Photo by Dani Wilson
Stitches & Littles representatives and others held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 9 for the new Alton Square Mall store.
ALTON — A new store has taken its place in Alton Square Mall; a children’s boutique called Stitches & Littles opened in late November and celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 9.
The store features clothes, toys and tools handpicked by the owners, Lindsey Weiss and Michael Charlton, from personal experience — namely, most of the products are tried and tested by their 1-year-old daughter Karli.
“She was the inspiration behind it all,” Weiss says.
It started when Karli was born, and the new parents shopped around for clothes, toys and other products.
“We did a lot of shopping, and we saw the same stuff over and over again,” Weiss says. “We wanted to introduce something unique that you can’t find anywhere else.”
Throughout their journey in parenthood, they also had dreams of starting a small business in the works — although they did not yet have a concept. Weiss says she was in contact with Kate Brockmeyer and the group she founded, Business Women Connecting. The women helped the couple narrow down their ideas and settle on a children’s boutique.
“They took the idea and ran with it,” Weiss says, adding that Brockmeyer helped with research and put her in contact with clothing sources.
“It was the push we needed,” Charlton says. “She’s part of the reason this is open.”
Weiss says many of the brands in the store are ones they have tried and tested — “brands that Karli loved,” says Weiss.
“We want to make sure all our items are the right price and the best quality,” she says.
She adds that she wants their clothing to be able to be passed down to younger siblings without wearing out.
Starting a business was not the easiest process, the couple says.
“Sleep doesn’t often exist in our house,” Charlton says.
Weiss says, “There’s definitely a lot more involved than anyone imagines — it’s been really interesting. I’m glad we found something we can be so passionate about.”
The business came together rather quickly — Charlton and some friends and family did all the construction in just 22 days.
“It was a lot of work, but it came out fantastic,” Charlton says. “It’s like a work of art.”
The couple wants to expand Stitches & Littles — to keep working to carry more items and expand available sizes. Throughout this, they want to continually keep local flavor and a plethora of handpicked products for the community. “We’re trying to carry as many local products as possible,” says Weiss, explaining various products that come straight from St. Louis area designers. Charlton says he wants to emphasize that Stitches & Littles is a family-owned and -operated business.
“We’re trying to give back to the community,” he says. “It’s not whether our products will sell, it’s whether they fit the community.”