58 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
What year was your store established? 2006
What motivated you to open a baby store? Storey launched a successful women's clothing boutique, Turtle, also in the South End, starting in 2003. A couple of years in she noticed many of her customers getting pregnant and starting families. At that time there were no children’s store in our neighborhood and very few in Boston at all. Dave was working as a journalist at a national newspaper and took a few weeks off to help build out the space. With a few days remaining before he was due back at his job, the reality of having to run two stores started to set in for Storey. How was she going to manage, buy for, and do bookkeeping for two very different businesses? At that point Dave, looking for a professional change, agreed to run Tadpole while Storey ran Turtle. He called his boss and told him he wouldn’t be coming back and has been running the day-to-day operations at Tadpole ever since.
What is the inspiration behind the name of your store? Since we already owned Turtle, we wanted a name that sounded related - like a cousin, but still conveyed the childlike atmosphere of a kids' store.
What best describes your store's personality? Modern yet warm and welcoming. We want everyone who comes in, regardless of their race, their lifestyle, or their station in life, to feel at home.
What is the best part of your job? The sense of contributing something of value to our commuinity (we live in the same neighborhood as our business), and also the challenge of trhiving as the little guy in a growing world of big, faceless, impersonal, commoditized world that retail has become.
What is the one thing you wish you knew prior to opening your store? Pretty much everything. Neither of us had worked in retail prior to 2003, Dave hadn’t worked in retail prior to 2006, neither had ever worked with children’s products (we didn’t have any at the time!), we hadn’t managed staff, built a website -- the et ceteras go on and on. It’s been an 8 year Masters course in business.
What is your favorite ZoLi product? Buzz B
What's your favorite song? Dave: Lego House by Ed Sheeran. Storey: Team by Lorde.
I think they've succeeded in creating a welcoming neighborhood store!! If you are ever in Boston, you definitely have to stop by and say hello to this amazing team.
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