the best shopping site for kids… so far

5 Mar

This is not an ad, just an endorsement based on what I’ve seen so far.

Over the past six months, I must have joined every web-based sample sale website that exists so far. And as in the days of the (first) boom, new ones seem to be launching every day. (If you haven’t read the article in New York Magazine about Gilt Groupe, now would be a perfect time to do so.) In my experience, Haute Look is fantastic, Beyond the Rack and Rue La La are fair, and Swirl (by Daily Candy) is too new to have an opinion on. There’s also The Mini Social, the first shopping website I found that’s devoted specifically to kids.

But as is often the case in the world, a new company uses the lessons of the old to create a 2.0 version – not only improving on the theme, but renewing people’s interest overall. I think Zulily is on the right track. To view/become a member, click here – it includes my Refer a Friend code (thanks!)

Positioned as “daily deals for moms, babies and kids,” it’s another one of those “quick, time and inventory are running out!” shopping sites. But there’s a lot of real experience behind this one – the founders are from Blue Nile, financing came from a VC firm co-founded by Howard Schultz (of Starbucks fame), and the management team is chock-ful of Seattle retail (Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer) and e-commerce experts.

None of this would matter if they didn’t sell such great stuff.

Here’s a taste of what was on sale this afternoon. Of course, everything is time sensitive and none of this will be available after March 10th.

1. Fierce Hugs clothes

Retro Guitar ringer tee, $16.99 (originally $24)

A guitar t-shirt for girls. Rock on. Plus, Fierce Hugs makes great clothes — they’re from 100% organic cotton, fair-trade built, and designed by ‘independent artists’ (whatever that means).

2. ImagiPlay toys

Easter Puzzle Special, $19.99 (originally $26.99)

ImagiPlay makes eco-friendly puzzles and play sets out of (plantation-grown) rubberwood and basswood (from managed forests). They’re also really cute. The best part of this “Color-Me-Up Hen & Chick Set” is the unpainted puzzle — it comes with watercolors for *custom* painting.

3. Cutie PaTutus

Zoe T-shirt/tutu, $39.99 (originally $66)

If you’re going to buy a tutu outside of the world of ballet, this is definitely the way to go. My favorite is the pink-and-black one with a matching black t-shirt.

According to the Seattle Times, “as Zulily co-founders Mark Vadon and Darrell Cavens prepared to announce their venture, two private-sale sites based in New York, bTrendie and Totsy, got under way with a similar focus on parents of young children.” For now, at least, they have a hit on their hands.

And thanks, Rachael, for the tip!


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