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Children’s boutique brings European products to Sanibel Island

By Staff | Dec 24, 2013

Clothing at the Ickle Pickle is imported from Europe and South America. Mckenzie Cassidy.

A new children’s boutique brings well-crafted, European-imported items to Sanibel Island.

The Ickle Pickle, on 2427 Periwinkle Way, which opened in the beginning of November, is a boutique for children three months to 10-years-old, featuring clothing, toys, and children’s books.

The name, Ickle Pickle, came from one of Shel Silverstein’s poems in the 1971 book, “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” Owner Joelle Ziemian said she wanted to offer things that couldn’t be bought anywhere else on the island.

“I made an effort to find things that can’t be bought elsewhere. It’s all about imaginative, creative play,” said Ziemian.

She opened the boutique after moving to the island in October from Washington, D.C., leaving behind a long career in public relations. Her work took her all over the world where she was inspired by children’s stores in Paris and Moscow.

The dressing room at the Ickle Pickle is designed to look like a train station. Mckenzie Cassidy.

She opened the business last year after adopting a daughter.

“I adopted a little girl from Russia and became aware of the passage and value of time,” she said, adding that she wanted to do something different with her life.

The store’s shelves are lined with traditional toys such as the Sevi wooden toys, finger puppets, and Maileg stuffed animals imported from France, Germany, Denmark, and Italy. Ziemian said she made an effort to choose toys that were safe, lead-free, and high quality.

All of the clothing for sale was made in the United States, South America, or Europe, and from companies with fair labor standards. The boutique carries clothing from Stun line, an American company, Luli and Me from Spain, and Little English from Peru and El Salvador.

In addition to carrying children’s books from major publishers, Ziemian said the store also orders books from smaller presses like Enchanted Lions and Dawn Publications, focusing on the natural world. She chose many award-winning books about characters exploring ideas and emotions.

Visiting the store is an experience in itself for children. Ickle Pickle’s dressing room is designed to look like a train station and children leave messages about places they want to visit.

For more information on the boutique, visit icklepickle.me or find Ickle Pickle on Facebook.