Mon´Amie: Long-time friends open children’s shop on Main Street
Published 12:04 am Sunday, April 26, 2015
NATCHEZ — Sommer Guedon remembers well the time she bought her daughter a dress and a pair of shoes for a wedding, but by the time the wedding rolled around her daughter didn’t fit into the shoes any more.
Just before the wedding, she had to make a run to a children’s clothing store and buy a new pair of shoes.
That incident has played through her mind several times in the last few months as the area has been without any children’s stores, Guedon said.
“You can go to (big box and department stores) and get some children’s clothes and shoes, but that’s very selective,” she said. “We saw there was a need, and so we decided to fill that gap.”
The “we” in this case is Guedon and her business partner, Lisa Joseph. The duo — friends since meeting at Adams County Christian School, when Joseph was in the 10th grade and Guedon was in the 8th — opened Mon´ Amie: A Children’s Boutique April 1.
The name of the shop, French for “my friend,” is a testimony to their long-running relationship. A neighbor suggested it after hearing the duo try to work out what they were going to call the business.
“We were trying to think of something that incorporated the names of all our children, but between us we have five kids and it was getting kind of long,” Joseph said.
In opening the business, the friends have one goal, Joseph said — to be a one-stop shop for children’s merchandise. In addition to offering clothes and shoes, Mon´ Amie also sells — among other things — toys, bedding, jewelry and skin care supplies.
The shop, located at 421 Main St., is arranged in a way to accommodate its target demographic — families. One of those accommodations is a goal of keeping the shopping area spacey, Guedon said.
“It wasn’t long ago with my 2-year-old that if I came in with a stroller, I would be worried about what I am banging around,” she said.
The shopping space is divided into girls’ and boys’ sections, the boys area marked with a row of lockers. The changing rooms were built using old doors and mounted curtains, an idea Joseph said was meant to give the shop a feeling that was “nice but rustic.”
As parents themselves, Joseph and Guedon said they know that even if parents enjoy shopping, children might not. To help with little restless minds, they’ve set up two chalkboard-topped tables near the center of the store where children can color while they wait.
“We know that when you go shopping, you don’t want to stress about, ‘What is my kid doing now?’” Joseph said.
But for children who want to be involved in the shopping experience, the shop has an interactive element in the back that allows them to mix their own sugar scrubs and bath gels.
The girls’ station makes bubble gum-colored offerings, while the boy’s station makes a gel that looks like green goo filled with worms and other creepy crawlies.
“The boys’ looks like slime, because sometimes they like things that look gross,” Joseph said.
The store’s hair care and make-up selection is all-natural, Joseph said, and was inspired by her daughter’s tendency to use her expensive salon hair products.
“When they put on what we’ve got here, they get the feel like they are putting on makeup, but it’s softer (than adult makeup),” Guedon said. “With the nail polish, all you have to do is get it a little wet and it will come off.”
The jewelry offerings, like the hair and body products, are tailored to children, including no-pierce earrings, birth stone rings and mom-and-me pieces.
In the back of the shop is an apartment area. While it’s primarily being used for inventory now, Guedon said they hope it can eventually be used to host parties and baby showers.
Mon´ Amie’s Facebook page can be visited at on.fb.me/1I4kuyi. The shop can also be visited online at instagram.com/monamiechildrensboutique, and can be reached by phone at 601-653-1984.