By Annie Ogdon
Four months ago Jim and Laura Lepointe began Mockingbird in the beginning stages of the national economic crisis. Today the one-of-a-kind baby boutique's shelves are full, the clothes are hanging, and the shop is alive.
The Lepointes give credit to their 16-month-old son Finn for the Garland District store's creation. They wanted to create a better world for their child. He became a perfect reason to present earth-friendly products made by designers from Spokane, Portland, and Seattle. Their store is filled with soft organic goods and gear made from recycled materials.
"We want to help people find clothes in proximity for a good price and unique look," Jim Lepointe said.
The Garland District was an ideal place to start their business. Laura Lepointe just had sold her part of a downtown store and so the couple had cash in hand despite financial trouble elsewhere. Living just down the street, Jim and Laura Lepointe can simply walk to work. If the shop's charm is not enough, the district offers some of Spokane's greatest highlights and an incredible view of the downtown landscape.
As you walk in the store, little boy and girls clothes fill one side wall. Each line of clothing is carefully selected to fit the style and feel of Mockingbird. Clothing selections vary from pajamas and onesies to dresses, jackets, cargo pants, and graphic tees each embracing simple styles of playful prints and solids. Brands include Tea, NewJammies, Charlie Rocket, and Glug, all organically made clothing lines. Tea donates 50 percent of each purchase of its Little Citizen Collection to The Global Fund for Children.
Onesies sport word play, changing iPod to say iPoo. Other products include handcrafted, easy to use high chairs made from recyclable materials. Bibs&Match produce 100 percent cotton bibs that attach to onesies and create safety and comfort. Baby blankets are made from soft organic materials.
Purse trees and metal shelves overflow with eco-friendly floral printed diaper bags for any mother's need and size. Recyclable metal canned water bottles and Little Soles urban-class footwear fill wooden shelves. Around the floor lay recreational equipment galore. Wheely Bugs' indoor scooter bumblebees, mice, and ladybugs not only keep children entertained, but assist in helping young ones learn their basic motor skills and balance. Finn learned how to walk at 14 months with the help of his own Wheely Bug. Wooden stationary bikes are an infant favorite.
A point shop for mothers and babies, Mockingbird has touched the hearts of those just passing by. Susan L. Davis was charmed by the store's quaintness and adorable products. Her shop Destiny Floral & Pretty Things is just next door.
"If my kids were still little I would buy every pair of shoe in there," Davis said.
Mockingbird adds diversity to the others stores and restaurants located on Garland as a baby boutique. Together each store forms a growing identity for the Garland community.
The Lepointes saw this venture as an ideal opportunity because they understood the idea that businesses need other businesses to take risks so that the local economy can continue to rise positively.
Ambition and hard work motivate Laura and Jim Lepointe. Together they trade off days getting Mockingbird on its way to success and look forward to when they can hire more employees to be a part of the process. They are eager to see what else the district has in store as old businesses are moving location and new businesses are looking for space.