Stylish vintage race cars from Playforever of London.
The newest addition to Middleton’s growing downtown retail center is Tradition Market, an upscale but welcoming children’s boutique. It fits nicely in a modest 800-square-foot space in a quaint older building on Parmenter Street. Owner Jennifer Wuebben has managed to fit in merchandise from over 40 vendors.
Play is encouraged; Wuebben’s inventory includes a variety of wood toys from well-known brand Haba, adorable plush stuffed animals from Jellycat and even cuter recycled wool hand puppets from Canadian maker Cate & Levi.
There’s a small selection of books, including some unique board book classics like kid versions of Pride and Prejudice (complete with Mr. Darcy doll) and Romeo and Juliet. A playhouse tucked away in the corner beckons children of all sizes to explore while their parents are busy browsing.
But most of the space in Tradition Market is dedicated to clothing, specifically sized for 2- to 6-year-olds and intentionally gender neutral in style, as much as possible — Wuebben says having that flexibility is a common-sense practical matter for many multi-kid families. That said, clothes do run the gamut from durable twill pants with elastic waistbands to fancy, frilly dresses for special occasions. Most of the clothing comes from independent brands like Oobi (from Australia) and Hoonana (made in Los Angeles).
The shop also specializes in coordinating outfits for family photos, and Wuebben has already orchestrated several since the store’s opening in September.
“A shop has been in my mind for as long as I can remember,” says Wuebben. “I wanted to create that place where it was possible for people to have those special moments together with their kids.”
Wuebben is well-versed in the fashion industry, with stints in design at Burberry in London and Lands’ End, and as a fashion buyer for Kmart in San Francisco. Her best retail learning experience, though, came from being mentored by the owners of Karen & Co. on State Street.
Wuebben makes it a point to include signs detailing the back-stories of her favorite companies. “I want everything to be emotional in here. When you walk in, an item is either innovative, beautifully designed, tactile [or] all of the above,” Wuebben says. “I want there to be that whimsical experience when you come in. I want to create that environment that’s more than just a store.”
Tradition Market 1835 Parmenter St., Middleton, 608-841-2345, 10 am-5 pm Mon.-Sat., tradition.market