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Local mother goes back to retail roots with her own kids clothing boutique (5 photos)

Baby's and Kids Boutique has been around since 2012, selling children's formal wear to local and online clients

In 2010, Donea Bento and her family decided to make the move from Maple and head north to Bradford. 

Back in 1999, Bento used to own her own children’s formal wear store in Toronto, called ‘Mommy’s Choice’ where she sold beautiful, lavish dresses and suits for children. 

Unfortunately, due to personal reasons she had to close the store, but still maintained working in the retail industry. She worked at The Brick for nine years, where she met her husband, Tony. 

After a few years settling into their new life in Bradford, after much consideration, Bento decided she wanted to get back into the children’s fashion business and open another children’s formal wear store out of her own home. 

“I’ve always loved having kids clothing, dressing up kids, seeing them in dresses and little suits, this was my passion all along,” she explained. 

And so, in 2012, Baby’s and Kids Boutique was born. With help from her cousin and other family members, she was able to create her own ownline store, filled with photos of all her products. 

In her basement, she has racks upon racks of suits, dresses and fashion accessories designed for babies and young fashionistas.

Bento has been selling high end formal attire and accessories for babies and children up to 12 years old for the past eight years, to both local and online clients.

Most recently, she started creating customized diaper baskets filled with baby attire and accessories for local clientele only.

Her busiest times of the year she says is January and February, just before wedding and communion season. And her most popular selling items? Baptism wear. 

“Baptism is a big business,” she explained.

The boutique carries a wide range of clothing items from sequins and lace dresses to sweet and dapper suits, to smart bow ties and sparkly tiaras.

She noted that she "can't compete with big box stores" when it comes to everyday casual children's wear, and has stuck to the niche market of formal attire. 

Most of her clientele come from word of mouth advertising, but is hoping to grow her business this year through online marketing.

“Slowly but surely, I’ll get there," she said of her goals for expanding her client reach. 

She loves helping clients find the perfect outfit for all special ocasions, whether it be a communion, wedding, or baptism. 

Bento pays close attention to the details of each product before bringing it into her shop. She orders most of her products from the U.S and  carries designer brands like Kids Dream and Petite Adele. 

“I like the US ones (designers) because their quality is really good,” she said.

Bento loves children, which is part of the reason she started the business in the first place. She has donated clothing to events in the past, like the All Abilities Kids Fashion Show at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabiltation Hospital.

She has also donated t-shirts to their "Living Life to the Max"program, which has positive messages like "Kindness Soldier" and "Label Me Awesome" on them for children with disabilities. And once a month makes a monetary donation to Sick Kids Hospital. 

When Bento is not busy updating her website, sorting through inventory or shipping out orders, Bento enjoys cooking and spending quality time with her husband and two daughters.

To learn more about Baby’s and Kids Boutique, check out their website here or follow them on instagram @bkboutique1

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Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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