Friday, July 30, 2010

A thousand sighs...

... and tears and hugs and smiles. Today Chloe, Ella and I made a trip to our favorite store, Peek... Aren't You Curious in Roseville. But today wasn't a happy day as we were going to Peek to say farewell. I received a card in the mail earlier this week from Rachelle and Michelle saying that Peek would be closing it's doors on July 3oth - to say my heart was broken would be an understatement. And no Gary, I'm not being dramatic.
I first stumbled upon Peek last year during an outing with the girls. Ella was only a few months old and I took the girls to the Galleria to stroll around. I was just about to leave when I noticed that both girls were asleep in the stroller. Not wanting to wake either by putting them in the car, I decided to wander around for a while. I noticed a cute little store whose facade was made of brick and was painted the most adorable shade of baby blue. I navigated my giant, double wide stroller through the store and instantly fell in love. There was no specific "thing" that caught my attention, just the overall vibe of the place... happy, fun, nostalgic. The kind of place you imagine your grandparents shopped for their kids. And a place where a kid could be a kid - riding a bike, or playing with toys that were stashed in clear jars, or my kids' favorite, crawling on the shelves where they imagined themselves inside a fort made of clothes.
Yes, the clothes are adorable with some of my favorites being made of Liberty of London fabric (this was long before Target picked up on these gorgeous textiles). Over the past year, we have amassed quite the Peek wardrobe, and I can pretty much guarantee that my girls wear at least one article of Peek clothing a day. Because the clothes are cute, they are functional and they are made to last.
But the main reason that I kept coming back to Peek in Roseville is because of the store manager Rachelle and her trusty right hand Michelle. These two women are simply amazing! They always made it a point to say hi (they actually remembered my name) whenever I made a visit and would ask how the girls were doing. I rarely brought the girls in to the store, usually because I was at work that day or had escaped for some brief "mommy alone time". But when I did bring the girls, Rachelle and Michelle always went out of their way to play with Chloe and Ella. Have you ever been to a store where one of the sales people sits on the floor to read your child a book? Or helped your child ride a bike (yes, inside the store)? Or tell you 100 times in one visit that it was okay that your child was pulling an entire stack of t-shirts off the table? Rachelle and Michelle have. That is because they understand two things. First, they understand that children, no matter how unruly or obnoxious, are the center of their parents' universe. And for the time that you are inside their store, your children are the center of their universe. Second, they understand the value of customer service. Everyone appreciates a kind word, especially when it is sincere. And Rachelle and Michelle are always full of kind words, no matter how crazy your child is behaving in their store. They often sent me a card in the mail after I had shopped in the store, just to say thanks. That little card always put a smile on my face. I mean, who doesn't like to receive a cute little hand written card in the mail? Again, the customer service... AMAZING!
The girls and I stopped by the store today to say good bye to Michelle and Rachelle. I thought the store was open but was horribly disappointed to find boxes packed and the store pretty much empty. I had a lump in my throat the entire time. But gracious as they are, Rachelle and Michelle smiled and thanked us for being their customers. They also obliged my request to take some photos, just so Chloe, Ella and I can always remember our friends.

Michelle with Chloe, Rachelle with Ella in front of our favorite store.

Just look at the smiles on Michelle and Rachelle's faces. Those are genuine and I love it. Because they think my kids are really cool. Even when they don't sit still (well, just Ella).

Rachelle and Michelle, thank you for everything. For being wonderful and sweet and patient and kind. We are going to miss the heck out of you!!! Best of luck post-Peek! I'm sure that whatever you do, you will be fabulous. We will think of you every time we put on Peek clothes. And yes, we will still shop for Peek at their at online store, but it just won't be the same without you.
Love, Nicole, Chloe and Ella

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