Retail Friends - Persnickety Kids

Tell us a little bit about you, your shop and your family.
Persnickety is made up of Ed (CFO), Johanna (CEO) and Carolyn (COS – Chief of Spending!) There’s also our product testing/quality control department, which includes Abigail (12), Danielle (9) and Sabrina (5). The store itself had started out as more of a baby/toddler boutique but has been slowly evolving into a unique and eclectic clothing store for infants, youth and teens. We’re nestled in the heart of Ganges on Salt Spring Island right on the waterfront.
Carolyn was the first to move to SSI and took over the daily operations of the store. She does most of the buying with lots of input from Johanna and Abigail. (Although the rest of the family does help out as well!) Once the rest of the family was settled Johanna started to work more in the store, as well as handling all the finances. Ed is our master carpenter and bill-payer! All of our storage units, shelving, counters and desk were designed and created by Ed and he also handles a lot of the behind the scenes jobs on a daily basis. Together we are a true team working to build a respectable family business that benefits our community
Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming an independent business owner?
We all come from very different backgrounds. Johanna has been an office manager for several years, Ed worked for Edmonton Transit as a heavy-duty mechanic and Carolyn was a school bus driver as well as owning a small gift basket business. Over the years, there have been many different trips out to the west coast for vacations and to scope out potential “retirement” locations! Living on the coast was just one of many dreams, as was owning a small family-operated store! (Although the store was supposed to be more of a corner grocery type with a small coffee shop attached!) The journey from living in Edmonton to living on SSI and owning a store was not always easy, but has been worth every step!

What makes your shop stand out from all the others?
We hear so many different comments from our customers about what makes us different than other “boutiques,” but I think the one that pops up the most is our use of space! We don’t have a lot… just under 600 square feet total… but of that only 490-500 is usable for our merchandise. With Johanna’s organizational skills, Carolyn’s creativity and Ed’s carpentry expertise every available square inch is in use. (Well, except the ceiling… but Ed’s working on that!) With such a vast selection it’s easy to find something for everyone! (Sometimes including Mom and Dad!)
What are some of your favorite children’s products?
Peekaboo Beans of course! Our older 2 girls are looking SO forward to the new Cici Bean line this fall and our youngest is our Bean tester. We also LOVE Geox shoes and the Cali Kids Hats. For baby items it would be our made in Canada Mally Bibs, and really the list just goes on and on!
How do you balance Motherhood, work and play?
It isn’t always easy to balance these important things, but having 3 adults in the house really helps a lot! Sometimes, work and play can be combined especially when new stock arrives. Sabrina LOVES to help put the price tags on (and often catches Carolyn’s sizing mistakes!) Abigail and Danielle are great at modeling for all our web store photos and actually end up earning all their new clothes! Sunday’s tend to be our “family time” where we’ll spend the day working on things around the house, or having a backyard fire and just enjoying the day! The more involved the girls get with the store the more the lines between all 3 areas blend together!
Are there any websites or other small business that you admire?
To own/operate a small business, especially retail, in these times takes an incredible amount of dedication and passion. It’s not easy to hear “oh, we can get this cheaper online or from ” and so many give up. We try to bring in as much local or Canadian products as we can, but it isn’t easy. Some of the businesses we have been dealing with are flourishing… and it’s so amazing to watch them as they grow. One of Carolyn’s favorite’s is Cosy Baby Happy Mommy. What started out as a hunt to find a decent baby carrier (that didn’t involve buckles and snaps) has turned into one of Canada’s leading manufacturers! Through CBHM Carolyn has also been able to expand her knowledge of the baby wearing industry including learning about proper positioning, safety standards and joining the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance. (A group dedicated to setting safety standards not only in carrier manufacturing but also in education for consumers.) We have also met a LOT of home-based boutiques where talented Moms create amazing designs and one of a kind clothing for all ages. Allison (from lil’Brockli Boutique out of Edmonton, Alberta) is one of Sabrina’s favorite designers!

What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Family. Simply put, our family has such a strong foundation… not just with our immediate group but all of our extended family and friends. No matter what the day brings, there is always someone there to offer support, love or a quick kick in the rear!
What activities do you like to do with your kids?
Living out on the island, there are SO many wonderful places to go! Parks, hiking trails… wandering down to the water’s edge to look for starfish! Even at home there’s lots to do from board games to playing “explorer” in the trees at our house. The girls love to play on their swing set and on rainy days are inside alternating between arts and crafts, dress up, Barbies and other play sets. We don’t watch TV, but every so often we love to have a “pj party movie night” complete with popcorn, blankets and cuddles. The girls have their after-school activities as well, but we try not to do too many as the free time to just be a kid is so important!

What does PLAY mean to you?
Play is simple. When you hear laughter, see smiles and can feel the happiness in the air, play is there. Play is enjoying what you’re doing. Working together or quiet time, finding your creativity or reading a book. The simple things that bring enjoyment are all part of Play.
If you could change one thing in your life what would it be?
We all spent so many years living our lives without really LIVING. We had our dreams, but they were safely tucked away for “later.” Moving to SSI was a HUGE step towards living out our dream instead of just keeping it tucked away. If there’s one thing we could change it would be to have jumped into life and start living our dreams MUCH sooner! We all had very respectable lives before… and we are still proud of what we accomplished. But there’s just so much magic in following your heart!
What are your goals for the future? Personal and business.
Business goals: To continue building our store into something we can pass down to the girls and to their children and so on. We want our store to be known as the “go to store” for our locals as well as our visitors.
Personal goals: To watch our children grow to be happy, well adjusted adults and to enjoy life on Salt Spring Island!

Shop at Persnickety Kids
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm
July 3rd-September 4th, open Sundays 11am to 5 pm
#2103 Grace Point Square
115 Fulford-Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2T9
Store: (250) 931-0091

10 reasons why we love being a mom!

I absolutely loved this article from Savvy Mom, which was originally posted in February.  Its one that brought a smile to my face and find myself often referring back to so I figured I would share it with all of you in case you didn't see it.  Hope it brings you as much joy as it did me to be reminded of how awesome Motherhood can be!
Watching Them Get 'It'
Whatever milestone they’re reaching for—their first step, tying laces, letting go of the fear of the deep end—bearing witness to someone you love achieving their goal for the first time is seriously special (and inspiring).

Taking Credit There are moments where we watch their actions and think: ‘Where did this child come from?’ Then there are moments where we’ll happily take every ounce of credit, thank you. Observing their acts of compassion, empathy, thoughtfulness and love are moments of pride we cherish (and hope we had something to do with).

Pretend PlayWe never know what they will wake up as—a wizard, a princess, a ninja, or a dragon—but we love that being their mom allows us full access to the incredibly awesome and adorable worlds brought to us by our child’s exploding imagination.

The School Pick-Up HugThese (unfortunately) have a time limit, but for as long as they last, that look of happiness/relief/excitement on our four year-olds’ faces as they run to us for a bear hug can’t be beat—by anything.

Backseat Giggles They’re best between siblings, but for an instant shot of pure happiness, nothing beats the sound of our kids’ unadulterated laughter coming from the cheap seats.

Deep SleepsIt’s not (just) because they are finally quiet, it’s how soft and vulnerable they look—being carried away after falling asleep in the car, boat, or chair—giving us a chance to marvel at how quickly they are growing, and how we want to be there every step of the way.

The Wide-Open Spaces We love how our kids remind us that the possibilities are endless; that life is unmapped territory ready to be explored. With their optimism and unspoiled outlook, they give us a daily injection of Carpe Diem we’ll never get anywhere else.

Family Movie NightsHave couch, will snuggle together. Therein lies the beauty of movie night. Add in the memory of their introduction to our favourite flicks like 101 Dalmatians, The Wizard of Oz, ET, Elf (trust us on that one) and magical movie nights are at the upper limits of perfect contentment.

Forming instant friendships is much easier when you’re a kid in the sandbox. As we get older, somehow it gets harder. But motherhood makes for a common denominator, generating some our most significant, supportive and enduring relationships, born out of afternoons spent sharing baby advice and bottles (we’ll leave that open to interpretation).

The BreaksWe love being moms, but after a day or weekend away, we love it just a little bit more. Few reunions will ever top, or feel as good, as those between a mom and the kids who really, really missed her (and the gifts we bought back).

Originally from

I remember when...

We had moved to Fort St. John the year I started Kindergarten – and my brother and I used to play at the side of the house, in a sandbox. We used to make different food dishes and we would name them obscure names. We would stir, sift, dig, layer, pound and pile sand for hours and in the winter we did the same thing, but with snow! I remember presenting my mom with a dish of “Consommé” made of dirt – hmmmm delish. Now I see my Three Year old and Eight Year tootle around the house and yard making up their own words and language, and I sooo get it!

Bean there done that.

"If I had my life to live over I would have talked less and listened more."

Erma Bombeck was a much loved newspaper columnist when my children were young.  Her columns were filled with funny ans witty comments about family life, mixed with wisdom and good common sense.  When Erma was diagnosed with a terminal illness, she wrote a list of all the things she would have done differently if she had her life to live over again.  From time to time, I am going to share some of the things on her list.

The first quote had a special meaning for me because I spent way too much time talking and telling instead of listening and hearing.  When Traci was three she said to me on day, "Mommy, why do I have to put on a coat when YOU are cold and I have to have a nap when YOU are tired?"  Such wisdom coming out of the mouth of a tiny girl.  I didn't get it then, but now I understand.  Now that I have grandchildren, I am trying to atone for my past mistakes by diligently honing my listening skills.

I have started doing a early "interview" with the girls.  Each year around he time of their birthdays I tell them, "It's time for our interview" and with clipboard in hand, we lie on the bed wrapped in a cozy blanket I ask the questions and write down the answer exactly as they tell me.  I do not embellish or lead.  I put a copy of the interviews in their birthday cards for their parents to read.  The questions I  choose are age appropriate and go something like this:
What do your mom and dad look like?
What is your favorite family thing to do and why?
What advice would you give a friend who is having a problem?
What is the best (or the worst) thing about being 6 (or 7 or 8)?
What do you think is the best age to get married?

Oh my, I have learned some wonderful things in the answers they give me.  I have learned that you have to know how to be "loving and responsible" to be a good parent and that Cailin's favorite fashion "look" is "a dress and tights and high heels and hoop earrings."  The girls seem to love this interview process and get right into it.  I will be starting this with Colbie on her next birthday and I expect to get some very interesting answers... this is the girl who told me "My mom is named Traci and my Dad is named Brad".  After a pause she added, "Have you met them?"

So, I have discovered that I am not to old to learn to listen.  No one ever learned anything by talking. 

Bean There, Done That.  It's all Good.

Our Vine to You - Kerry McLellan

Getting to know your local Peekaboo Beans Play Stylist.  An exciting feature giving a closer look at the lovely ladies who are sprouting off our Vine and providing you with the ingredients for a playful life.  
Today we meet Kerry of Red Deer, Alberta.  And here's a glimpse from her VINE:

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
My name is Kerry McLellan, I am 34 yrs old and live in Red Deer, AB. I was raised in a small town 20 minutes away called Innisfail, so I have pretty much been an Albertan all my life. I did live and complete my last two years of high school in Victoria, BC. I absolutely fell in love with the island and the vibe out there for those two years. I missed home and my family though and was happy to be back to put down roots in Red Deer. I met my husband Layne 17 yrs ago, we will have been married for 7yrs this coming August. We share two beautiful daughters, Pryce Keely Rose 5yrs, and Sloan Lily Jayne 2yrs. They are the most amazing gift and I am so blessed to be a mom.
Tell us a little bit about how you sprouted on the Peekaboo Beans Vine:
I was introduced to the stylist opportunity at my sister in laws home in Rocky Mountain House, AB. She was having a Peekaboo Beans Soiree in the spring of 2011 and I was intrigued at the chance of becoming a part of the vine. My upvine Carla Lechky filled me in on all Peekaboo Beans and the rest was history. I became a playstylist in the fall of 2012. I had loved these amazing clothes for years prior to the launch of the soiree and playstylist.
What does PLAY mean to you?
PLAY to me means having the freedom to do what you want for as long as you want to do it, getting your juices flowing be it creatively or physically, learning or teaching without structure or lesson.
Who is one person you look up to or are inspired by and why?
I look up to and am inspired by my mom, she is all that I can hope to be one day. She teaches me about compassion, strength, loyalty, giving, hospitality, nurturing, overcoming odds of certain situations, living for the moment.
What possession do you cherish the most?
A possession I cherish is my home, I guess because it is what has housed all of my greatest achievements, love, family, and many other life experiences.
What kind of child were you and how did you spend most of your free time?
As a child I was the only girl in my family so a bit of a daddy's girl, I loved entertaining, always dancing and acting putting on little productions for my family and friends, very social type, always talking and had many friends around all the time. Loved animals and had many growing up, loved treating them like my babies. Enjoyed cooking with my baba and auntie G.
Is there a special tradition you share with your children? 
I would say I have the usual common traditions with my girls, making daddy's birthday cake together, throwing holiday parties with their little friends and their moms. building on that as we go definitely!
What spot in your neighbourhood if your favorite place to go?
We love the park nearby there a 2 that are side by side, and a wonderful gourmet cupcake shop called Baby Cakes where we can sit and enjoy their fave vanilla cupcake with sprinkles called the "sweet tooth".
What kind of house do you live in? And what do you like best about living there?
We live in a cute 4 level split home, its in an older neighbourhood, but has character. I love my cherry blossom tree, and apple trees when they are in bloom. We are able to walk to school, and to our favorite places like the park. We are close to a major recreation center where the girls take dance and swim lessons, among other things.
Can you share with us your favorite recipe, websites or local shops?
I love to cook! I used to own a cafe and we made everything from scratch so I have learned so many recipes that way. I love this appy Buffalo Dip. 1c Ranch dressing, 1c Franks red hot sauce, 1 brick of cream cheese, 1/2 c shredded cheese. mix up ingredients, heat and serve with nachos or carrots and celery sticks. So good, its a guilty pleasure for sure. is a fun cooking website I like to checkout.
I like to frequent shops like The little Ice Cream Shoppe, Baby Cakes Cupcakery, Baby Pops, Solace Spa, Lush.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Perfect Day: my girls laughing and playing with our dog Winky, my husband relaxing, and maybe enjoying the outdoors by a river and some mountains, with a campfire and stars or the sun.
What legacy would you like to build through Peekaboo Beans?
The legacy I would like to leave... I would just like to have created great life experiences sharing this product with my friends and their beans, as well as people I will just have met and making it a fun and playful, and a memorable time. To see the excitement when beans first see the clothes, the joy of them shopping, picking and choosing what they want, and then delivering it right to them, and then getting to repeat the process all over again next season. Just to spread the message of Play and how very important it is to our beans and the beans to come.


Do you live in Kerry's area? Looking to host your own Peekaboo Beans Soiree? Here's how you can get in touch with her today:

Kerry's email

Introducing CiCi Bean

Please welcome the newest addition to our Family...

Since the launch of Peekaboo Beans in the spring of 2005 the company has grown and flourished dramatically.  Our brand continues to develop so that our vision and mission can reach children around the world.  As we continue to grow we think back to the inspiration that launched this lifestyle brand in the beginning.  Traci's beautiful daughter Cailin was three when she modeled her first Peekaboo Beans outfit.  Cailin, who is now a vibrant and adventurous eight year old is beginning to grow out of her beloved Beans.  Just as the company has grown, so has Cailin, and her development has inspired the newest addition to the Peekaboo Beans family... The CiCi Bean collection will launch in September of 2012 and is available for girls in sizes 8, 10, 12 and 14.  Inspired by Cailin's growth and development the brands name can be credited to Traci's second daughter Colbie, age 3.  When asked what her big sister's name is she will always reply... CiCi!!  So here's your first peek at Fall 2012 collection of CiCi Bean!

Inspired by love and adventure, the CiCi Bean Fall/Winter 2012 Collection mixes hints of vintage travel with the energy of new, exciting experiences. Coming in September 2012!
Every girl has a special spark of energy that lives inside of her. It’s an energy that is brought to life through her personality and her passions. When we give girls the oppurtunity to explore their creativity and experience adventure this energy is unleashed. Thier personalities become defined and they can spread their joy to everyone around them. It gives them the oppurtunity to “Leave Their Mark on the World.”

The CiCi Bean design team is always on the lookout for new fashion trends and design ideas. We design with current trends in mind but add uniqueness and flare that allows the pieces to be worn for many seasons.

All garments are made from the same soft, durable Jersey and French Terry fabrics that you’re used to from the PB collection. When clothing is too tight, thin, itchy or revealing we tend to blame our bodies for the poor fit. When in reality it is the garment that is at fault. That’s why all CiCi Beans are designed to be comfortable, soft and easy to wear.

Personal Style:
The CiCi Bean collection is designed with personal style in mind. Each piece stands out on its own and can easily mix and match with pieces that already exists in your tweeny beans wardrobe. So putting outfits together with CiCi Beans, other brands, and accessories is easy and fun!

Stay in the loop by Liking CiCi Bean on Facebook

A Mothers lasting impression...

    In honor of Mother's Day this weekend we need to take a moment and honor the most influential person in our life, our Moms.  Being a Mom is the hardest job in the world, but also the most rewarding so for all you Moms out there be reminded that you will forever leave a lasting impression with your children.  A Mother's smile, her smell, her soft hands, her hugs,  her kind words, her encouragement and her love is what we always remember the most. 

    So from our Playground to you, we honor our Mothers with what we remember the most about our Moms and touch on those special moments we cherish the most:

  • I was always baking with my Mom and to see her become a Grandmother and watch her bake with my own children is touching.  
  • It always made me so grateful to look up and see my Mom's smiling face in the crowd at all my activities... the ball games, the school functions, hockey games etc. 
  • My Mom always threw us such colorful, fun theme and intimate birthday parties. It always made me feel so special.
  • At night we would talk about anything; love, school, family, anything. 
  • She was always baking.  If we woke up on a Saturday morning and it was pouring rain we would rush out of bed because we knew my Mom would be baking bread, cinnamon buns and cookies.  Yum!  We would spend all afternoon baking cookies, giggling and of course eating!
  • She always gave good advice.  Now as an adult I realize how good her advice was!
  • Her unconditional love and her hospitality.  She was an amazing cook.
  •  She always let me sit on her lap and nuzzle up to her.  Her arms were very comforting. 
  • Cuddling up under a blanket and watch movies together. 
  • She always said to me "Its nice to be nice" and that's something that I will never forget.
  • My Mom was always so helpful, kind and was always happy and smiling.  She was a fantastic cook and loved to entertain.  And now I get to see her be this way with her grand kids, it's pretty amazing to watch.
  • Give me hugs and kisses and sit and talk with me privately.
  • She left me special messages in my desk or lunch bag sometimes. 

Happy Mothers Day!

The most exciting contest ever!

You really don't want to miss this exciting opportunity to get some Free Beans for your Beans

Peekaboo Beans is rolling out the red carpet and invites you to join in on all the fun!  Show us how you like to spend your Mommy Me Time by submitting a video up to 2 minutes long of yourself in action.  Be creative, be true to yourself and make it fun!  And we will help make this Mommy Me Time guilt free by ensuring it's all worth it for your little Beans!  How do you ask?  How about $1,000 worth of Peekaboo Beans!  The top ten videos will then be posted on our blog for your votes with the top chosen video winning $1,000 of Peekboo Beans clothing!  I know... we said this is the most exciting contest ever!!  Make sure you pass it along to all your friends so they don't miss out!  Here's all the juicy details:

Good luck and have fun!

Join the Block Party

We get asked from many customers what our favorite piece is from of the Peekaboo Beans collection, and of course its always hard to decide which one... but if we had to from our boys collection then we would have to pick the Block Party Polo (sizes 2-8).  Why do you ask? 

Dressy enough for Sunday brunch
Comfy enough for the playground
No buttons
Slight V Neck for easy on & off
Layer over long sleeve T for extra coolness
Dress up with a sweater for instant preppiness
Great for little boys
Cool for big boys - have you tried this with   skinny jeans and converse yet?
Available in 5 cool colors - Electric Blue, Sunshine Yellow, Shadow, Mauvelous Mauve and Go Grass.