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Simply Baby And Kids-Simply Great Quality And Service Are This Retailer's Benchmarks



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Simply Baby And Kids—

Simply Great Quality And Service Are This Retailer’s Benchmarks

By John Voket

From the moment you walk under the cheery, colorful sign for Simply Baby and Kids’ new retail location, at the site of the former Kay-Bee Toys at Sand Hill Plaza, you feel welcome.

The wide open floor plan, brightly lit displays, and the up-beat but volume appropriate music stimulate your senses just long enough before one of the store’s responsive and knowledgeable associates greets you and stands close by ready to help.

Whether you have come in to pick up a quick $10 toy or gift; you are ready to start shopping for a top quality crib or bassinette; or you need assistance from one of the store’s specialists who can help you coordinate everything from furniture to linens to paint colors and wall prints, Simply Baby and Kids offers it all, including clothing for children from birth to 24 months.

Just don’t come in expecting a “baby box store” experience.

“You won’t find a $199 crib special here,” said co-owner Carie Turk, who, along with her husband Richard, launched their specialty retail operation nearly two decades earlier.

The couple has since maintained both successful retail operations, and in 2001, launched its website, simplybabyandkids.com, to provide a worldwide client base with the same lines of top-end crafted furniture and accessories enjoyed by customers who come to their store from throughout the Northeast.

Store assistant manager Kara Telep, who has been with the company since 2006, said most first-time customers who have shopped elsewhere appreciate the unique lines and products available at the “mom and pop” enterprise.

And while “Baby” comes first in their name, Ms Turk reminds prospective customers that in reality, about 60 to 70 percent of the store’s orientation is toward youth and juvenile lines. Always working to be trend setters, the owners go to all the New York baby, child, and gift trade shows and “cherry pick from the top quality items we think will represent future trends,” Ms Turk said.

“We don’t follow along and carry lines because they are trendy now,” she added. “We’re out to help our customers be the trend setters.”

According to Ms Telep, a few years ago the owners spotted and were among the first stores to sell and promote conversion cribs. “Now everybody is carrying them,” she said. “It’s hard to find anything else in some stores.”

She said customers also like the personalized attention they get, whether they are putting together a registry, planning a party, or looking to not only check out specific lines of furniture, but also talk to the manufacturers’ representatives who frequent the store. The store recently hosted a rep from Bona Vita, which provides Simply Baby and Kids with a crafted line of baby cribs.

Ultimately, Ms Telep said it’s a lot of fun to work for the Turks, and in an environment where customers are excited, whether it’s because a new baby is on the way, or they are converting their child’s room to “big boy furniture.”

Speaking of fun furnishings, one corner of the store is devoted to the Maxtrix system of furnishings, which can be mixed and matched in various appealing color and design themes. Ms Turk said the Maxtrix system can serve as an all-in-one bed and storage module when a child is younger, and reconfigure into a loft bed with a desk or play space underneath as the child ages toward adolescence.

Another reason why clients find more unique lines at Simply Baby and Kids is because the store primarily deals with smaller suppliers and companies, “offering the next big thing,” Ms Turk said. Supporting a “you get what you pay for” credo means many of the products at their store are priced appropriately, but Ms Turk said for the most part, Simply Baby and Kids has enjoyed a high traffic flow of quality-minded consumers, parents and grandparents who want the best for their little ones.

Among some of the other unique offerings, are the Oopsy Daisy line of coordinated canvas wall art, unique toy lines featuring all natural or all recycled materials, great gifts starting at around $10, and what Ms Telep calls their “Game Night Specials,” a series of simple yet entertaining table games that are appropriate for multigenerational use and enjoyment.

“Our ‘Blue Orange’ line of table games start at under $30,” she said. “And all we hear about is how much fun families with limited time together love gathering around the kitchen table for an hour playing these interactive games.”

Ms Turk also keeps clients of the store and website up to date on all things Simply Baby through her website blog. The store is open seven days, from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday (except Thursday when they are open until 8 pm), and from noon to 5 pm Sundays. Call 203-304-9400 or go to simplybabyandkids.com to learn more.

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