ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J.– Sandy Zeccardi and Brandi Simpkins are fueling a fledgling children's toy, book and clothing store in Englewood Cliffs with 'girl power.'
Among its offerings, Happy Hello features handpicked classics "or ones with strong illustrations," Simpkins said. The collection also includes biographies on important females.
"As two female business owners, we're "girl-power" driven," Simpkins said.
Zeccardi runs the clothing department.
"Everything we get is from around the world: [including] Australia, Denmark [and] Sweden," the mother of two boys said. "It makes us unique."
Happy Hello carries clothing for newborns up to size 12. Most of the items are gender-neutral and several are monochrome.
"I noticed that all boys clothes here in America have trucks or baseballs on them," Zeccardi said."In Europe and Asia, everything is gender-neutral."
Happy Hello's merchandise is all organic and mainly owned and operated by other 'momtreprenuers,' as Zeccardi put it.
A Happy Hello ribbon cutting was scheduled this Wednesday (The shop had a soft opening March 1). Children and their parents can enjoy story and play time. An ice cream truck will dispense complementary treats from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
"We want to revitalize local business Main Street shopping," Simpkins said.
Zeccardi of Englewood Cliffs previously sold children's clothing online. She was also a regular at Simpkins' Cutie Patooties Play Space, which also had an attached boutique that sold gifts and toys.
After that business closed in 2012, Simpkins of Englewood became a full-time mom and art teacher for Scribble Art Workshops..
"I decided to take a break and took my classes to school," the mother of three boys said. "I'd been focused on running classes and camps, but it was time to open a new space."
Happy Hello is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The first Wednesday of every month, the owners hold a "Babies, Books and Bagels" event.