Magic Abounds as Children’s Retailer Celebrates 50 years

All photos by Maggie Affolter.

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Locally owned children’s clothing boutique The Little House is celebrating a momentous milestone. And you’re invited to join the party!

Fifty years ago, The Little House opened its doors in, you guessed it—a little house just off the Plaza! Now, The Little House welcomes customers to a charming boutique in Fairway, Kan. that offers plenty of space for kiddos to play while parents or grandparents shop. 

Owner Dee Dillon says The Little House will celebrate its 50th birthday with a week-long celebration that’s chock-full of fun and treats for the whole family. The festivities include:

  • Magical Monday, Oct. 14—Story time at 10 a.m. Plus, stop by to sign a large birthday card and make a birthday card to send to a child at the Ronald McDonald House.
  • Sweet Tooth Tuesday, Oct. 15—Double punches on shoe purchases. Enjoy donuts and coffee from Prairie Village-based Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken.
  • Wondrous Wishes Wednesday, Oct. 16—Make and decorate birthday snack bags to send to children celebrating birthdays during their stays at the Ronald McDonald House.
  • Tremendously Thankful Thursday, Oct. 17—Fuel yourself for shopping with coffee from Front Range and birthday cookies.
  • “Fan”-tastic Friday, Oct. 18—The Little House says thank you with $5 monogramming with an in-store purchase.
  • 50 Magical Years: Growing Up Never Looked So Good, Oct. 19—Celebrate The Little House with an all-day party, featuring cotton candy, popcorn, face-painting, balloon animals, birthday cake and surprises! 

It’s fitting that the theme of The Little House’s celebrations is magic, because that’s exactly the feeling they want to evoke through the children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories they carry. 

“When you truly fall in love with a clothing line, it’s magical,” Dillon says. “We want our customers to feel that same sense of wonderment.”

Although The Little House carries clothing, shoes, and accessories from a variety of brands—including longtime staple Florence Eiseman, in business for 75 years, as well as Pink Chicken, Bella Bliss and J. Bailey—everything in the boutique shares a common purpose.

“We dress children like children,” Dillon says. “We offer classic, timeless clothing that they can run and play in. We want them to be kids.”

Like the boutique itself, The Little House’s clothing features clever, sometimes whimsical details that embody the delight in being a child. A striped cardigan features red, heart-shaped pockets, for example. A charcoal-hued sweater coat is subtly adorned with shimmering threads and floral embellishments. The Little House is also stocked right now with several adorable pieces from Patagonia, perfect for the cold days that will soon be here. 

Anything purchased at The Little House—including clothing, backpacks, blankets and more—can be monogrammed by the boutique’s on-staff professional, part of a full-service customer experience that’s designed to be as enjoyable as possible.

“Customer service is important to us,” says Dillon. “We want everyone to leave happy, even if they don’t buy anything.”

That customer-centric approach includes everything from helping to select a gift or purchase to assisting out-of-area customers with an order, whether by sending photos through a personal shopper or helping a customer locate an item they saw on The Little House’s Instagram feed (@littlehousekids). Gift-wrapping is available year-round, an especially popular perk during the always-hectic holiday season.

Plus, The Little House is simply a fun place to be. Moms especially will love the thoughtfully curated gift items sprinkled throughout the boutique, including a signature The Little House candle created by Pickwick & Co. that smells as warm and inviting as the boutique itself. The Little House also supports the surrounding community by stocking beloved local brands like Ampersand, Sharp Tooth Studio, Loyalty KC, Hazel & Ollie and Happy Habitat

A commitment to carrying quality-made clothing and accessories in an environment that encourages both kids and parents to enjoy, not dread, shopping—it’s no wonder that so many of The Little House’s customers make the boutique their first stop for momentous life events and daily errands alike.

“When I had my daughter, The Little House was my first stop,” says Maggie Affolter, a regular customer-turned-employee, now assistant manager. “The focus on making everything special is a big reason why The Little House’s relationships with generations of customers have stood the test of time.”

For Dillon, the chance to celebrate the 50th year-in-business milestone speaks to her favorite part of owning The Little House.

“Being able to keep The Little House open in Kansas City is so important,” she says. “I taught first grade and kindergarten before I had my children, and kids are the number one people in the world. I love to help dress them and see how they react. When they come out of the dressing room, they’re so excited. We all deserve to feel that way.”

If you have a photo you want to share with The Little House as part of the 50 Magical Years celebration, whether a favorite memory or outfit, email it to info@littlehousekids.com or tag @littlehousekids on Instagram. Here’s to the next 50!