Maura Sullivan's Children's Cottage at the Carriage House in Ridgefield was singled out in the Fairfield County Weekly's Best of Readers Poll 2013 and in the Shopping Category was voted Second-Best Consignment Shop.
Despite this recognition, the Children's Cottage, located at 23 Catoonah Street, is one of Ridgefield's secret treasures. "Secret" because in addition to children's clothing and notwithstanding the shop's name it carries women's designer clothing as well as an equestrian line for women and children. And "treasure" for the quality, variety and value of the merchandise as well as for the personal attention Ms. Sullivan provides customers.
With back-to-school shopping now on parent's minds, introducing shoppers to the Children's Cottage is especially timely. A browser in the girl's clothing section recently found Burberry jackets, sweaters from LL Bean, dresses (including a beauty by Sarah Louise of England), shoes and fanciful rubber boots. Browsing the boy's section uncovered sweaters (some also by LL Bean), hats, slacks, Sperry Topsiders and Stride Rite shoes. Ms. Sullivan is firm about her policy of accepting goods on consignment: "They have to be in excellent condition and not dated," she said. "As a result, people enjoy shopping here, and they get great values on like-new clothing."
Visit her web site at www.childrenscottageonline.com, and you'll find testimonials attesting to this. One customer wrote: "The Children's Cottage is a great-in-town resource. With fast-growing kids, we can find good quality clothing . . . at a great value." And another: "I was not only grateful for the price and quality of the clothing, but the service I received was outstanding. I drive almost 2 hours to shop there."
The Children's Cottage equestrian line includes riding boots, show coats and shirts, jodhpurs and breeches, along with accessories like chaps and riding vests. It carries such brands as Arita, The Tailored Sportsman, Grand Prix, Equistar and many more.
A visitor to the Children's Cottage recently observed some women's consignment items that had just been received. They included a dress by MIssoni, a Gucci bag and a Ralph Lauren top. Women's fashion labels seen at the Children's Cottage also include Burberry, J. Crew, Kate Spade, Diane Von Furstenberg, Louis Vuitton and Stuart Weitzman.
For Maura Sullivan, her business is not just about the impressive brands and merchandise she carries. "I have had the opportunity to help families in need during tough economic time," she said. "I am especially proud that through the Woman's Shelter in Danbury we are available to families in crisis who may need immediate clothing."