Since 2014, Shanlee Johnnson’s Little Birdies boutique has been the place for Georgetown mommies and daddies to find charming, Southern-influenced outfits and accessories for their newborns and young ones (up to size 10). But thanks to the recent debut of her second spot at Tysons Galleria, NoVA parents can shop Johnson’s well-curated, unique goods in their own store too.
“Most of our brands are smaller boutique [labels] that aren’t available in the area,” says Johnson, who chose Tysons for her second space due to her familiarity with the destination (the retail maven helped open Tory Burch’s boutique there in 2010) and to support NoVA clients—busy moms and families who don’t often have the time to trek into Georgetown. “We don’t have any crossover brands with department stores [at Tysons], and Jacadi Paris is the only other children’s store, which [solely] carries its own collection.” Johnson’s playful-but-modern, 850-square-foot space is a little larger than the first and is open until 9 p.m. (She’ll split her time between both shops.)
The Tysons outpost is outfitted with pieces from The Proper Peony, Little English, Patachou, Petite Plume, Isabel Garretón and Rachel Riley; baby accessories from Little Unicorn and Loulou LOLLIPOP (she says it makes the “cutest blankets and teethers”) and, of course, her own Pineapple Sunshine label.
The collection continues to grow; it’s sold not only at Little Birdies but also wholesale to stores across the country. She’s also expanded the line into bigger sizes (up to 6 years) with more styles.
So, why did Johnson turn to kids fashion? It allowed her to do something more specialized than womenswear, which she says is oversaturated. She would know: The Memphis native (who lives in DC’s Palisades neighborhood) attended Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC (for her application, she designed a ballerina-inspired ensemble, then photographed it in an indoor pool, with the tulle floating to the surface) and later worked with high-profile designers like Catherine Malandrino.
But she stresses the importance of being multifaceted—no matter what kind of clothing you’re peddling—by having a brick-and-mortar spot and a strong online presence. It’s why she’s building on Little Birdies’ existing website with more looks and sizes, adding a warehouse to fulfill orders and researching new markets—maybe even a beach store so she can “get a little sunshine while on work trips,” she says with a laugh. Her picks for summer certainly will brighten your little birdie’s day too. // 1770 International Drive, Tysons Galleria