Denver’s fashion scene isn’t known for kids’ clothes, but a trendy kids’ boutique has brought high-quality kids’ fashion brands to the Mile High City. Nestled in charming Washington Park is broom taila children’s boutique designed to combine commerce and community for Denver families.
“So many young families live in Denver, so I thought the city needed something like this,” the Broomtail owner said. Maris Johansson said. Johansson is a working mom and seasoned marketing professional who saw an opportunity in the children’s clothing market.
“I thought it would be really rewarding if I could create a well-organized family experience for other people,” Johansson said.
A native of Denver, Johansson returned to the city after an impressive career with companies including Google and Unilever. As she and her husband grew up with their family in Denver, she began to wonder why children’s clothing stores didn’t provide changing tables in the bathroom or toys for children to play with. Seeing the need for a shopping experience that children and adults alike could enjoy, she embarked on her first entrepreneurial venture.
Connecting clothes to the community
Connecting consumers to products has always been Johansson’s favorite part of the marketing process. Her passion for making that connection has blossomed even further with Broomtail, as she enhances the family shopping experience. The shop includes toys, books and a play area for children, while providing a supportive space for parents to interact.
“I wanted to create a physical space that could also feel like an extension of someone’s home,” Johansson said. “Somewhere the families would like to hang out and hang out.”
Another part of Broomtail’s mission is to bring brands of children’s clothing to Denver that you can’t find at Target or Zara. Broomtail currently offers sizes 0-8 in over 20 unique brands, many of which are family or women’s owned. By popular demand, Broomtail recently announced that it will be expanding its merchandise assortment, offering up to size 10 in the fall.
Before deciding to bring a new brand to Broomtail, Johansson tries on clothes on her kids to test their quality firsthand. She looks for children’s clothes with impeccable quality, a good fit and a soft fabric that washes well. If the brand meets its standards, it goes to the saleroom, which is replenished with new items at least once a week.
As the owner of a children’s clothing boutique, Johansson offers exclusive insight into children’s fashion trends. She learns what’s to come in children’s fashion at a trade show in New York called Break, which she attends twice a year. She gave Charger 303 the truth about what’s trending in children’s clothing in 2022.
Fashion meets function
A major factor in children’s clothing is that it is easy for children to wear. That’s why Broomtail’s merchandise primarily focuses on playwear rather than more formal styles. Often parents want to buy what their children will feel most comfortable in.
“You don’t want them wearing anything that will restrict their movement when playing. Clothes should not dictate what the child does,said Johansson.
Beyond the functional elements of children’s clothing, like snaps for changing diapers, brands are creating interesting designs that elevate everyday playwear. Overdo it – one of Johansson’s favorite Broomtail brands – is an example.
Play Up is a fair trade children’s fashion brand made in Portugal. They’re passionate about keeping kids comfortable in play, which is why they often use organic and recycled cotton, a sustainable version of one of the world’s softest fabrics. Their annual themed collections always reflect trends in children’s clothing.
Another trending brand in children’s fashion is Rylee + Raw, a San Diego-based beachwear brand. Their talent for designing coordinated looks with muted tones is a selling point for many families.
“They do a really good job of telling a story with each collection,” Johansson said. “People tell me all the time that they’re thrilled to be able to come see Rylee + Cru in Broomtail.”
High Quality Hand-Me-Downs
Another trend in the kidswear market is to embrace the classics now to reuse them later. Broomtail makes classic, quality pieces a top priority so items don’t go out of style and can be repurposed for another child.
“I want these objects to be passed down and used for a long time,” Johansson said.
The future of the children’s fashion industry could be shaped by second-hand websites. Facebook’s marketplace for used children’s clothes inspired Johansson to think about how she can help reuse clothes.
“A lot of the brands I wear have really strong buy-sell-trade communities on Facebook,” Johansson said. “You can resell what you no longer use to others who will wear it.”
In light of this, Johansson considered the potential for a Broomtail-related resale website in the future.
Neutrality on novelty
As you browse Broomtail, you’ll notice a strong presence of earth tones, muted hues, and neutrals. As seen with brands like Barcelona Beans and Goumi Childrenkids’ fashion trends have moved away from neons and bright colors in favor of a softer, more versatile palette.
There is also a steady demand for striped or gingham print items, which tend to be top sellers. These gender-neutral palettes and prints can easily be passed down between siblings, saving parents money while still being fashionable.
“I can’t resist a good classic scratch. I feel like it’s never going to go away, and people love it for boys and girls,” Johansson said.
The romper is another unisex style for toddlers, especially for babies. In children’s clothing, a romper is a classic, traditional silhouette that will stay cute for years to come.
As for Broomtail’s future, Johansson dreams of ways to grow the brand while staying true to its mission. To foster community between families, she plans to hold more events and pop-ups at the Broomtail store. Recently a Broomtial pop-up opened at a local swim school, Little Kickers. The Broomtail website also continues to grow, with the potential for a resale website in the future.
All the photographs of Joslyn Rose Griffin.