Little Fashionistas

New children's shop brings New York City cool to hip downtown Austin spot

New children's shop brings New York City cool to hip downtown Austin

Alexa James Baby
Alexa James Baby offers a curated selection of clothing, toys, and more. Alexa James Baby/Facebook

Somewhere in the past decade or so, children's clothes became cooler than grown-up clothes. (Don't know when it happened, but here we are.) Now, a new boutique designed to pamper little ones (and spark outfit envy in the rest of us) is heading to West 12th Street.

Alexa James Baby is the brainchild of Karina Drake, a former Austinite who decamped for New York City after graduating from St. Edward's University. Following the birth to her daughter Alexa James, Drake decided to return to Austin — and bring a little bit of New York with her. 

“Living in the city had its challenges, but exploring New York through Alexa’s eyes was very inspiring," said Drake in a release. "Witnessing that encouraged me to create a retail space that mixed those two worlds."

And mix she did alongside Claire Zinnecker, the Austin-based interior designer behind such spots as Hank's and One Eleven East. Using a palette of neutral tones, Zinnecker implemented her signature modern yet cozy style to create a retail experience while also building sweet little nooks and play areas into the shop.

Housed in the dreamy space are some of the hippest lines in children's fashion including Rylee & Cru and Tocoto Vintage, toys from makers like Fiona Walker England, and harder-to-find lines from Europe. Sizes run from newborn to 6T, and range from sleepwear to accessories for both girls and boys. 

“My goal for Alexa James is to spark excitement in everyday moments,” said Drake. “I’ve always been passionate about thoughtful details and finding little treasures to share with my friends and family.” Among those little treasures are wooden toys, nursery decor, and books.

According to Drake, another one of the goals for Alexa James is to foster a community spirit and create a communal space for both parents and their kids. Inspired by the SoHo and Tribeca boutiques near her former home in Manhattan, Drake envisions hosting special events such as music and story hour, coffee meet-ups, and even a mom's night out happy hour.

The first of these communal events will be a celebration of the shop's grand opening on June 2 at 908 W. 12th St. C. From 10 am-2 pm, guests will enjoy snacks (very important for both children and adults), drinks, and more. Get their early to snag a gift bag for the first 20 customers, and enjoy 20 percent off one item of clothing or an accessory throughout the day.