1) Tell us about Kodomo Boston. What inspired the name Kodomo and what sets the store apart?
Kodomo – the Japanese word for “child” – is a thoughtful children’s boutique that carries brands focused not only on style but on ethical business practices. The store is located in the historic South End neighborhood of Boston. Our products are sustainably produced, inspired by the need to live a more mindful existence.
2) What has been your most positive and fulfilling experience since you opened the store this past August?
There have been a lot of wonderful experiences since the store officially opened. I have enjoyed getting to know the neighborhood and making friends with other small business owners in the South End. Interacting with a variety of customers is always fun, too. And of course building a solid team with Marina and Gretchen, our store managers, has lead us to becoming good friends.
3) Is there anything you wish you knew before entering the retail world?
That social media can be a full time job! Ha!!
4) Besides their ethics and best practices, what is your criteria for selecting the brands you stock? Can you name some of the more popular brands at Kodomo?
We pride ourselves in working with independent designers who make stylish clothes. We select clothes that are not stereotypical and styles that I would appreciate wearing myself. Mini Rodini and Nununu are amongst some of the more popular brands at Kodomo.
5) Owning a business is obviously very demanding. How do you find the time to relax and in what ways do you integrate yoga into your daily routines?
Yoga is my priority, everyday. I keep my mats and props at the office and try my best to integrate yoga into my day. Whether it’s 5 minutes or 2 hours, whatever works. It really keeps me going and helps me focus. I am undertaking Iyengar yoga teacher training, which keeps me away for a weekend each month, but we plan everything around it so the store is not affected.
6) As an entrepreneur and mom of two boys, what advice would you share with mothers who also wish to be mindful in their everyday lives while being an inspiration to their children?
Take one thing at a time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Being a small business owner means you work seven days a week. Some days you’re not able to put your kids to bed but then you’ll take time off when you can and be able to make the most of the moment in you’re in. It’s exhausting but also rewarding and exciting at the same time.
7) Kodomo Boston is known for giving back to the community/specific foundations when they can. Are there any upcoming events or projects people should know about in relation to this?
We plan an event every month. In September we officially launched the brand AKID in Boston exclusively at Kodomo. This event was to celebrate an incredibly generous donation of 500 pairs of shoes, made by AKID, to Boston’s Home for Little Wanderers. They are a local non-profit providing services and programs for child and family development. In October, in honor of breast cancer awareness, we donated 10% of our total monthly sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
And more recently, we are still working out the details, but we are really excited about a Bobo Choses & Kodomo event in April!
8) What are your favorite gift items/recommendations at the store for the upcoming holidays?
Our customers are loving the Mini Rodini reindeer collection, Mama Couture Dolls, and Tutu Du Monde tutus.
Thank you for this great and inspiring interview Surabhi!
Photo Credit: Katii Tornick