Children’s Boutique Features Mom-Tested Clothes
For Martin, Petite Cabane was a long time coming. When she was 17, she was scouted by a modeling agency. From there, she moved to New York City, then Europe. Her career took off and, with it, her knowledge and attention to fashion.
Years went by, 24 to be exact, and her first son is grown. She has three more children; the youngest is her 5-year-old daughter. She was with her little girl when Petite Cabane finally materialized.
“I was riding past with my daughter on the front of my bike. I literally just peeked in and thought, ‘A-ha,’” said Martin.
The boutique is at 205 E. Maple in a cozy section of downtown Birmingham that could be mistaken for a street in Paris or London. It’s Martin’s dream.
“In Europe it’s called a concept store, which means it’s not just clothes,” she said. We have sizes for newborn to eight years. Ton of books, toys, balance bikes, pedal bikes, we have all things children.”
Shoppers can find the perfect gift for a new baby or a quality outfit for family photos.
“I currently have France, England, Denmark and Sweden, but it will be ever-changing,” said Martin. “I have about eight different lines represented right now, and I will be bringing in three new lines for autumn/winter. That’s what I love, I’m not married to one particular line.”
A huge part of her focus for the boutique is quality and detail.
In becoming part of the fashion industry, Martin is very conscientious about leaving a footprint. Fashion is known to be one of the most wasteful industries on the planet, so she’s trying to do her part to reduce waste and harmful lasting effects.
While she knew there was a market for girls’ clothes, boys’ clothing was a different story. She opened the store March 16 with a smaller inventory of clothes for boys for a very specific reason: boys’ clothes are basic and she wasn’t sure if the market was ready for well-made pieces for boys.
“People have responded so well, and it helped me decide which direction we can go forth with,” Martin said. “They are responding and understanding what my mission was.”
“I wanted people to feel unique, but with that comes the fact that we’re going to sell out of things,” said Martin. “Nobody in the area represents any of these lines. The only place anyone can buy these is online. People like seeing them in person. People are used to have everything at their fingertips.”
Christina Wincek of Birmingham loves having Petite Cabane in the neighborhood, especially when shopping for her daughters, ages 4 and 6.
“I have always loved the vintage look and more traditional style children’s clothing, it’s really hard to find,” Wincek said. “Shopping little small businesses is a passion, so when Carrie opened the shop, it was an instant for me.”
While the style is what drew Wincek into the store, the quality is what keeps her coming back.
“Knowing they’re nice clothes that wash well, a lot of the pieces can transition and layer really well,” she said. “A lot of Carrie’s fabrics are lightweight and soft, so they breathe. Kids can run around and not get the clothes stuck to them. It’s such a wonderful addition to downtown Birmingham.”
“It feels like an extension of myself and my home,” Martin said. “I feel a sense of the community. I love the children, I will remember the children’s names more than the parents’ names. I’m so excited to see them grow and their families grow.”
205 E. Maple Road
Birmingham, MI 48009