Tutus, unicorns, princesses, bows, sparkles, rainbow colors—for little girls, these are a few of their favorite things and they can all be found at Samantha’s Children’s Boutique.
Since 2017, this Grossmont Center store has been operated by the mother-daughter duo of Maria and Claudia Sotelo. Mom Maria owns the business while Claudia handles the day-to-day shop management. Together, they have teamed up to create a fashion fantasy for girls with lovely apparel and accessories.
While there are plenty of pretty ready-to-wear ensembles for everyday activities, Samantha’s Children’s Boutique is beloved by its loyal clientele for the truly original custom-made outfits that are designed for special occasions. Customers rave about how Maria and Claudia can turn a dream vision for a little girl’s special day into a gorgeous reality. Maria is especially skilled at offering creative input to help clients and goes above and beyond to create the perfect dress for their little ones. She can also design hair accessories and doll outfits to match. In fact, many adults think the end result is so spectacular, they wish Maria would create adult clothing, too! They are the kind of garments that you simply can’t find unless you shop local at Grossmont Center.
For one little toddler’s Hawaiian-themed birthday party, the shop crafted a gorgeous green tutu dress adorned with fabric flowers native to the islands. For an older girl who loves superheroes, they created a dress with a black bodice and a Batman logo and cascading yards of shimmering tulle in black and bronze colors. Of course, Claudia and Maria are happy to whip up a dress according to any customer’s specifications when it comes to length, color, style, fabric and more. Custom hair accessories include fabric bows that match the dress or headbands bedecked with silk flowers that are also used on the dress hem or shoulder straps. You are guaranteed a one-of-a-kind look that no other little girl will have—and it will also be a cherished keepsake to hold onto in case one day she should have a daughter of her own to hand it down to. In that way, these aren’t just special occasion dresses—they are family heirlooms.
To create these amazing dresses, tutus and hair accessories, Maria and Claudia are eager to work with each customer and give them one-on-one attention as they collaborate on a custom piece together. The goal is to have each parent satisfied with the result—and each little girl in love with her special dress that is truly uniquely her own. Buying local at Samantha’s Children’s Boutique ensures that you get just what you want, with exceptional friendly service.
Maria and Claudia are perfect examples of “mom-and-pop” entrepreneurs – or in this case, “mom-and-daughter” entrepreneurs – who take pride in their craft and founded a business to share their talent with customers. They enjoy making hair bows and dresses, and creating an amazing custom designed outfit tailored specifically to each young girl. “Grossmont Center was by far the ideal spot to open the boutique,” they say, “because of the nice people, the great atmosphere and the family environment.”
In fact, Samantha’s Children’s Boutique plays a big role in establishing that family-friendly ambiance at Grossmont Center. Parents can take their kids shopping at the boutique, get a trim at Kids Hair Salon and then let them zoom around The Playground or go to a movie at Reading Cinemas. Afterwards, there are plenty of restaurants or eateries where families can spend quality time together over a meal. Add in the charming outdoor setting, and it’s the perfect place for a family outing.
When you shop local at Samantha’s Children’s Boutique—as well as the other independent retailers at Grossmont Center—you celebrate the hard-working business owners who are committed to the community. Having a store where you can purchase custom-made childrens’ clothing is unique to the center and the La Mesa community—it makes them very special. These businesses add to the flavor of the community and offer a variety of options for consumers that you can’t get in a place where the focus is on larger chain retailers to the exclusion of small shops. Plus, you are contributing to a healthy community economy when you buy local with your hard-earned money. You know your dollars are going to directly support business owners with ties to the community, and these retailers will in turn, continue to invest their time and money in La Mesa. It’s a win-win-win situation for customers, businesses and the community overall.
So when you need an eye-catching dress for your daughter’s piano recital or a holiday gathering or a family photoshoot, shop local and go directly to Samantha’s Children’s Boutique. The dress of your daughter’s dreams is waiting to be custom made just for her.
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