Bringing Pride & Joy to the Neighborhood

One Billings woman brings savvy style to the children’s marketplace

by jen molk

Heather Haws has her pride and joy to thank for ‘pride and joy,’ a new children’s boutique in Billings. That is, her sons, ages 9 and 5, served as the inspiration for the name.

“I was online looking and looking and couldn’t think of a name,” she says, “and then I thought, what do I call my kids? What are your children to you? They’re our pride and joy.”

Heather grew up in Billings and brings 15 years of retail experience to the marketplace. “I love fashion. I managed my first store at the age of 18, my mother’s a seamstress and my sister’s a designer. So it runs in the family.”

pride & joy children’s boutique opened in January in one of the most elite shopping centers in town, joining an all-female lineup of business owners at 1528 24th Street W in Billings, keeping company with Sanctuary Spa and Scandia Down.

But this children’s store is unlike any other in Billings, and for that matter, in much of Montana. Heather is revolutionizing the way well-made children’s clothes are brought to Billings. “I want to carry lines that nobody else has,” she says. The closest competition she believes she has is in Bozeman.

“I’ve always been a boutique shopper,” Heather explains. “I think in a way it’s more of a customer experience. You get to know your clients. I ask my customers – what do you want? What lines do you like? When you travel what do you buy? I’m trying to bring the stuff you buy in big cities here because I know a lot of families shop online or travel and shop. I know a lot of people buy their stuff elsewhere and that’s really unfortunate for the Billings economy.”

Her products are priced on the higher end of the spectrum, but the quality and construction of the fabric support the numbers, she says. “I have several European lines with a twist.”

Other lines are from New York and California, where she travels to see firsthand the clothing she will purchase. “I go to L.A. to the fashion district and that’s where I do all my buying. There are really expensive lines out there but I’m trying to find the middle ground.”

Heather’s lines include 7 for All Mankind, Trumpette and Joe’s Jeans, along with No Added Sugar (from London), Petunia Pickle Bottom and Little Giraffe. “I have nothing but confidence in the lines I carry,” she assures. “The quality and the fabric are great, and different.”

One thing she doesn’t want to mistaken for is carrying only clothing and accessories for babies. “I carry clothes for newborns all the way up to age 16,” she says. “I carry a lot of denim, because kids love denim.”

She also sells socks and shoes, unique hats, diaper bags and is making room on her shelves for more to come. “I’m getting in a lot of wall candy and decals, and going to be carrying cribs, bedding and artwork,” she says. “I try to bring in a good variety.”

She’s also proud to carry a line of eco-friendly furniture made out of cardboard for children. “It’s out of New York. They make playhouses, rocket ships and cars; fun stuff. The kids can color on them, design their own stuff and they’re not that expensive.” The most important thing to Heather is making sure her products are kid-friendly. SFM

Jennifer Molk is a freelance writer in Billings. She enjoys writing aout topics and issues that she herself seeks the answers to. She is a mother of two.