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cheers30.jpg

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).

earlyconnieskidsdays1

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.

godsplan

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!

life4

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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

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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!

riggs

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.

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 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

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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

shearer 2 headjumpa fuson1 russo IMG_7567 IMG_3796

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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.

knowles1

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

luciaowenIMG_7567 Hilton2ruderussoIMG_3779

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gavin_one

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!

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 Jan. 17th.

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, & you will receive a 30% discount off the item you choose. Your child will then receive a FREE modeling shoot, courtesy of Knox Studios! ($90 value).

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.

 coleman_1

That’s it! I only need a few models, so please don’t get your feeling 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! This time last year I was so very sad, closing my shop. I only wish I knew what was in store for me & I would have been 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

IMG_4914

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