A local business that began as a section within clothing retailer Posh on Commerce circa 2017 is now housed in the owner’s own recently expanded brick-and-mortar site.
The Niche home goods store opened on Commerce Avenue in 2018 and expanded by 500 square feet in the fall to make room for baby clothes under the Kait & Stella boutique name and specialty homewares like handcrafted Bisou tea and earthy sage vetiver lotion blends. .
Owner Kaitlyn Senn said she got into retail about five years ago when she started buying baby clothes for sale at Posh on Commerce under the boutique name Kait & Stella – a nod to herself and her then infant niece. She opened her own store in Posh on Commerce’s former location at 1314 Commerce Ave. with the help of owner Michelle Philbrook as a mentor, she said.
“She was a great role model,” Senn said. “She helped me do all of this.”
Now, home goods and baby clothes are available in one store.
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“It’s nice to have a business under one roof,” Senn said, adding that customers still venture to Posh to find the Kait & Stella collection and are welcome to take to the streets.
Senn studied hospitality at Central Washington University, then worked in child care in Bellevue until she moved back to Longview.
In November, Senn said she added 500 square feet to her now total space of 1,400 square feet because business was up and she could now house more household items like houseplants. interior, tasseled Mud Pie pillows and floral cling film dispensers for hiding store-bought containers.
The Longview native said she chooses items that resonate with her and sticks to brands that work, whether it’s Milkbarn for organic children’s clothing or SlumberKins for stuffed animals and books for young learners in a Vancouver-based company.
Senn aims to find trendy items you won’t find on the shelves of major chain stores, like Itzy Ritzy leopard-print diaper bags and stroller organizers on shelves Friday.
Niche started out as a home goods store, but Senn said customers gravitate to the store for specialty gifts they can’t find at other local retailers. Senn said downtown events like Shop Small Saturday help draw foot traffic and she sees about 15 customers a week. She said she would likely increase hours in the fall in preparation for Niche’s busy holiday season.
Senn said she’s been happy to see businesses fill Commerce Avenue since it opened in 2018. A city report that year said that of the 158 licensed businesses on Commerce Avenue between Vandercook Way and Florida Street, near 54% of these businesses opened between 2013 and 2018.
Senn said customers support local businesses.
“If you have a good product, the community will support you,” she said.
Talking Business is a series featuring new or expanded local businesses and print every Tuesday.
Contact Daily News City Editor-in-Chief Hayley Day at 360-577-2541 or [email protected] for possible inclusion in the series.