WESTPORT, Conn. — Anyone stopping by Groove in Westport for a little back-to-school shopping Tuesday was met with a bit of surprise — locked doors.
Owner Corri Neckritz moved her hot kids’ clothing and gifts shop to a much more spacious storefront a few doors down on Post Road West.
“I kind of wanted to spring it on people,” Neckritz said. “I kind of kept it hush.”
There’s nothing hush about the business the Westport mom of three has created, though. She started back in 2007, when she found herself frustrated by the selection of clothing she could find for her own children.
She wanted something “hip yet tasteful” and — emboldened by her experience in marketing in retail — she decided to start finding and selling it herself.
“I started in my basement,” she said. “I would just do events, shopping nights, charity events. And then it got too big for my house.”
In 2012, Neckritz opened Groove in a 1,200-square-foot storefront across from Whole Foods.
She said she tried to think like her pint-sized clients when choosing the many brands she stocked on her shelves. Sometimes she’d let her own kids give a thumbs up or down on a new sweater or pair of leggings.
“”I would try to get in the mind of the 10-year-old customer,” she said laughing.
The new space, a former bank, boasts about 3,400 square feet of retail space, including a vault Neckritz has turned into a candy room. The shelves and display areas are filled with top brands, including Egg, Sam Winter, Hudson, So Nikki and Splendid.
The store is also the only one in the country selling Flow Society’s new girls line.
In addition, children can pick up a set of Mad Libs, a Rubik Cube or other toys and games.
While owning a store means a lot of work, Neckritz said she enjoys getting to know her customers and going the extra mile when it comes to customer service. Neckritz often serves as a personal shopper, helping customer pick out ideal birthday gifts and then wrapping them up so they’re party ready.
“It’s a ton of work, but I like it when kids leave happy and say this is their favorite store,” she said.
Groove is located at 420 Post Road West, Westport. For more information, visit www.grooveforkids.com .