July 31, 2010 By Christian Murray
A local resident is scheduled to open a children’s boutique clothing store on Skillman Ave. by Sept 1.
The store, which will be called Petunia, will be located at 46-21 Skillman Ave., across the street from two well-known restaurants – Claret and Quaint. The previous tenant was a nail salon operator.
Jill Callan, a Woodside resident, will be the owner of the new business. She has been a children’s clothing designer for 20 years and has decided that she wants to work on the retail side of the business.
“I’ve been mulling it over for some time, and when I got laid off recently, I thought that it was the right time to go for it,” Callan said.
Callan’s goal is to sell independent labels – including those produced by neighborhood designers. She does not plan to sell mass market products that are sold at, say, Babies R Us.
“I’m looking for the high end customer,” she said.
Callan said that the Skillman Ave location is perfect for the customer she is looking for. “That area has a young, city vibe to it – where there is Claret, Quaint, Bliss, Stray Vintage and Aubergine-cafe. It’s a hotspot.”
Callan, who has a toddler named Olivia, is a member of a well-known Yahoo group called “sunnymoms”, which is a network of more than 500 mothers who meet and organize children play dates in the Sunnyside/Woodside area.
She said that from a sunnymoms’ perspective, the neighborhood lacks a nice children’s clothing store. “There are a lot of nice boutiques in Brooklyn, but not Queens.”