In an increasingly digital age dominated by gadgets and screens, a delightful little toy shop has captured the hearts and imaginations of children and adults in a very big way.
The Little STL is a pop-up toy shop in collaboration with LARK Skin Co. located on 8711 Big Bend at the corner of Elm in Webster Groves. Inspired by four friends, The Little STL offers a treasure trove of gifts, toys, and apparel that inspire creativity, foster exploration, and evoke a sense of wonder—all without the need for batteries or an on/off switch.
LARK Skin Co. owner Lisa Dolan explains two serendipitous conversations between the four friends that led to the creation of The Little STL. "I developed a new natural skincare line for babies and kids, called Little Lark," said Lisa. "I went to dinner with Hannah Hutkins and discussed opening a pop-up toy store adjacent to LARK."
That same night, Hannah's twin sister Mallory Galbreath was at dinner with Kaki St. Eve. Hannah and Kaki talked about opening a thoughtfully curated, locally owned toy store for parents and grandparents looking to surprise and delight their little ones with natural wooden toys and hand-stitched stuffed animals. After dinner, Mallory called her sister Hannah to say she was thinking about opening a toy store with a friend, to which Hannah said, "Same."
The four women gathered together later that evening and merged their big ideas into one tiny pop-up shop they named The Little STL. "We want to create magical moments and bring back imagination and play," said Katherine St. Eve. "Too many toys today have batteries, make noise, and don't encourage creativity."
Stepping into this whimsical wonderland is like entering a portal to a bygone era, where traditional play takes center stage. The shelves are lined with enchanting wooden toys, intricate puzzles, and sweet stuffies inviting young minds to spend hours playing open-ended.
"Ultimately, we wanted a place where you have the ease of traditional gift shopping with a uniquely curated experience that honors the kiddos and families you're shopping for," said Mallory Galbreath. "We want families and shoppers to leave knowing they have a toy that will last, foster creativity, and ultimately be something their child returns to time and again." Last-minute moms and grandparents rejoice! Everything in the store can be gift-wrapped and ready for curbside pickup in about two hours. Need a toy in a flash? The Little STL online store is LIVE. Shop online at thelittlestl.com and pick up in two hours, Wednesday - Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm.
Unlike their digital counterparts, these heirloom-quality toys will spark curiosity and ignite a thirst for knowledge. Social interaction flourishes and imagination takes flight as unique toys and timeless games transport children into make-believe worlds.
"Too often childhood is rushed. In a world of instant gratification, we wanted to slow down and create something that respects the littleness of kids and lets them explore right where they are in their journey," said Hannah Hutkins.
Best-selling toys range from Wack N Crack Geodes to sparkly capes to colorful wooden playsets designed by Jack Rabbit. Remember sea monkey kits from our childhood? The Little STL has "Grow a Sloth" and "Grow a Unicorn." Just add water.
In a world captivated by screens and virtual experiences, The Little STL offers a respite—a place where the simple joy of play reigns supreme, nurturing creativity, exploration, and wonder for all who enter this little store.
visit thelittlestl.com and larkskinco.com
"We want to create magical moments and bring back imagination and play," said Katherine St. Eve. "Too many toys today have batteries, make noise, and don't encourage creativity."