids’ essentials for bath and feeding time – all with a designer-feel. “We began the shop with a few French and German toy lines, some cool local t-shirts, Weleda care products, Simply Read books, a whole bunch of consignment and it grew from there.” The owners also claim to be the first store in Vancouver to have stocked the beloved Sophie the Giraffe. I find myself stopping in at Dandelion Kids when I’m looking for something a bit higher-end or unique, like some of the cute age-appropriate wooden bracelets they have for little girls.

The store also carries a fashion-forward selection of many of the latest hip clothing brands like Tea, Appaman, Egg and Converse. “We try especially hard to include loads of really cool boys’ clothing. Our girls’ clothing – although girly – is not saccharine.”

The owners also feel that the store should keep close ties with the community. One year, the store had hundreds of pencils as part of their Back-to-School storefront display and a boy asked for some. “That sparked us to donate them to schools.” The store also donates items with small flaws and its display items to local preschools or the Eastside Family Place.

Being green is also a subtle but intrinsic part of how the duo runs their business – from using energy-saving light bulbs to shipping web orders in recycled boxes to running part of their web site on wind power. Stefanie and Maria also seek out products from manufacturers that care about the environment. “Katvig [for example] is a Danish company that uses organic cotton, soy, and bamboo fibres for its clothing, prints its tags on recycled paper with soy ink, ships in recycled boxes and even makes the most amazing rain coats out of recycled water bottles.”

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But what I love best about Dandelion Kids are its wonderful storefront displays. “Our shop is known for always having something interesting and new to offer and fun, elaborate window displays to delight everyone walking past.” No kidding. I vividly remember stopping with my daughters to admire last year’s Christmas display of reindeer and every time I’m in the area, I find myself checking out what the latest installment is.

For me, the displays sum up everything lovely about Dandelion Kids: beautiful and whimsical designs for the enjoyment of adults and children alike.

Dandelion Kids

1206 Commercial Drive, Vancouver | Twitter: @dandelionKIDS

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