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KustumKribs Marks 5 Years With Infants' Apparel

A Northwest Highway business handles both retail sales and social aspects of young motherhood, having expanded into a second storefront to handle both aspects.

KustumKribs Baby Boutique recently celebrated its fifth anniversary in Park Ridge.

The shop is run by the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Lisa Arreguin. The infant-and-child clothing and accessories outlet at 147 N. Northwest Hwy. opened in June 2007, then later spread its wings into an adjoining storefront.

The business has expanded into a social-meeting center for moms and grandparents with, of course, kids in tow. No pets yet, though.

KustumKribs is the logical extension of Lisa Arreguin’s old mural business, in which she also taught art in Evanston.

“The mural business started focusing on children’s room, play rooms and nurseries,” Arreguin said. “We still offer murals through the store, but we also added the retail aspect.”

The brands of clothes, shoes, strollers and other accessories aren’t necessarily the brands carried in big-box stores that would logically provide competition to KustumKribs.

Clothes sizes are newborn to size 8, approximately 7- to  8-year-olds.

“We offer a gift registry. There’s always someone registered with us who’s expecting. Their family and friends will always purchase they’ve asked for and are needing,” she said.

KustumKribs also offers E-commerce options, but still 90 percent are brick-and-mortar sales.

The recession did not have a big impact on the store. Customers simply did not continue buying more expensive European brands.

Arreguin ensured her customers could come for more than just purchases. She stages hour-long storytime events at 9 a.m. Tuesdays and a mom-meet-up session at 9 a.m. Thursdays. The events are held in the second storefront, where product displays are temporarily moved to the side to make room for the moms, kids and sometimes grandparents.

The events make good business sense along with a multi-educational aspect.

“We make up a community,” Arreguin said. “A lot of time if they think of a gift they’ll think of us first since they’re here so often. It was more about creating a community, educating our customers on different kinds of products, where things are made because we do support a lot of fair-trade products. “

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