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Pretty in Petit

Jill Callan opens up about her experience with kid's fashion and owning her own boutique.

Jill Callan is experienced when it comes to kids. And not just because she has two of her own. Jill is the owner and sole operator of Petit Parker, a kids and babies boutique located on Mainstreet. Before opening Petit Parker's doors a year ago, Jill was a fashion designer for 20 years in New York City. After two years in men's fashion, Jill found her niche for designing children's clothes. The colors, patterns, and styles of kids’ fashion drew her in, as did the capacity to be more creative. "[Kid's fashion] makes people smile, so I smile," Jill says.

In 2008, Jill began to think about opening her own shop, ultimately owning two in New York before moving to Parker. Her first storefront in Colorado had a poor location for business so when a space opened on Mainstreet, Jill jumped at the chance. "I finally feel like I'm home," Jills says about her shop’s new location.

Petit Parker caters from newborns to age eight, offering clothes, accessories and toys. Jill uses her knowledge, connections and expertise from her time as a designer to offer the best products for her customers. Her aim is to only sell high-quality clothing: items that can play along with the child, become familiar with the washer, and still look good as new. Jill especially loves when items she sells can be passed down to younger siblings. 

Getting to know families is part of Jill's goal to build relationships with her customers. One of her favorite examples of this is when a mom comes into her store while pregnant and comes back with her newborn. Several loyal customers from her first storefront followed her to Petit Parker's Mainstreet location. And thanks to Mainstreet's foot traffic, Jill continues to welcome new customers into her store, with around 90 percent of shoppers making a purchase. She estimates that 50 percent of her customers are looking for a unique gift while the other 50 percent are parents shopping for their kids. 

As her business grows, Jill hopes to do more with the community. Petit Parker participates in an ongoing diaper drive, where people can bring in extra diapers to be donated to those in need. An idea she hopes to implement soon is a kids’ clothing drive. 

Without her passion for her job, Petit Parker wouldn't exist. Hearing kids laugh on her in-store carousel, seeing them smile in their new clothes, and just going to work every day keeps her going. "I love what I do and my kids support me," says Jill. Her kids not only support her but help her. Her daughter is the voice on her voicemail and even made some resin clips for Jill to sell, while her son has helped with customers and cleaning the shop.

As for other working moms, Jill wants them to be more forgiving of themselves. She suggests flipping things into a positive. Maybe the best thing to do is to do what you love, something Jill seems to have mastered.

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