EATON —Parents of small children who’ve spent years and hundreds of dollars driving to other cities for name-brand children’s clothes can breathe a little easier. Relief has come to the heart of Eaton in the form of Kidz Korner (138 N. Barron St.), a secondhand boutique selling designer clothing for youths from newborn to age 14.
The idea was an organic one for Danniele Simon, 24, a single mother who got sick of driving out of the county to buy quality clothes for her 3-year-old son.
“When you’re a single parent, money is always tight,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with Kmart and Walmart, but sometimes, you want brands from other stores, you want cute things they sell at the mall. That gets expensive. I used to drive to Once Upon a Child, out in Beavercreek. And there’s one in Huber Heights, and one by the Dayon Mall — all an hour away. And with little ones, not many people enjoy that kind of drive. Richmond is closer, but there’s only so much you can find there. Now, parents and grandparents don’t have to go to Richmond or Dayton for everything.”
Kidz Korner buys and resells clothes, toys, and children’s decor and furniture in good condition (though their inventory is currently at capacity), and items not in resale condition are donated to area churches, daycares, and other organizations to be dispersed to families in need.
All clothing sold at the shop is priced per item, by brand and condition, and the selection ranges from tiny Ugg boots and pinstriped suits to beach wear and pajamas, and can also include one-of-a-kind selections from high-end baby boutiques and even handmade garments. Many pieces are priced between $3 and $6, and some even lower. The store also runs daily specials on its Facebook page.
First-time shopper Christina Settles, of Camden, said, “I love the brands I’m finding. I have two small kids and two older kids — 3 and 6, and 13 and 16 — and I was always driving to the Once Upon a Child out by the Fairfield Mall [in Beavercreek]. It’s so great to be able to find name brands here in town. The prices are great, too. A lot of times you’ll go to yard sales and find kids’ clothes in not-so-great condition, and people want outrageous prices for them.”
Simon is proud of the brightly colored space, decorated with plush toys, vintage furniture, and a small play area.
“The space was completely bare when we came in,” she said. “Everything in here, we brought in. It took two months from signing to opening. We just celebrated our one-month anniversary, and we already have regular customers. It’s great seeing there’s already loyalty in the community, and that we’re helping give parents a break.”
Simon, who also manages another business in Richmond along with side work in public relations, is realizing a lifelong goal with Kidz Korner.
“I’ve always dreamed of being able to do something like this,” she continued. “My mother was a single mom, and she worked harder than any man I knew. She went after what she wanted and didn’t rely on anybody. I’d always wanted something that would allow me to constantly grow, and to be able to bless people. And when I had my son and had to provide for myself, I realized how few options there are for parents on a budget, and I knew this was something the local community needed.”
She believes the venture has made her a better mother, too, and hopes that spirit of giving will be carried forward by her son.
“When he grows up, I want him to know that I worked really hard for him. It wasn’t easy — there were many times along the way when I haven’t known which way to go — but he’s been my motivation. When he gets older, I hope he sees that, and builds on that to be successful and bless people as I’ve been able to do.”