A local business that started as a section of clothing retailer Posh on Commerce around 2017 is now housed in the owner’s own physical site, which recently expanded.
Home goods store Niche opened on Commerce Avenue in 2018 and expanded 500 square feet in the fall to make room for baby clothes under the Kait & Stella boutique name and specialty home goods such as handmade Bisou tea and earthy blends of Sage Vetiver Lotion.
Owner Kaitlyn Sen said she got into retail about five years ago when she started looking for baby clothes to sell at Posh on Commerce under the boutique name Kait & Stella — a nod to herself and her then-young niece. She opened her own shop in Posh at the former Commerce location at 1314 Commerce Ave. with the help of owner Michelle Philbrook as a mentor, she said.
“She was a great role model,” Sen said. “She helped me do all of that.”
Now home goods and baby clothes are available in one store.
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“It’s nice to have one business under one roof,” Sen said, adding that customers still venture into Posh to find Kait & Stella’s collection and are directed down the street.
Sen studied hospitality at Central Washington University and then worked in childcare facilities in Bellevue until moving back to Longview.
In November, Senn said she added 500 square feet to her current total of 1,400 square feet of space because the business is booming, and can now store more home goods like houseplants, Mud Pie tassel pillows and floral plastic wrap dispensers. to hide store bought containers.
The Longview native said she chooses items that speak to her and stays loyal to brands that work, whether it’s Milkbarn for organic children’s clothing or SlumberKins for bundles of stuffed animals and books for early learners from a Vancouver company.
Senn aims to find trendy items you won’t find on the shelves of big box chains, like Itzy Ritzy leopard print diaper bags and stroller organizers on the Friday shelves.
Niche started as a home goods store, but Senn said customers gravitate to the store for specialty gifts they can’t find at other local retailers. Sen said downtown events like Shop Small Saturday help attract foot traffic, and she sees about 15 customers a week. She said she will likely increase hours in the fall in preparation for Niche’s busy holiday season.
Senn said he’s been happy to see businesses fill Commerce Avenue since it opened in 2018. That year, a city report said the 158 licensed businesses on Commerce Avenue between Vandercook Way and Florida Street, nearly 54 percent of those businesses opened between 2013 and 2018.
Senn said customers support local businesses.
“If you have a good product, the community will support you,” she said.
Talking Business is a series featuring local new or expanding businesses and print media every Tuesday.
Contact Daily News City Editor Haley Day at 360-577-2541 or [email protected] for possible inclusion in the series.