You have to hand it to Little Hip Squeaks. They seriously make the coolest clothes and accessories for the youngest of the bunch. Here’s a taste:
Little Hip Squeaks creates baby hats, leggings, bibs, headbands, and the most amazing blankets. Their original designs are simple, colorful and hip. No glittery butterflies or dinosaur trains: think gender-neutral stripes, chevron… or elephants!
Their snuggly blankets are made of 100% organic cotton grown in the USA. They are available from baby ($44.80) to toddler/kid ($58.80/$68.80) to family size ($89.80) and can be customized with a name or initials – you even get pick the font and colors.
Little Hips Squeaks has quite an inspiring back story. The designs are original creations by Amy Richardson. When she was pregnant with her son, Amy started making her own baby hats, which were quite a hit in the Brooklyn playground arena. Her signature chevron blanket followed months later, and the business started taking off. It got to that difficult-bordering-on-insane point where Amy was juggling a day-job, a baby, and a growing business. “I was commuting 2 hours a day, and missing my son badly, plus working on LHS as soon as I got home until midnight each day – finally my husband was convinced I could make enough to pay my share of the rent. Miraculously, the first month I devoted 100% of my working-time to it, things just totally took off. I was having more sales, being picked up by more press. It was a huge leap for me, that worked out better than I could have imagined.”
What started as a project that revolved around her new baby has quickly become a successful business that employs 4 people. Amy still pinches her arm once in a while: “If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be not only quitting my well-paying day job to do LHS full time, but actually be making TWICE the income and be hiring employees, I would have just DIED. DIED!“. Well, it’s good we didn’t tell her then.
Not everything has been peaches though. Knock-offs are on the rise, and like other local businesses Little Hip Squeaks has unfortunately had to deal with it. “[My brand Coordinator] has been a huge help in keeping my blood pressure down when we find knock-off versions of our shop. It’s heartbreaking. It’s been on the rise, I’m constantly seeing friends and friends of friends tweeting or posting on Facebook about something that’s been stolen, twisted just a teensy bit and been reproduced as their own. In some cases, like with Stacie from Gingiber a few weeks ago, it’s not even twisted! It’s just a total copy! It’s outraging to me. When I started making the chevron blankets, I was the first one doing it. I spent a lot of time searching for them, and when I couldn’t find anything I made my own. Now there’s dozens of pages of them. I’m just waiting to see my mustache blanket show up in babyGap or H&M Kids. Success is such a double edged sword.”
After living in Park Slope for a few years, Amy and her crew moved to Bay Ridge in 2010, and they couldn’t be happier: “We’re only a block away from the water and the park, which is great for running/biking and raising a little one. […]We’ve noticed a lot more hip younger couples with kids making the trade from Park Slope, and the neighborhood is starting to respond to that. There’s a delicious upscale cupcake bakery/espresso bar [Little Cupcake Bakeshop] that’s packed with adorable young couples any day of the week, and an artisanal ice cream shop opening on third avenue that will be slinging Brooklyn’s own ‘Steve’s Ice Cream’, as well as a new CrossFit style gym. Bay Ridge is very old time Italian, which has it’s perks and fall backs – but it is clearly the front runner for the best pizza neighborhood. There’s also some really great old fashioned italian bakeries and cafe’s here, and they’re cheaper and less crowded than we’d find in another part of BK. I’m still trying to convince all our friends to ditch north Brooklyn and head this way for promise of fresh mozzarella and Century 21.”
Little Hip Squeak’s cool clothes and accessories for babies and kiddos are available at their online store.