Bye-bye, Bootyland. Hello, bootylandkids.com
A beloved Wallingford children’s store goes the online and pop-up route.
Team Bootyland closes up their brick-and-mortar shop and embarks on a new adventure.
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
Bootyland has closed.The news sent shock waves throughout the baby-oriented public who have come to rely on the store for sustainable baby goods including some of the finest cat art and community.
After 22 years in business, owner Ellie Cassidy decided she needed to focus on her online Bootyland shop. “I felt the the need for a change,” says Cassidy. “It was a little spur of the moment, but we had to jump in with both feet.”
Cassidy has a history of making bold changes. She moved from Virginia City, Nevada, population 855, to Seattle after a brief visit with friends. As a 23-year-old new mom, she bought Bootyland in 2000, had three more kids and built a loyal following.
“The best part of my job is creating a bridge between the families and the makers,” says Cassidy. She’she hosted Radical Mamas and Papas, an in-store playgroup for families that didn’t quite fit the mold. “Whether they were part of the home-birthing community or had tattoos or had two moms, we wanted a place where they could come and feel comfortable being themselves,” says Cassidy.
Organic cloth diapers, BPA-free toys, and locally-made clothing are just a few of the sustainable items Bootyland is known for. The new online platform will feature a concierge service, neighborhood drop-offs, and themed pop-ups at partner locations. Cassidy plans to expand her own house product lines: Nesh, a line of cotton layette, and Deaming, a sustainable clothing line for women and children.
“It's bittersweet. I'll miss the brick and mortar store in Wallingford. The location was on my way home from work,” says customer Zulma Garcia. “On the other hand, I have the pop-ups to look forward to. It's a nice excuse to get myself to a new neighborhood.”
Cassidy is optimistic about her new venture and intends to stay engaged with Bootyland loyalists. Although she has the support of her long-time customers, for some, it just won’t be the same.
“It's been one of those rare places that help make a community feel like home,” says Seattle transplant Kristin Owens Tobler. “Bootyland was such an extraordinary place and we will really miss it.