Retail success stories are rare and refreshing these days — especially when they're about locally owned businesses like Collins + Conley.
The family-run children's boutique, which launched as an online store in 2019 and then got a short-term space at The Shops at Clearfork, is now throwing doors open to a permanent home within the upscale Fort Worth shopping center.
The new Collins + Conley storefront is officially opening Friday, June 24 at 5254 Monahans Ave. (between Climate and Tumi), which sister-in-law owners Ashley Watten and Sarah Leafgren say they couldn't be more excited about.
"We seriously are so humbled by the incredible response over the last year and we cannot wait for all the conversations, events, celebrations, play dates, storytimes, and more in this new shop!," they posted on Instagram when they announced the new space.
Ashley's brother Kyle Leafgren is married to Sarah; they met when Sarah was a bridesmaid at Ashley's wedding to Trey Watten.
The shop's namesakes are Ashley's daughter Collins and Sarah's daughter Conley, who were born just months apart, in November 2018 and February 2019. It was during these pregnancies that the best friends started dreaming up their business — and they weren't the only ones.
"We were both pregnant, and registering, and had a hard time finding local boutiques; all the places we used to shop were shutting down and places didn't have brands we liked," Ashley told CultureMap last year. "We always said one day we're gonna start a baby and children's boutique with all the brands we love and want and want for our kiddos. Unbeknownst to us, my parents had started to talk about it on their own, and one day we all realized we were talking about the same thing."
The Watten-Leafgren clan are a close-knit family, so they all pitched in to put plans in motion, she said. The couples, who both now have two children, even live next door to each other. Ashley and Kyle's parents are also involved.
"The entire family loves working together and C + C is a family dream come true!," they say.
As the only dedicated kids' boutique at The Shops at Clearfork, the C + C pop-up gained a fast following for its well-edited collection of baby and children’s clothes, accessories, and gifts. Shoppers can choose from a range of baby and children's clothes for girls and boys from newborn to size 9. Popular brands have included Rylee + Cru, Quincy Mae, Pink Chicken, Me & Henry, and Angel Dear.
While C + C may have a permanent location now, they will continue to operate their website and ship anywhere in the United States, the owners say.
A weekend of grand opening events will take place at the store, June 24-June 26. They include:
Friday, June 24
10 am: Ribbon cutting
1-3 pm: Vitamin boosters with Clinic Concierge
3-5 pm: Melt Ice Cream pop-up
Saturday, June 25
10 am: Storytime with Tabitha Paige
1-3 pm: Face-painting
Sunday, June 26
12-2 pm: Braid bar with House of Blonde
They'll also be partnering with other small businesses to offer giveaways and will be serving drinks and food throughout the weekend. RSVP to specific events here and follow C + C on Instagram and Facebook for updates.