The store originated from the offhand remark that Hope native Ashley Pruitt could just about start her own children’s clothing store. Having taken in the children of her late sister to add to her own, Pruitt nearly had the inventory covered already. She opened her store in Hope on April 1st.
Asked whether her sister would approve of the store, Pruitt said, “She would have been pretty shocked that this is what I ended up doing. I was always the one who said I wouldn't have kids. And she was always the one telling me, ‘Watch what you say. Never say never.’ I’m sure she'd be elated to say that I'm doing this and that. The kids get to have so much fun up here too.”
Often, she added, her one-year-old daughter stays in the back of the store. She was with dad today, though. In addition, she and her husband are taking care of two sets of twins, four-year-olds and five-year-olds.
She likes to see customers bring their own kids in to see how they react to seeing the store. “It’s fun to see kids light up when they come here. There’s always something that they’re drawn to.”
It’s easy to agree with the kids. The store has hundreds of onesies, shirts, pants, shorts, shoes of any style you could name. There are dressier looks for church-going or picture-taking and casual wear for making mudpies next to the woods, which was my pastime around 1975, but this apparel comes from brands like Matilda Jane. Meanwhile, Pruitt has also made an effort to bring in clothing made of bamboo material. “I’m pretty obsessed with them right now,” she said. “They’re crazy soft.”
The Little Things also stocks used clothing, which Pruitt calls Preloved. “With all the Preloved stuff, I make sure everything’s stain-treated and nice and clean before we put them on our racks,” she said.
Despite the quality of her inventory, the pricing looked very reasonable with many very fashionable onesies going for $4.99 apiece. Pruitt explained her approach to pricing. “I am very transparent about pricing and sourcing and how I allocate things, where they come. I want to do honest, transparent business and bring something that the community needs.”
The community does need children’s clothes, Pruitt was happy to say. From her vantage point, Hope is producing numerous little ones needing what The Little Things has to offer. But the store also has space for grownups in search of striking apparel and chic purses. “My mom has her corner that she's been putting her goodies in, and people have been really drawn to especially her purse collections. And jewelry.”
The Little Things Children’s Boutique is on 106 South Main Street and its hours are Monday through Thursday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.