A new downtown retailer is keeping the cool in kids’ clothes.
Kira Kids designer and owner Christine Tang recently opened the doors to her 240 Plaza Central storefront – the company’s first brick-and-mortar shop.
“It was fun to tell the story of the brand in a physical space,” said the Mountain View resident. “There’s a play area and fun hidden corners.”
Tang’s playfulness translates to her designs – often simple, quirky graphics on vibrantly colored clothes. Her new Los Altos venture showcases the season’s brightest.
The current collection – “Take Me to Paris” – features whimsical characters like Frenchie le pup, le detective with his bandit bear and a unicorn on roller skates. The goods, made for newborns to size 8, include baby rompers, hooded sweatshirts, jogger pants and skater dresses made of organic cotton and luxurious fleece.
The locally produced clothing has garnered support from numerous celebrities – the Golden State Warriors’ littlest star Riley Curry, “Modern Family” actress Aubrey Anderson-Emmons and the children of actress/entrepreneur Jessica Alba, to name a few.
“We’re really lucky that they’re so supportive and that they like the product,” Tang said.
Prior to starting her own business, Tang designed and developed gifts and accessories.
“I learned how to bring a product to life,” she said.
She found her own focus in 2010 when her nephew was born. Tang became inspired by kids’ clothing, took a screen-printing class and realized that she has a knack for the niche.
“I was addicted,” she said.
She started by selling a few shirts and onesies at a local art fair and a couple of years later dedicated herself full time to the growing company.
“The more effort you put into it, the more you get out of it,” she said.
Now, Tang operates an online store and offers a seasonal collection in more than 100 retail locations. She draws most of the graphics herself but collaborates with illustrators and other artists. The products are all manufactured in Los Angeles, where Tang first developed partnerships in the garment industry.
“It just makes sense to support the local economy,” Tang said of her California roots, adding that she’s currently seeking part-time employees for the Los Altos expansion.
Tang’s new location is ideal – Kira Kids is sandwiched between one of her favorite eateries, Sumika, and a complementary kid-centric business, Linden Tree Books.
“I really like the downtown area,” Tang said. “There are new families moving in, and long-term residents who love Los Altos. Everyone has been kind and welcoming.”
Kira Kids is scheduled to host a grand- opening celebration 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with complimentary wine and champagne and 20 percent off all merchandise.
For more information, visit kirakids.com.