Urchins offers high-end children's clothes

A love of shopping and children's clothes led Kathleen Emmerson to open her own boutique.

By Lance Henderson

Owner: Kathleen Emmerson
Address: 840 N. State St.
Phone: (360) 671-3943
Opening date: July 1
Square footage: 220

Parents with an eye for brands and bargains have a new hip boutique for high-end children’s clothes.

On July 1, Urchins, a vintage boutique for children size newborn to 6X, opened its doors to feature new and gently used baby clothes and furnishings. The boutique specializes in high-quality items, such as those from top European designers in baby wear, Oilily and Jean Bourget.

Owner Kathleen Emmerson said many of the clothing lines she carries are mainly available in metropolitan areas.

“It’s hard to find these brands in Bellingham. A lot of people who come in here are driving to Seattle to find them and are so surprised and excited to find them locally,” Emmerson said.

The store is not that big, but it makes maximum use of its 220 square feet. The walls are lined with clothes and punctuated with small displays of children’s books, vintage dolls, blankets and seasonal apparel. Currently, the store is filled with Halloween costumes and ballerina tutus.

“I love doing this,” Emmerson said. “I just love little kids’ things.”

While Emmerson does sell some used items, she stressed that Urchins is not a consignment store. However, she is extremely interested in carrying local handmade children’s products. For example, Emmerson had some handmade baby books and cards prominently displayed near the store’s entrance.

“There is so much creativity happening around here. I’ll take some if I can get my hands on it,” she said.

For the past six years, Emmerson ran a bed and breakfast in Quilcene, Wash., on the northwest end of Hood Canal. She moved to Bellingham to be closer to her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren.

“My daughter says that I love to shop, so this is the perfect job for me because I can’t keep it all,” she said.

While Emmerson admits she loves to shop, she is normally not driven by brand, but by quality.

“I only try to buy things that are high quality,” she said. “Sometimes, I will buy something that maybe isn’t the highest quality, because it’sjust too cute. I guess I am hoping others will succumb to that as well.”

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