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Back to school shopping at your local children’s store

September 14, 2009

For many, school shopping has come and gone.  The bombardment of ads from big chain stores have once again lured the crowds through their doors and to their cashwraps.  The discounted prices and clearance items are difficult to resist this season, with prices at 75% off.

I’m a huge bargain shopper myself, but I believe that being frugal pertains to quality as much as quantity. If you invest in clothes that can endure a few seasons and multiple kids, that’s a savings that goes way beyond the ticket price.

Your dollar also goes further when shopping locally.  One of my favorite local kids clothing stores is Polligwog, located in Portland’s Sunnyside neighborhood.   They carry some of my favorite kids lines, including Imps and Elfs, Kate Quinn Organics, and Portland-based Peri Ponchos.  Their prices are very reasonable, considering many of their products are gentle on the environment and made domestically or fair trade.


Owners Phoebe Smith Buls and Chris Raak opened Polliwog four years ago.  They carry clothes, footwear, and accessories for both boys and girls, ranging in age from newborn to 10 years of age. There’s also a nice selection of wooden toys and books at the front of the store, which they plan on expanding in the upcoming months.

In my last visit to the shop, I discovered some new found favorites, like fair-trade Satch & Sol felted wool kid shoes from Mongolia ($36).  The designs are so sweet, and they look so comfortable!

If you’re looking for a great kid birthday gift, there is the Color Me House cardboard playhouse- guaranteed to provide countless hours of roleplaying fun and artistic innovations.  I love the fact that parents can setup and break down the playhouse pretty easily, and that the playhouses are made here in Portland.

Another favorite find are handmade children’s aprons made by 102 year-old Edith Pate! Some of the aprons are made from vintage fabrics that Pate bought over 50 years ago! Raak said that they started carrying the aprons after Edith Pate drove to their store three years ago (at the youthful age of 99) and showed them her handmade collection.

You can now pick up one of these great items and other goodies at  Polliwog for an additional 10% off through the month of September. Just mention the Olio blog post for your discount.

Polligwog's great selection of wooden toys

Polligwog's great selection of wooden toys

Color Me House playhouse ($40) and Edith Pate's children's aprons ($20)

Color Me House playhouse ($40) and Edith Pate's children's aprons ($20)

Book reviews by Hazel, Phoebe and Chris' daughter

Book reviews by Hazel, Phoebe and Chris' daughter

Polliwog is located at 2900 SE Belmont.  Their store hours are Mon – Sat. 10 – 6 and Sun 11- 5.  For questions on any of the products mentioned above, call 503.236.3903.

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