Siji Kids (370 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-699-5290) is a two-in-one chic boutique and photography studio for children. Upstairs, Macy Lee-Johnson runs the shop filled with sweet contemporary clothes for toddler and infant boys and girls. Downstairs, at Siji Studios, Lee-Johnson’s photographer husband, Kyle Johnson, snaps stellar children’s shots. (FYI: “Siji” is pronounced suh-jee, and means “four seasons” in Chinese.)
The couple—who have two young boys of their own—decided to open the boutique after failing to find stylish children’s clothing at affordable prices. The threads are cool and age-appropriate—think modern-classic with whimsical finishes. Find floral dresses and embroidered cardigans for girls by Mimi + Maggie, colorful separates by Nannette, graphic tees for the little boys by Wes & Willy, and simple separates from Esprit and American Apparel. Siji also carries lined hoodies and wrap tops by ecofriendly line Baby Soy. There is also Tea, a line of clothes that take inspiration from different cultures. Most everything in the store looks like adult counterparts found at upscale boutiques, but with a sticker price that won’t shock shoppers.
The Johnsons’ dedication to the stroller set goes beyond cute clothing and pretty pictures. The shop is airy, bright, and child-friendly, with a train table and toys that allow kids to blow off steam. Plus, the Johnsons’ take a local approach to business. All models are local children, and each month, Siji donates 10 percent of its profits to a local school.
Siji plans to expand lines up to size eight and will add more accessories, such as paperboy hats and Harry Potteresque blazers. Which means by fall, Siji can line any kid’s closet for back-to-preschool (or back-to-crib).