After having her first child in 2010, Gabby Lampe decided she didn’t want to go back to work. “When I was home with him, I wrote a business plan,” Lampe says of her time off with her first-born son, Graham. “I also made baby stuff, like burp clothes, Boppy pillow slipcovers, headbands and things like that, and I sold them on Etsy.” Lampe ended up returning to her career in the marketing field, but after two years back at a desk, she decided to dig out that business plan and pursue a new path. “I found myself wanting to open a children’s boutique when I found out I was having a boy—I couldn’t find any cute items for boys,” Lampe says. She had her second son, Griffith, in 2013. With her husband, Michael, supporting her the whole time, she decided to just go for it. “I opened Dandylions in August 2014,” she says.
Tucked away in a shopping center near Jimm’s Steakhouse and Pub on Glenstone Avenue, Dandylions sells a variety of children’s clothing, accessories and toys for ages 0 to 6. There are also mommy-friendly items up for grabs, including fun pieces like teething jewelry and infinity nursing scarves. As for the merchandise, it’s playful and on-trend. “The first things I bought were all items for girls,” Lampe says with a laugh. “Everyone always jokes that I need to have a little girl.” But with two little boys of her own to dress and a desire to bring more little boys’ clothing to Springfield, Lampe also bought plenty of teensy tiny boy clothes to fill the space. And if she wanted something she couldn’t find, she made it herself. “I make slouchy hats, bowties, ties and suspenders for boys,” Lampe says. She also makes plenty of the little girls’ clothing, including headbands, bows and moccasins. As for the rest of the inventory, it’s made up of a combination of both local vendors and big-name national brands. “I do carry stuff from six local designers in addition to the things I make,” Lampe says. These items are even noted with “local” signs that hang throughout the space. “But then I have a lot of other designers available,” Lampe says. Popular labels include Sweet Petunia clothing, Little Uptown Girls, Aden + Anais and more.
Perhaps the best part about Dandylions: If there is something you want but can’t find in the store, all you have to do is ask for it. If Lampe can’t craft the item herself, she works to find someone who can make it for you, or someone who already sells it. “I really just want people to feel welcome and feel like I can get them what they want here,” she says.
Q&A with Dandylions owner Gabby Lampe
417 Magazine: What are three words that describe your merchandise?
Gabby Lampe: Imaginative, trendy and creative.
417: Do you offer baby registry?
G.L.: Yes. We actually have photo registry, which is done on an iPad. The customers take pictures of what they want, and once someone buys the item, we turn the photo black and white.
417: Do people shop here with their kids in tow?
G.L.: Yes. Actually, we love it when they bring in their kids. My youngest son, Griffith, comes to work with me three days a week. He does a good job at keeping the kids entertained.
417: When looking for merchandise, what do you search for?
G.L.: Items people can’t find anywhere else.
417: How would you describe the style of your merchandise?
G.L.: More trendy, and maybe a little bit more hipster. I do a lot of searching and shopping on Instagram.