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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Growing business meets clothing needs of today's growing children

Sunday, September 7, 2003

Samantha Cooper, left, and Susan Cooper are the owners of Squiggles and Giggles.
SIKESTON - Youngsters are constantly growing and, in the case of Squiggles and Giggles, so is the clothing store designed to meet their ever-changing needs.

Two years ago owners Susan and Samantha Cooper opened their store at 2107 C East Malone Ave. with the intention of providing quality children's clothing on consignment.

Samantha Cooper described their inventory as "quality second-chance clothing."

Added Susan Cooper: "We stress quality. We only take the best."

Their consignment venture, featuring clothing for preemies through size 16 for boys and girls, proved successful, but many of their customers were also searching for other name brand children's clothing. The Coopers decided to step in to fill that niche in the local clothing market, expanding their store to create two distinct areas to serve their growing clientele's needs.

Customers enter Squiggles and Giggles on the "boutique" side of the business. Here shoppers find unique lines of clothing such as Zoodles, Chicken Noodle, HartStrings, Peaches 'n' Cream and Bailey Boys.

Ticking off the list, Samantha Cooper laughs, noting: "Children's clothing companies always have the silliest names."

The names may be silliest but the styles are serious - designed to provide children with fashionable yet fun alternatives in clothing. Many of the clothing items feature appliques, there is a line of camouflage infant wear, elaborate christening gowns, tuxedos for the younger set and pageant wear, too.

With their expansion, the owners began to offer custom-made overalls. There are even cheerleading uniforms to enable youngsters to add their support for the Sikeston Bulldogs, Kelly Hawks and other local high school teams.

The Coopers didn't stop there either.

They purchased an embroidery machine, enabling the women to provide custom embroidery and monograms on just about anything from backpacks to clothing to towels.

"We do all the work in-house so it can be completed fairly quickly," said Susan Cooper. "Typically we can complete something in a day or two, but as Christmas gets closer, it might take a bit longer."

Her partner pointed out they can embroider almost any design imaginable. Using the latest in technology - computer disks and the Internet they have created many one-of-kind looks. "This machine is just amazing," marveled Samantha Cooper.

The store has the accessories to complement an outfit, whether purchased in the boutique or from the consignment shop. There are bows of every color created by Wee Ones and jewelry including the popular rhinestone I.D. bracelets.

They have some baby gifts available and plan to expand these lines in the future, the owners said. Also they are planning to increase their holiday wear lines as the warm weather gives away to winter's cold and will offer seasonal photography sessions closer to the holidays.

Squiggles and Giggles, the owners explained, tries to provide alternatives to its customers through a wide selection of brands and in prices. The prices, they continued, are very competitive beginning with their tent just outside their door where all clothing is priced at $1 throughout September along with their consignment clothing. Even their boutique items are priced to please the careful shopper, said the Coopers.

While prices are important, the Coopers said they also stress providing a friendly atmosphere for shoppers. Children have an area where they can play while the adults shop and for the adults, a tanning bed is available on the premises.

"Most people really like our shop," said Samantha Cooper, "whether they are shopping one side or the other, they can always find good, quality clothing. And thanks to our customers' support we have been able to grow and expand."

Squiggles and Giggles is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.