Lasting Legacy: Locally-Owned Boutique Dresses Midlands Children for Over Three Decades

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Locally-owned children’s boutique, Southern Children, has been in business for over 34 years!

Southern Children first opened its doors February 20, 1989, and owner and operator, Susan Broom has been there every step of the way!

For 26 years, the store was located in Spring Valley Commons shopping center on Two Notch Road. However, eight years ago, Southern Children moved from its Two Notch Road location to the Forest Park Shopping Center in Forest Acres on Forest Drive.

Southern Children

Variety is Key

Southern Children offers a large selection of traditional and classic clothing and shoes for girls and boys. Broom says they pride themselves on their “value, selection and quality” of inventory. The store offers an extensive range of sizing ranging from preemies and infants to girl’s size 16 and boy’s sizes 12-14. 

Carrying popular children’s clothing brands such as Feltman Brothers, Florence Eiseman, PRODOH, Bailey Boys and Zuccini Kids, you’re sure to find something that fits everyone’s style and budget.

And don’t forget the shoes! Aside from their large assortment of children’s clothing, Southern Children also carries quite a variety of shoe brands. From Cienta, Keds, to L’Amour, Robeez and Sun-San shoe brands, you’re sure to not leave their store empty-handed!

To Market, To Market

Always looking to keep inventory trends current, Southern Children is consistently refreshing and revamping their store’s offerings. Broom says that they have new and special lines of clothing that are always sought after at the children’s fashion markets each season. 

Come SALE Away

To keep up with an ever-changing inventory, sales are a must to keep up with the store’s seasonal changes. Sales are offered on the Southern Children website, as well as in-store. 

“We have two, long rolling racks that are filled with marked-down inventory on a permanent basis, ” explains Broom.

The sale racks are currently marked at 50% off. And Broom reveals that merchandise is added to these sale racks frequently.

In addition to clothing sales, Southern Children also devotes a table just to marked-down shoes!

“We have a table filled with shoes that are 30% off on a permanent basis,” says Broom.

“Shoes are additionally reguarly added to the sale table. We bring in new styles and brands of shoes every season, while discounting others,” she adds.

Special Promotions

Southern Children loves to be extra! Extra-special promotions, that is. They offer everything from photography and silhouette profiles to character experiences. Broom states that in the past, they have been fortunate to have multiple photography offerings from various photographers and silhouette cuttings by Lena Bengtson.

She mentions they’ve also had character visits from Barney (the purple dinosaur), the Easter Bunny, and even the B106.7 radio station Bumble Bee mascot at their store. She says they have active plans to continue to do more special offerings in the future!

Happy Customer, Happy Store

Broom says what she loves most about owning a children’s boutique is “the friends and relationships.” 

 “We love building bonds with customers and our sales representatives.”

Needless to say, Broom notes that “customer service is a top priority.”

A Family Affair

Southern Children now has multiple generations as current shoppers. Broom shares that, “several of the store’s original customers are grandmothers now buying for their grandchildren.”  

“We often recognize some of the individuals who were once the children we clothed, now buying for their own children,” she declares.

A Dream Come True

Southern Children first began as a long-realized childhood dream of Susan Broom’s. She shares that she “has wanted to have a retail establishment since she was 12 years old when her mother would take her shopping in specialty stores.”

In order to make that dream a reality, however, Broom explains she worked for over nine years in various retail establishments to gain the necessary experience. She then decided to further her education in Fashion Merchandising. Ultimately earning two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Columbia College, in both Elementary Education and Religion, she was now ready to make her dream a reality.

She says her education was necessary in order to “learn and prevent failure as an entrepreneur.” And as they say, the rest is history!

The Future

Southern Children currently has a website, a Facebook page, and an Instagram account. They have also advertised in countless newspapers, magazines, and online publications, as well as on billboards and radio. But Broom is always looking ahead. She explains that the store is considering creating another website in the near future. Always growing, Broome adds that Southern Children has additionally hired more employees in 2023.

Having it All

When I asked what would she like people to take away from visiting Southern Children, Broom couldn’t choose just one thing. She says proudly, “We pride ourselves on customer service, building bonds and relationships with customers, an enjoyable and happy shopping experience for customers, the largest selection of children’s clothing, shoes, bonnets and hats, hairbows, socks and tights, jewelry, lovies, and stuffed animals in the state, as a children’s specialty boutique.” 

“Most importantly, we would like for customers to know we appreciate the opportunity to be of service to them and that they truly matter to the operation of Southern Children. We could not survive without their patronage, needless to say,” Broom says in closing.

Be sure to give Southern Children the opportunity, and shop locally in this well-known Columbia establishment for all your children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories!
Southern Children
4711-13 Forest Drive
Columbia, SC 29206

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About the Author
Kelly is a native of Hartsville, SC and lives in West Columbia with her husband, two-year-old daughter, and pets George and Gigi. She is now a stay-at-home mom after a long career in beverage sales at Republic National Distributing Company and Sazerac Company. Kelly is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and has a degree in print journalism. She’s passionate about her family, writing, shopping, and any and all crime dramas.

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