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Searching for the right words to effectively convey how I feel about living my dream of Connie’s Kids for 30 years this week, I contacted a creative friend who is an awesome writer, asking for advice on how to get the feelings in my heart down in print. She suggested taking a shower, (where she finds HER inspiration!), or wine. So I may or may not be sitting in the shower right now, glass of wine in hand, pouring my gratitude out to you. (I apologize for that mental picture.)

All I can think to say is 30 YEARS, how did that happen? It’s like giving birth to a child, & all of a sudden they are grown, except this baby never left home. And I am grateful. Beyond grateful. In awe, really. In awe of you, my friends, customers, & supporters, who have stuck by me through thick & thin, (& I am not just talking about my weight here. )

30 years ago, I was an x-ray tech, working midnight shift at Chesapeake General Hospital. It was just not cutting it in the fulfillment department. I had one baby & one on the way, and was teaching Lamaze classes at the hospital. The hospital was opening a birthing unit. I knew I had to think of a way to do something that would make my heart happy every day. On a whim, I started buying small batches of wholesale children’s clothing, & selling them to my co-workers at the hospital. Before long I was doing home parties. Within two years I had $80,000 worth of inventory in my home, with rounders in my living room, & draped chains full of smocked dresses & eton suits hung around the dining room. Something had to give.

Leaving my shift one morning, I saw a sign (pun intended)…. a shopping center was going up across the street. Call it an “Ah-ha Moment”, or what you will, but my brain went into overdrive. To say the stars collided would be a pretty apt description. I felt a fire light up in my soul that I could not ignore. I HAD to quit my job, & open a children’s clothing store right across from the hospital. I was obsessed, (some would say possessed).

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Selling out of my home on Battlefield Blvd, pregnant with my son Jesse, 1986.

Everyone told me I was crazy. Family. Friends. The banks, (especially the banks!) But my passion only increased, & I began to design my store. My “Tell me I can’t do something, & my reply is “WATCH ME!”” attitude came in pretty handy. (Generally, this had NOT been helpful with past decisions, but that’s another story! )

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Connie’s Kids was the first store opened in the shopping center, and the scariest part was I had to sign a FIVE year lease! I was petrified! On a tight budget, I installed the cheapest carpet, & the installer told me it would probably have to be replaced in five years, and I thought “Oh please God, let me still be here in five years to HAVE that problem! And I am here to tell you that carpet was replaced FIVE times in 27 years!

I was in heaven working in my store. The customers that became friends, the friends that pitched in to help, the employees that became family. I loved watching all the children grow up. Seeing them model their Connie’s Kids finest was the best part! It was working. For many many years, it worked.

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A dream come true!

Then things changed. The recession, young mothers not craving the “classic” styles, expenses on the rise. Something had to be done. After much soul searching, bargaining with God, & massive denial, I made the tough decision to close the store. My heart was broken. I had been living my dream, but could no longer keep things going. It felt like death, divorce, and failure, all rolled up into one big sad heap. I was so sad. I made the announcement to my customers that we would be closing, & the outpouring of love & support that they offered literally held me up. I was sure it was all over. The storefront closed 3 years ago.

I began the process of reinventing myself, & job hunting, and was getting sadder & sadder. Customers kept calling to see if I could still order items for them , and I could, so I did. And it grew. I never had the nerve to shut my web site down. Things started turning around. I learned how to put my store on Ebay, Amazon, & Facebook & decided to have another go at it. That was three years ago.

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Although this was not my original plan, I figured out how to deal with Plan B. Business is once again booming. And I am BEAMING! I joke that I work from home in my pj’s & drink wine, and it’s not TOO far from the truth! It is different, and I miss the day to day chatting with familiar faces, but most of my customers have stuck by me, and I have gained so many more online!successa

To say “Thank You”, or “I am grateful” doesn’t seem like enough, but what other words are there to express how much joy I feel once again, all because of customers who wouldn’t let me go away. So to you all, CHEERS! Stay tuned for a contest, sale, or celebration of some kind…I just haven’t thought of WHAT to do yet!

Thank you for allowing me the privilege of dressing your children, and grandchildren in the classic styles that keep children looking like children. Hopefully, I will be writing another one of these gratitude letters in ANOTHER 30 years, when I am 90….still in my pj’s & drinking wine!

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The Model Search is on for the cutest kids in town to model my new spring & summer styles! 

Is your child the next face of Connie’s Kids? There’s only one way to find out! Submit your child’s photo today for a chance to be featured in Connie’s Kids ads, on banners, and Facebook timeline, as well as being seen worldwide on the Connie’s Kids web site!

Please read this fully before applying!

To enter your child, email me their name, sex, age, & size they are wearing NOW to connie@connieskids.com. Also include your phone number, although notifications will be done by email.  Please, send no more than 2 photos. They don’t have to be professional, & it can be just a head shot, or full body. Entries must be received no later than Sun, Jan 22, 2017. Please, DO NOT send me private messages on Facebook, or post on the FB page. Only entries received at the email address provided will be considered.

I can use newborns through size 10, boys and girls, but mostly need infants & toddlers. Brothers & sisters are especially needed, to show off sibling sets. If chosen, you will be notified through email & will be given a selection of outfits to choose from. Due to the logistics of me not having an actual store front anymore, the item your child models will need to be purchased.

Your child will then receive a FREE modeling shoot, courtesy of Knox Studios! ($90 value). I can only provide free photo shoots for LOCAL customers, so if you are not local & still want to participate, you will need to provide your own photos. You will be asked to sign a release at Knox Studios to allow us to use your photos in our advertising. These photos will ONLY be used for advertising by Knox Studios and Connie’s Kids. If you wish to purchase any of the photos, they will be available to you at a discounted price.

That’s it! I only need a few models, so please don’t get your feelings hurt if your child isn’t chosen this time around. I have certain sizes & styles to fill, and your child just might not be the right fit this time, but they may work out on the next go round!

I have received many new adorable styles, so I want to get these shot as soon as possible! I am so excited  to see your pics!

I can’t do ANYTHING without all of you, so please accept my heartfelt gratitude! Connie

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The Model Search is on for the cutest kids in town to model my new fall/winter/holiday styles! 

Is your child the next face of Connie’s Kids? There’s only one way to find out! Submit your child’s photo today for a chance to be featured in Connie’s Kids ads, on banners, and Facebook timeline, as well as being seen worldwide on the Connie’s Kids web site!

Please read this fully before applying!

To enter your child, email me their name, sex, age, & size they are wearing NOW to connie@connieskids.com. Also include your phone number, although notifications will be done by email.  Please, send no more than 2 photos. They don’t have to be professional, & it can be just a head shot, or full body. Entries must be received no later than Sat, Oct. 1, 2016. Please, DO NOT send me private messages on Facebook, or post on the FB page. Only entries received at the email address provided will be considered.

I can use newborns through size 10, boys and girls, but mostly need infants & toddlers. Brothers & sisters are especially needed, to show off sibling sets. If chosen, you will be notified through email & will be given a selection of outfits to choose from. Due to the logistics of me not having an actual store front anymore, the item your child models will need to be purchased.

Your child will then receive a FREE modeling shoot, courtesy of Knox Studios! ($90 value). I can only provide free photo shoots for LOCAL customers, so if you are not local & still want to participate, you will need to provide your own photos. You will be asked to sign a release at Knox Studios to allow us to use your photos in our advertising. These photos will ONLY be used for advertising by Knox Studios and Connie’s Kids. If you wish to purchase any of the photos, they will be available to you at a discounted price.

 

That’s it! I only need a few models, so please don’t get your feelings hurt if your child isn’t chosen this time around. I have certain sizes & styles to fill, and your child just might not be the right fit this time, but they may work out on the next go round!

I have received many new fall/holiday styles, so I want to get these shot as soon as possible! I am so excited  to see your pics!

I can’t do ANYTHING without all of you, so please accept my heartfelt gratitude! ConnieIMG_8200.JPG

The Model Search is ON!


Hi All & Happy Spring!~ The Model Search is on for the cutest kids in town to model my new fall/winter/holiday styles! 

Is your child the next face of Connie’s Kids? There’s only one way to find out! Submit your child’s photo today for a chance to be featured in Connie’s Kids ads, on banners, and Facebook timeline, as well as being seen worldwide on the Connie’s Kids web site!

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To enter your child, email me their name, sex, age, & size they are wearing NOW to connie@connieskids.com. Also include your phone number, although notifications will be done by email.  Please, send no more than 2 photos. They don’t have to be professional, & it can be just a head shot, or full body. Entries must be received no later than Sat, Feb. 27, 2016. Please, DO NOT send me private messages on Facebook, or post on the FB page. Only entries received at the email address provided will be considered.

I can use newborns through size 10, boys and girls, but mostly need infants & toddlers. Brothers & sisters are especially needed, to show off sibling sets. If chosen, you will be notified through email & will be given a selection of outfits to choose from. Due to the logistics of me not having an actual store front anymore, the item your child models will need to be purchased. Your child will then receive a FREE modeling shoot, courtesy of Knox Studios! ($90 value). I can only provide free photo shoots for LOCAL customers, so if you are not local & still want to participate, you will need to provide your own photos. You will be asked to sign a release at Knox Studios to allow us to use your photos in our advertising. These photos will ONLY be used for advertising by Knox Studios and Connie’s Kids. If you wish to purchase any of the photos, they will be available to you at a discounted price.

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That’s it! I only need a few models, so please don’t get your feelings hurt if your child isn’t chosen this time around. I have certain sizes & styles to fill, and your child just might not be the right fit this time, but they may work out on the next go round!

I have received so many new spring styles, so I want to get those shot as soon as possible! I am still so excited for this new & thrilling chapter for Connie’s Kids! I can’t do ANYTHING without all of you, so please accept my heartfelt gratitude!chastain 3IMG_6727 copyquinn 4

On a side note, If you want to be a part of my “Designer’s Circle”, & help decide what styles I will offer as the Connie’s Kids brand, just shoot me an email & I’ll be happy to add you to the list! They have been a great help so far, & it’s fun to work as a team!

Thanks again & I’ll be looking forward to seeing all your cuties pictures coming soon! Connie


grayson1

Hi All & Happy Fall!~ The Model Search is on for the cutest kids in town to model my new fall/winter/holiday styles! 

Is your child the next face of Connie’s Kids? There’s only one way to find out! Submit your child’s photo today for a chance to be featured in Connie’s Kids ads, on banners, and Facebook timeline, as well as being seen worldwide on the Connie’s Kids web site!

riggscarly4 parrish

To enter your child, email me their name, sex, age, & size they are wearing NOW to connie@connieskids.com. Also include your phone number, although notifications will be done by email.  Please, send no more than 2 photos. They don’t have to be professional, & it can be just a head shot, or full body. Entries must be received no later than Oct. 31, 2015. Please, DO NOT send me private messages on Facebook, or post on the FB page. Only entries received at the email address provided will be considered.

I can use newborns through size 10, boys and girls, but mostly need infants & toddlers.  If chosen, you will be notified through email & will be given a selection of outfits to choose from. Due to the logistics of me not having an actual store front anymore, the item your child models will need to be purchased. Your child will then receive a FREE modeling shoot, courtesy of Knox Studios! ($90 value).

thomas

You will be asked to sign a release at Knox Studios to allow us to use your photos in our advertising. These photos will ONLY be used for advertising by Knox Studios and Connie’s Kids. If you wish to purchase any of the photos, they will be available to you at a discounted price. If you are NOT local, your child can still participate, but you will have to provide your own photos.

richardson 2

That’s it! I only need a few models, so please don’t get your feelings hurt if your child isn’t chosen this time around. I have certain sizes & styles to fill, and your child just might not be the right fit this time, but they may work out on the next go round!

I am still on cloud nine over having my own Connie’s Kids label & can’t wait to get the word out to the WORLD! New styles will be arriving within the next few weeks, so I want to get those shot as soon as possible! I am still so excited for this new & thrilling chapter for Connie’s Kids! I can’t do ANYTHING without all of you, so please accept my heartfelt gratitude!

chastain 3 IMG_4914IMG_6727 copy

On a side note, If you want to be a part of my “Designer’s Circle”, & help decide what styles I will offer as the Connie’s Kids brand, just shoot me an email & I’ll be happy to add you to the list! They have been a great help so far, & it’s fun to work as a team!

Thanks again & I’ll be looking forward to seeing all your cuties pictures coming soon! Connie

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headjumpa
Is your child the next face of Connie’s Kids? There’s only one way to find out! Submit your child’s photo today for a chance to be featured in Connie’s Kids ads, on banners, and Facebook timeline, as well as being seen worldwide on the Connie’s Kids web site!

fuson1 alainawraylilliannasmith

You can post your child’s photo directly on the Facebook page, along with their name, size, & age. You can also send me a private message on Facebook if you prefer. Or email the info to me at connie@connieskids.com. Also include your phone number or email, and specify how you would like to be notified. Please, send only ONE photo, it doesn’t have to be professional, & it can be just a head shot, or full body. Entries must be received no later than May 11th, 2015.

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I can use newborns through size 10, boys and girls. If chosen, you will be notified & will be given a selection of outfits to choose from. Due to the logistics of me not having an actual store front anymore, the item your child models will need to be purchased. Your child will then receive a FREE modeling shoot, courtesy of Knox Studios! ($90 value).

IMG_3683IMG_3811IMG_7524 copy (2)

You will be asked to sign a release at Knox Studios to allow us to use your photos in our advertising. These photos will ONLY be used for advertising by Knox Studios and Connie’s Kids. If you wish to purchase any of the photos, they will be available to you at a discounted price.

onealIMG_3616IMG_6727 copy

That’s it! I only need a few models, so please don’t get your feelings hurt if your child isn’t chosen this time around. I have certain sizes & styles to fill, and your child just might not be the right fit this time, but they may work out on the next go round!

I am still on cloud nine over having my own Connie’s Kids label & can’t wait to get the word out to the WORLD! New styles will be arriving within the next few weeks, so I want to get those shot as soon as possible! I am still so excited for this new & thrilling chapter for Connie’s Kids! I can’t do ANYTHING without all of you, so please accept my heartfelt gratitude!

If you want to be a part of my “Designer’s Circle”, & help decide what styles I will offer as the Connie’s Kids brand, just shoot me an email & I’ll be happy to add you to the list! They have been a great help so far, & it’s fun to work as a team!

Thanks again & I’ll be looking forward to seeing all your cuties pictures coming soon! Connie

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(photo courtesy of Knox Studios & our little model Max Balderson)

Most of you know my story by now. Closing my store at the end of 2013 was devastating to me, since I had built up a business for over 25 years that I dearly loved. I loved my customers, my store, my employees, and everything about the business….all except that one little problem…paying the BILLS! It just became too expensive to keep the doors open any longer, but I just couldn’t bear the idea of ending it all. Somehow I had to stick around. I loved dressing children like children, and had such an awesome customer base that I decided to give it a go on Facebook, to see how selling on there would work. And it did…..work, that is. Until Facebook decided they wanted MONEY (& lots of it!) to show MY posts to MY customers, who specified they WANTED to see my posts. Ugh…it seemed like “Here we go again”….BUT I still was not done! There HAD to be a way to make this work! I knew I had a wonderful niche product, that I just had to get more people to see.

I began looking at Amazon, not as the enemy, but as an ally. I researched, and although my brain is much slower at absorbing new knowledge than it was 30 years ago, (understatement of the year), I have been plugging away day after day, trying to learn the ins & outs of selling on Amazon.

I have been tempted at times to just give up, because it just seemed so DIFFICULT to jump through all the hoops necessary to meet their approval, but I am happy to announce I finally DID IT! My products began selling on Amazon right before Christmas, and it has been a big boost to business! But now I had to figure out a new issue……my growing inventory was taking over my house! (For those of you who are familiar with how I began out of my home in 1985, this has a very deja vu feel to it!)

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(1985, my living room on Battlefield Blvd. …yes, I was a little pregnant in this photo!)

So, I went a step further, & learned how I could ship my products in bulk to Amazon & they would take care of storing, shipping, and managing my inventory! This is all for a fee of course, but my hope is that the exposure & increase in sales will make up for the added expense.

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(photo courtesy of Knox Studios & our little model Maggie Balderson!)

With much trepidation & excitement, I shipped off my boxes last week, to three different allocation centers across the U.S. Today I pushed the button to “Activate” the FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) account, and I am happy, proud, and have to admit a little scared to announce that Connie’s Kids private label is now being sold directly from Amazon! That means Prime members can get it their orders the next day! I am still holding my breath, because I have not yet had a SALE using this method, so I can only wait & keep my fingers crossed that this is going to be a whole new world of increasing sales for Connie’s Kids!

What does this mean for YOU? It doesn’t HAVE to change the way you shop with me at all. My web site is functioning as always, & Facebook sales are still going to continue on the items I have in stock at my home. The only reason you would shop on Amazon for the Connie’s Kids label is if you were already shopping on Amazon & can use my items to add to your sales, to qualify for free shipping offers from Amazon. I will still offer you the lowest price, so shopping with me directly will still be YOUR best bet. BUT, this will hopefully find many NEW customers who have never heard the name “Connie’s Kids“, and will expand my customer base immensely! (That is the plan, anyway!) 🙂

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(photo courtesy of Knox Studios and our little model Dominiq)

Once again, I have to express my unwavering gratitude to you ALL, who have continued to support me for over a year now, since my store has closed! Even if you don’t purchase often, I appreciate you always thinking of me first when you are in need of something, and giving me the chance to help you if I can. I also appreciate those of you who “like” “share”, & “tag” my posts on Facebook, to help spread the word, & keep me from having to pay so often for my posts to be shown. I now have over 7000 fans, yet each post only gets shown to 30-50 people. Just remember to scroll through the “photos” every few days , to see all the sales & posts you may have missed!

So, I hope you will check out my new store front on Amazon, and am asking you to send up a prayer or positive vibes that this will be a success, and that I may continue to have the privilege of dressing your little ones for many more years to come!
Cheers!  Connie

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