Melissa Troise gives us a refreshing new take on the power of children’s boutiques! She personally curates quality products from around the world to enchant and delight you and your children with her charming shop and state of the art website. Her team lovingly crafts the distinct outfit combinations that define Little Skye and they are made available with just one click. Melissa continues to stir creativity and recall the child within us all, and she has some major plans for Little Skye in 2016!
KYMBERLY MARCIANO: Where did the name Little Skye Boutique come from? What’s the inspiration behind the name?
MELISSA TROISE: Skye is my daughter’s middle name. I started the business when my daughter, Evelyn Skye, was born because I wanted to stay home with her. Previously I was a high school English teacher, and I continued teaching teachers at Columbia University, while running Little Skye, up until last year.
KM: How would you describe your store to a new customer?
MT: Little Skye is a one-of-a-kind children’s boutique that embraces the beauty, joy, innocence, and artful wonder of childhood.
We are devoted to bringing you imaginative children’s and tween clothing, shoes, and gifts that are inspired by our natural environment and have a vintage appeal.
We personally curate quality products from around the world to enchant and delight you and your children of all ages. From these, we lovingly craft the distinct outfit combinations that define Little Skye. We photograph them outdoors on children just being children so you can imagine, smile, and remember.
Because we know that you value our artistic styling, natural aesthetic, careful product selection, personal and knowledgeable service, and attention to detail; we dedicate ourselves to building a shopping experience that stirs creativity and recalls the child within us all.
KM: Walk us through the process – How do you choose brands for your boutique?
MT: It’s not easy to find brands that fit our brand. I choose brands that fit our ideal that childhood should be embraced, not rushed. I am drawn to clothing that is fun, colorful, and wearable. Specifically I am drawn to prints that connect in some way to the natural environment, and to vintage inspired designs.
KM: What would you suggest as the top 3 essentials a busy, working mom or dad should buy to make their lives easier when it comes to dressing their child?
MT: Buy clothing by brands like Paper Wings that is designed to fit longer, with adjustable features. Buy clothing that children can put on themselves and that they want to wear because it’s comfortable and fits their personality. And most importantly, buy non-disposable clothing that is made with quality.
KM: If you could give a child a makeover – Describe the perfect fashionable and functional outfit you would dress a boy and girl in.
MT: It depends on the child. When children come into the store looking for an outfit, I try to find something that fits that particular child’s style and personality.
KM: Who do you view as your major competitors? How do you differentiate?
MT: We have unique photography and outfit combinations, outstanding customer service, and a state of the art website.
KM: How has motherhood influenced your business?
MT: Being a mother is the reason I started my business. I am a single mom, and my business supports my children.
KM: You opened your first brick + mortar store. Can you describe the neighborhood of your first retail location?
MT: Ridgewood is a lovely, family-oriented town. The people we have met and befriended have been very supportive of and excited about our store.
KM: What do you feel are the three biggest keys to your success?
MT: There are more than tree: Listening to and learning, sticking to my brand, always doing something different and new, staying moral despite all of the immorality we encounter, and working really hard.
KM: What is the best or most memorable moment in your store?
MT: When my daughter came in the store for the first time and said “Mama, you make everything beautiful.”
KM: What’s on your agenda for the new year? Any plans to expand?
MT: We have a plan to open a second store in 2016.
KM: Where did you go to school?
MT: I got my BA in English Education and my MA in Language and Literacy from Penn State, and my PhD from Teachers College at Columbia University in the Teaching of English.
KM: How would you describe yourself in five words or less?
MT: Hardworking, Creative, Kind, and a good mom.
KM: What childhood activity do you wish you could still do now?
MT: I wish I had time to ski still.