Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Like... Totally Awesome!

Red Tricycle's 2012 Totally Awesome Awards... that is!

We are so excited to announce that GROVE STREET kids is a finalist in the Most Sensational Resale Stores category in Red Tricycle's 2012 Totally Awesome Awards again. Woo Hoo! The voting runs through the end of November, and we hope you will take a moment to show your support (again!) for us.

Winners will be announced on December 7th...

So, if you love GROVE STREET kids, we need your votes! To thank you in advance for your support, we would like to offer a giveaway to one lucky voter, a $25 Gift Certificate!

Here’s how to enter, it’s simple! Click here to go to the voting page. Vote for GROVE STREET kids and then send us an email at letting us know that you voted! Enter to win with as many email addresses as you have! We will randomly choose the winner and email you back on Tuesday, December 3rd! The winner will also be announced on our Facebook page - so don't forget to "like" us if you haven't already!

And be sure to tell your friends! Good luck and thanks for voting!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sunday Streets is Coming to Town!

There's been a lot of talk about something called "Sunday Streets" coming to our city of Berkeley. Read about the build-up here. The North Shattuck Association used to have an annual event called the Spice of Life Festival but, this year, the success of Sunday Streets around the country, in particular, in our neighboring city of San Francisco, has given our own reason to pause, and invest, in a different kind of festival.

With no outside vendors, Sunday Streets Berkeley will be a celebration of local businesses and organizations, along the 20-block route. Storefronts will be unobstructed, and business owners will be encouraged to promote commerce and visibility by setting out tables and chairs, hosting activities, and otherwise inviting interest and community.

While not normally open for business on Sundays, how could we not support this fantastic celebration of community? It's sure to be an amazing event. So with that GROVE STREET kids will open it's doors at 11am as well, so we hope you will stop by and say "hello."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

let's all celebrate and have a good time!

Please join us for our Grand Re-Opening Event!

Where: Our new locale! 1385 Shattuck Avenue at Rose Street


When: Saturday, September 15th, 11 am to 5 pm
Special appearance by Oliver Twist from 12 noon to 3 pm!

What: Raffles, prizes, balloons, face-painting, fun!
The first 25 customers will receive goody bags with... goodies inside!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First up.... Back to School!

So, GROVE STREET kids has been re-opened for about a month now, and we are fully back into the swing of things! People are cleaning out their (kids') closets and bringing in their items for resale!

So we are more than ready for "Back to School" and we want to give a shout out to our friends at {510} Families for giving us a shout on their blog entitled Back-to-School Checklist! Despite Heather's "cleaning out of size 5/6 pants" we still have plenty of things to choose from and are getting more in every day!

Be sure and check our website, for more information, including our new and expanded business hours for your shopping convenience!

photo courtesy rookiemom heather of {510} Families

Thursday, July 26, 2012

We're Open! (finally... whew!)

Well, they say Rome wasn't built in a day!

But I didn't honestly think it would take 4 months to get the shop together, either. Ah well...

Three months did seem like it would be adequate enough time to get the shop prepared for the move of our inventory. Yet, considering it was mostly nights and weekends, and still trying to have some semblance of a normal life, ie. soccer games, household chores and bills still needing tending, that sort of thing... 12 weeks flew by in a hurry. And we certainly underestimated the intensity of the actual moving out of our old location. That took much longer than anticipated... we closed for business on the 22nd of June and were there, literally til the night of the 30th finishing the clean out.

Then boom, life has a way of throwing a curve ball or two when you least expect it, and my daughter came down with a horrible fever, temps ranging from 103° to 105° that lasted almost a week! A scary, scary time for all of us, and they never did find the cause of it. Thankfully, my "happy helper" is back to herself and excited, like the rest of us, for the store opening.

Other factors in creating a delay more related to the shop, include us trying to enter the 21st century by buying a computer and entering inventory into a consignment program. The task has proven to be more than challenging since we not only consign items, we buy the bulk of our inventory straight out... which means we have to enter our ENTIRE inventory... so we decided to keep our old system in place until we can get all of the items in. We hope you will bear with us!

One of our biggest challenges has been figuring out how to display the windows. One wouldn't think it would be so hard when one full wall is window after window! But unlike our old shop, there was no definition of space between the sales floor and the display mannequins. And we feel we have a bit of a reputation to live up to so, even though we love the new space, it has proven to be somewhat of a challenge. So we had to create it. And we hope you like it.

In the end, the store is not 100% ready. We are still missing most of the signage that we need in and around the store. Not everything is tagged. There's some trim that hasn't been placed yet. Details, details...

But we felt we could add those things as we move along. So here we are.
Finally, open!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

From Here to Maternity!

It's official! We've moved out of our location at 1644 MLK Jr Way and are all moved in to 1385 Shattuck Avenue... But the place is a mess! And so it will be a couple of weeks before we are able to reopen. Stay tuned for the exact re-opening date... Meanwhile, some of our customers have been asking "Why are you moving?" or "Is it a bigger space?" And the short answer is, "Yes and that's why!" For months previous to our even thinking about expanding or moving, we had been turning lots of folks away... either because we didn't have what they wanted to buy, or the room to take what they wanted to sell, ie kids' gear and a larger selection
of maternity.

So in our new shop, that's what you will find, more strollers, pack 'n' plays, etc. as well as an even bigger and better selection of maternity wear for all sizes! And, the best part? We now have, not one, but two dressing rooms! We know there will be some folks who will be disappointed to learn that we will no longer be accepting size 10 for kids. :( I know, I know, as I have a 10 year old myself, this is hugely disappointing! But we really need to make more room for the things that sell, that are in demand, and phase out the things that don't and aren't.

Nevertheless, we hope you all will be pleased! It is a bigger and much brighter store... and some of our trademarks will still be present: our play area, our tree and our windows! We've gotten so many compliments on our window displays over the years that we know we must keep up that tradition! 1385 Shattuck is almost ALL windows on on two sides of the store, so we are trying to figure out how to maintain that part of our shop without compromising space and keeping it safe in the environment, particularly for our littlest shoppers. So, sit tight! It won't be long now... just a couple of more weeks, til you will see those pictures of our windows on our (also new, and updated!) website, and Facebook page! Thanks, as always for your continued support!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thank You!

Thank you. Thank you. What else can we say? We are so grateful for everyone's continued support.

GROVE STREET kids on the Alist.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We're Movin' On Up... to the (North) East Side!

Some of you may remember, around this time last year, we had contemplated expanding into the empty space next door to us... Well, by now, you know that we did not. It was a long process: trying to come to terms with the landlords, secure the financing, and finding the help to do the work. After several months of negotiations, we just couldn't make all the ducks line up in a row.

But, I'm a believer that everything happens for a reason...

And, sho'nuff, an opportunity to expand has presented itself and we will be moving our location in July.

For months, I had been watching listings for commercial properties on line, waiting ever so patiently for the perfect spot to open up. At Christmas time, like a gift, "it" appeared on the site. With more than 6 months to go on my current lease, I had hopes that it would be available for a while, as most properties had (and have) been... So I put it on my "Watch List."

I was not optimistic that it would last, as it was too perfect. It was the right size space for the right price, and of course the ever-desirable... location, location, location. Our current locale has not been a bad one, for being in a residential area. And we provide a "service" as well as being retail, so the bulk of our business comes from being sought out on the internet. That said, if we were in a busier location, with more foot traffic, we would be busier. And more business is good! So, in February and unable to contain myself, I called Norheim & Yost to inquire about the space.

"Is it still available?"

"Yes, it is."

And like that the ball was rolling...

So here it is, April 1st, and I have just signed the lease for "1385 Shattuck Avenue, Suite A." This is not a joke! We will be moving the shop over the course of the next few months, as the moving and setting up of the new store will take place on evenings and weekends, outside of our current store hours! There will probably be a week or two between closing this shop and the opening of the new location. Our plan is to reopen on or within a few days of our 5 Year Anniversary of business, July 18.

As the word spreads, some customers have asked "Will you change the name? And the answer is "no." We feel we've established our "brand" well-enough and, our current location is on Martin Luther King Jr. Way anyway, so there's no need!

We're thrilled and excited about this opportunity, and we hope you are too! Stay tuned for more info, and if you haven't already, "Like" us on Facebook for the most up-to-date news on our progress in the move!

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's Madness in March!

Well, no, we aren't writing to you to let you know about basketball! We're writing because, well, it's March! How quickly did that come about? (Thankfully, we had an extra day in February just to be reminded!)

But Grove Street kids is going a little mad this March... and we plan on having a little "tournament" of our own. On, Tuesdays this month, we are going to have a different promotion each week.

Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, March 6th: The Berkeley weather really hasn't made up its mind yet, is it Winter or is it Spring? Just in case you hadn't heard, Punxsutawney Phil has determined that there will not be an early Spring this year... so all Outerwear is 40% off!

Tuesday, March 13th: With St. Paddy's Day right around the corner, it's time to stock up on all items Green! It also happens to be our favorite color, so we have a lot! Take 40% off any piece of clothing that happens to be the lucky color!

Tuesday, March 20th: It's the first day of Spring! And to celebrate all Spring clothing is on sale! Shorts, short sleeve tops and shirts, and sleeveless dresses... all 40% off!

Tuesday, March 27th: The last Tuesday of the month will be all about clearing out our closets! All previously reduced merchandise is an additional 15% off!

All sales merchandise are considered final sale BUT may be combined with store credit.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vote For Us!

It's that time of year again!

It doesn't feel like it's been that long since we were nominated for Best Children's Clothing Store on We were honored and humbled by the win, and are ever-grateful for the support of our fans and customers.

But, lo and behold, here we are again... and at the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing,we are posting the link here, in the hopes that the relatively few of you out there that read our blog, will take a few moments to go the link and vote for us. (You have to register with the Baylist to vote, but it's quick and easy and you won't get spam - just don't forget to verify your email or it won't count....)

So, thanks in advance, for your support (and partonage!) of GROVE STREET kids.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Punxsutawney Phil, is he right?

With ski week fast approaching, GROVE STREET kids has been steadfastly collecting ski pants, bibs and jackets, not to mention all the necessary paraphernalia that parents feel kids need for a weeklong snow-trip: gloves, scarves.... long underwear.

As I sit here writing this, however the sky is clear and the temperature is mild, and there is no precipitation in the forecast for the next 7 days! So, what season is this, anyway?

Normally, I am a huge fan of this weather. In fact, I am not a fan of rain, and could happily live in a place where the average precipitation is less than a couple of inches a year - like San Diego, for example. But, I am a fan of snow! And I love to ski, as does my daughter, and without rain, there is no snow! Not the natural kind, anyway. And with no snow, there is no skiing, and no need for said ski pants, bibs and jackets...

Who knew our sales would be so greatly affected by the weather?

Last year's record-breaking snowfall also had it's affect on our inventory last year. I couldn't get the snowbibs in fast enough! Big ones, little ones, boots, gloves and scarves... literally flew out the door. This year, not so much. The difference between this winter and last is like night and day!

But we're still hoping beyond hope... for rain and, therefore, snow! And if you are hoping we still have 6 weeks of winter ahead of us as well, come and get your ski gear on! We got plenty!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Help Us Help You!

Once a month, I meet with a group called Business and Balance which is, mainly, a network for professional women entrepreneurs to exchange resources, strategies, and practical business support. The group is also committed to sharing effective tools for finding and maintaining balance in life while running a successful business.

I have found this group to be particularly useful toward that end - finding balance in my life - there are some really wonderful women in this group who run some amazing businesses - everything from Bookkeeping Services to Feng Shui Energy Consultation. I've attended most of the meetings even when I didn't feel that the topic or presentation to be discussed particularly pertained to me or GROVE STREET kids, as I am fond of the socializing part of the evening... but come last month I was unusually tired and not feeling 100%, so I thought I would skip it...

But the tagline to the email introducing the subject of the next meeting read:

"Love/Hate... Groupon? Everybody loves a deal. Except perhaps the retailer who can't afford to just give it away."

"That's me!" I thought to myself and that was as far as I read, as I already knew that this was a meeting not to be missed.

For a few weeks prior, I had received multiple emails from Groupon-like promotions - many of them locally-owned and even "mom-run." As a small-business owner I am inundated with "new and exciting" marketing strategies to extend our reach to potential customers on a weekly if not, daily, basis. So I was excited to go to a presentation that might have some suggestions and/or resources for marketing GROVE STREET kids that could be lest costly, if not down right free.

As it turned it out, it was a presentation by a gentleman starting a new marketing business venture, very similar in concept to Foursquare, which is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, aka "smartphones." Users "check-in" at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes "badges." Businesses, such as GROVE STREET kids, sometimes offer "Check-In Specials." Ours is that you will receive an additional punch in your Frequent Buyer Card just for checking in.

At any rate, the evening did not turn out to be what I was hoping for, but that was my own fault for not reading the entire email... What it did do was give me pause to think about what exactly I was looking for in terms of promoting my business, that I can advertise for free and does that even exist? Well, certainly on Foursquare it does, but even with 10 million registered users only 10% of those who attended the meeting had even heard of it...

So in the course of figuring this out what I came up with was a way to work with and give back to our community, that will benefit both GSK and it's customers, other than just spending money in our store. It's not a particularly novel idea, but so brilliant in its simplicity that I wish I had done it years ago. We've decided to start a "Giving Back to Schools" campaign for our local preschool and elementary schools. This goes one, if not several, steps beyond the traditional donating of gift certificates to school auctions (which we will continue to do as well), and is about creating relationships within our community that support both the local economy and our children's education.

It's a win-win.

The idea is simple. Schools who register for the program, promote GROVE STREET kids in their community as the place to shop for their kids clothing and shoes. The parents who shop with us let us know that their kids go to "x" school, and we automatically donate a percentage of their purchase back to said school, building a mutually beneficial relationship. It's down right... elementary!