Eloise + Oliver

Eloise + Oliver Long Island, NY

Interview with Christina Bohn of Eloise + Oliver

Nestled in the sweet little seaside town of Stony Brook along the historic North Shore of Long Island, New York, is a portal to another, more magical realm. Inside Christina Bohn’s shop Eloise + Oliver, little girls are princesses, bunnies and mice are ballerinas, and there are enough feathers, ribbons and crowns for kids of every age. Christina’s meticulously curated collection of children’s clothing, toys and accessories is a real source of inspiration….and when you stop in and meet the shop owner in person, she’ll make you feel like you’ve been friends for years! She took a few moments to answer some questions with REstyleSOURCE, and we’re so happy to share them–as well as her sweet shop–with all of you!

When did you open your store? Eloise + Oliver opened in December of 2012.

How did you get started in the business? I have owned a professional photography studio for 18 years, specializing in classic children’s photography, and I have always wanted for my images to look and feel timeless. I decided to curate a collection of clothing that I would like to photograph my subjects in, and the shop portion of Eloise + Oliver was born! I was really going for clothing with a European feel and magical qualities, steering clear of trendy fashions that would “date” the photographs.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

What do you love about owning the shop? Everything…and what a surprise that is! I cannot wait to come to work every day and play with my shop. I love to to merchandise, photograph the clothing and gifts, even just to be present in the space, which has a magical quality. I love my clients! Once they find my shop they always return. I love the relationships I have built with my costumers; I know their children and their grandchildren. When the door opens and the bells that hang from it ring, it’s like a friend stopping by to say hi.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Where did the name Eloise + Oliver come from? The name Eloise + Oliver literally fell out of my head in an instant. I’ve always loved both names and how they sound together. I can envision these little characters running about getting into mischief!

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the business? Sticking to my vision and not getting sidetracked by popular trends.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Christina’s Shop Faves & Best Sellers

Eloise + Oliver
1. Nellystella – I am in love with these dresses…they are so classic and magical! Perfect for flower girls, first birthdays and photo shoots.

2. Jess Brown – There is just something about these dolls that makes me happy.

3. Petit Bateau – Perfectly timeless.

4. Tutu Du Monde – These dresses are so much fun and perfect for photo sessions!

More Eloise + Oliver best sellers: Egg BabyMaileg & Dagmar Daley

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

What is something you have learned in the business that you didn’t expect? The importance of knowing your numbers. I have a background in education and art, so business was never my thing. I do love a challenge, so it’s mostly been fun (although not all of the time) learning the nuts and bolts of running a retail shop.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

What inspires you? Oh boy…it could be the littlest thing! I can draw inspiration from a weed. I do tend to see in pictures, meaning I can frame any scene and instantly “see” a photograph. My clients inspire me. Once I start to photograph someone I can go on and on. Running down by the water early in the morning is beyond inspiring. Just sitting in my shop is inspiring. It’s a very unique space, with great light. Old photographs do it, too. Oh and music…love music!

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Tell us about your team members. I am a one woman show at the moment. But my family and friends are my team, and they are always there to help.

What does the importance of customer service mean to you? I am a natural people person, so customer service is easy for me. I really do want to help and go above and beyond to make people happy. Asking questions and getting to know my clients is as innate as brushing my teeth.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

What sets your business apart from online shopping? When my clients visit Eloise + Oliver, it’s like an old friend stopping by. We chat, catch up, I know their style and preferences. When I get certain items in that I know someone will love, I’ll text them or email them so they can have a first look before I put the item on the floor. When I shop for the store, I have certain clients in mind and will even choose merchandise in their child’s size.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Do you have a favorite customer story? One of my favorite little clients–and friend–is named Maeve, and she’s 3 yrs old. I’ve been photographing her since birth! She tells her mom she wants to go to Christina’s house (meaning Eloise + Oliver).  I always bring my one of my photography prop carriages out for her to play with. One day my partner Jim (who’s 50 yrs old, for reference) was helping me at the shop while Maeve was there. When he left she just looked at me and said “Where’d that man go? Is he your babysitter?” She cracks me up every time.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Christina’s Faves…

Local Love

My favorite local shop is Samantha Drew. She is an interior designer and has the most beautiful store. It’s my go to for gifts and when I just need a little something wonderful: a special piece of jewelry, a yummy candle, the most amazing laundry detergent. She also decorated my house, which is one of my favorite places to be. All of my sofas and chairs are from Samantha Drew, and they are delicious!

Top 3 Favorites in the World

  • Free People: That’s all I wear and I love their stores! I get a lot of inspiration in their retail shops.
  • ABC Carpet and Home in NYC: I can spend hours in there and their cafe is amazing!
  • Bonpoint: They have several locations throughout Manhattan. It’s like a dream.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Christina Loves….

Color blocking! Products really pop when you group like colors together for that “wow” factor.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Favorite vacation destination? Well, I am not much of a traveler, but I already live in the most beautiful place… a sweet little seaside town (Stony Brook, Long Island). Going for a run down by the water or spending the afternoon on my little boat is all I need for a getaway! Even an hour by the water does the trick.

Any store mascots (kids, pets, good luck charms…)? Well the buildings are very old. The shop is attached to old greenhouses which have really good energy so I’d say there is a spirit….a good one. Past shop owners in this space would concur.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Christina’s Favorite Quote?

“Gratitude changes everything.”

I don’t know who said it, but this my life’s motto…and also the screen saver on my phone! Each day I am grateful for all that I have and the people in my life. Words cannot express the positive effect this has had on all aspects of my life, personal and business.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Okay: Lightning Round time!

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Salty or Sweet? Sweet

Beach or Mountains? BEACH!

Beer or Wine? Wine

City or Country? Ohhh that’s tough, I really do love both.

 

Eloise + OliverPhoto c/o Eloise + Oliver

Stony Brook, NY

Children's Boutique,not sure if this is a business you would consider. We carry specialty clothing and gifts from around the world. The owner, me, Christina Bohn is also the photographer for Samantha Drew. See shopeloiseandoliver on insta for images

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