Back 40 Mercantile, located at 264 South Beach Ave in Old Greenwich, hits home on so many levels. And you can tell the moment you step inside! Based on the idea of an old general store, Back 40 Mercantile has a distinct modern look and a dedication to local artisans and sustainable goods. The entire space is meant to create a shopping experience for all five senses…
As some of you may already know, I love working with local small businesses. Recently, I had the opportunity to create lifestyle product imagery for METTA 10, a soon-to-be-launched collection of ethical and sustainable fashion and home decor. Not only are their products absolutely gorgeous and really high-quality, but the company was also founded by two local Westport women…
There are several great clothing stores and children’s boutiques in Fairfield County, but Ella & Henry is really, truly, special. You can see the difference just by looking through the huge front windows. The gigantic stuffed giraffe that has graced the pages of so many children’s catalogs hints at the fact that this is the first and only retail location in the US that carries the children’s clothing line by Steiff (the maker of the popular toy line). In fact, every single item in the store is hand-picked and imported by the owner, Christine.
Since opening in October, she’s been adding European clothing lines to her store. Aside from Steiff, which you can identify by the adorable little bear emblem, she has Bellybutton (earthy, fashion forward, mostly organic cotton), and has recently added Papermoon (Italian fashion wear) for the 6-12 age range. But the thing you’ll notice most of all is how beautifully coordinated everything is. The color palette is grounded, based in neutrals, and incredibly pleasing. The clothes are made for children to play in. They are comfortable and stylish, but there’s also an incredible focus on quality. They are designed and made in Europe. The fabrics are so soft and the quality is simply astounding.
I also love the fact that Christine is an entrepreneur. She noticed that people were always complimenting her on the way she dressed her son. They kept asking “Where do you buy his clothes?”, to which she replied “Germany!”, because you simply couldn’t get them in the US. So she decided to take things into her own hands and spent a year making Ella & Henry happen.
Finding the perfect location was the hardest part.
Ella & Henry is located on the main shopping street in New Canaan (137 Elm St. to be exact). Christine loves the small-town feel and the fact that people walk to all the lovely restaurants and shops on the street. It has a very European feel about it and people have been so welcoming, too. "It’s such a nice atmosphere to open a store”, she says. She is also the one helping her customers put together an outfit or pick out the perfect accessory. Christine knows every single piece in her store and can quickly bring out the best options and explain the differences. She helped me find the perfect little sweater for my son Elliot, which not only looks great, but he LOVES to wear.
Ella & Henry is named after Christine’s son, Henry, and her niece, Ella (who is in Germany). She really wanted a name that represents the fact that the store caters to both girls and boys. And one of the best things about her having a son is that she imports the best boy clothing! Stylish boy clothes are notoriously hard to find and she makes it so simple and fun to shop for a boy! (I was always jealous of all the cute things girls get to have)
Really, I am just so thrilled to have such an amazing children’s clothing store so close by and completely full of the most adorable, fashion-forward, and play-friendly clothes for babies and kids. I am so excited to have this for my clients there when they’re looking for the perfect photo-ready outfit for their children… because you simply can’t go wrong with anything Ella & Henry carries.
Be sure to stop by to see the store (and say "Hello" to Christine!):
Ella & Henry
137 Elm St.
Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, and Sun 12pm-5pm.