Northshore Magazine

Northshore January February 2016

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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62 | JANUARY + FEBRUARY 2016 nshoremag.com GoodHearts Children's Shop 642 Main St. Reading 781-942-9700 goodheartsshop.com CO N TAC T for parents to maneuver with a stroller," says Martignetti. The renovation was a hit among Read- ing residents and longtime custom- ers. "People really noticed the little changes we made," she adds. Throughout the changes, Mar- tignetti and Collins maintained the Goodhearts tradition of high- quality special-occasion wear for children—something that's become increasingly hard to find in an era of big-box stores and online shopping. "It's a shame that not too many stores carry items like these anymore," says Collins. "Our cus- tomers come from all around the Boston area, because they struggle to find top-quality special-occasion clothing from stores that give them the same experience we do." Personal attention is key to the experience that Martignetti and Collins provide. They recommend that customers make appointments in advance, especially during First Holy Communion season in Janu- ary. "A lot of little girls come in with an entourage to find a First Holy Communion or flower girl dress. They may have their mothers, sisters, and aunts, and they make it a kind of 'girls' day,'" says Collins. "Each group will receive individu- alized attention to choose not just the dress but also the shoes, tights, headbands, and even jewelry. Cre- ating a [whole] outfit is an experi- ence you can't replicate online." Collins and Martignetti fre- quently help customers who have been disappointed by sub-par Internet-based retailers. "There's so much workmanship that goes into everything we choose for our store," Collins explains. "You can't see these details online, and the quality is often missing when the garment arrives." In person, customers can see the craftsman- ship of each garment from brands like Sarah Louise, Christie Helene, and Isabel Garretón—a personal favorite of Martignetti and Collins. These dresses often feature intri- cate beadwork, ruching, flowers, and an array of different colored interchangeable sashes. For boys, Goodhearts stocks a selection of two- and three-piece suits and ties that are ideal as ring bearer outfits, and a larger collection of white suits, gloves, and accessories during First Holy Communion season. In addition to special-occasion selections, the store carries every- day clothing, books, and toys for infants, toddlers, and girls sizes 4 to 6x. "Another thing we're known for is our selection of new baby gifts," explains Collins. "We carry high- quality infant clothing from brands like Kissy Kissy and Mayoral, layette items, silk memory boxes, personal- ized music boxes, and really special knit and crochet sets." Martignetti adds, "We're confident that we can fill a gift need for any new baby. Customers often call ahead and ask us to assemble a gift or a few dif- ferent choices, because they know we'll have something classic and timeless." Collins and Martignetti have also cultivated an in-demand collection of infant and toddler sportswear; a tiny red-and-blue Bos- ton Red Sox sweater is one of their most sought-after items. The business partners round out their collection with top-notch toddler brands like Biscotti, Isobella and Chloe, Giggle Moon, and Per- snickety. The pair frequently visit trade shows around the country to learn about up-and-coming brands, but their strongest relationships are with tried-and-true vendors. "The best vendors care as much about their products as we do," says Col- lins. "They'll often share the process of creating the clothing with us, and they allow us to fill special requests for our customers, who often need items in different sizes or colors than we have in the store. We've developed a really good group of vendors and brands that we trust." Family-oriented Reading has of- fered Martignetti and Collins the op- portunity to join community events like Shop the Block and Small Business Saturday. The duo has also paired with local businesses like An- dover's Taste Buds Kitchen to offer a cooking class for toddlers, and Mas- sachusetts–based Saltmarsh Pottery to offer customers an opportunity to create handprint keepsakes with their children. "Businesses in this area work as a cohesive unit," says Martignetti. "We look out for each other and share our knowledge to improve the shopping experience for customers." These pint-sized suits are ideal for special occasions.

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