From the April 2019 issue

Petite Cabane in Birmingham is a Kids Store With European Flair

Looking for chic basics for your petits amours? Petite Cabane in Birmingham offers kids couture and trinkets with culture and timeless simplicity to spare.

Petite Bateau raincoat in yellow

The chicest kids in town might now be spotted near Maple Road and Woodward Avenue since Petite Cabane in Birmingham opened shop.

This fresh, lightly French-inspired store, which debuted in March 2019, carries children’s clothes in muted colors and organic fabrics, all lining the shelves alongside dainty toys and buttoned backpacks for ages 0 to 10.

Making it look effortless

Carrie Martin, a Birmingham mom and the principle shop owner, says the store’s European influence felt like a natural fit.

“I lived in Europe for a long time, including Paris, and I was so taken by the style, especially of the children,” Martin says. “I wanted the name to be French, because the style of store is really based on the boutiques in Paris – I wanted to bring that aesthetic here.”

Martin became a model at 17 and moved around Europe, eventually becoming a stay-at-home mom to her four children: Felix, 23, Olivier, 21, Joseph, 17 and Tallulah, her 4-year-old daughter.

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“When I first had my children in Europe, I noticed a really big difference in how they dress their children. It was an effortless, stylish, classic sense of style, and I was taken with it,” she says. “But you really could not find anything like that in the big American shops.”

Unique finds for local families

Petite Cabane hopes to solve that problem. Martin goes back to Paris every year and has developed relationships with small shops producing the children’s items, making it easy to find ethical brands with the right aesthetic fit.

You might spot, for example, the Petite Bateau raincoat – “a favorite of ours, with its traditional blue and white stripe detailing,” Martin says, alongside Aigle rain boats, which have made high-quality rubber rain boots for 160 years

Another distinctive product is the OMY Paris map coloring book. “Behind OMY Design & Play are two Parisian graphic designers who, after becoming mothers, changed their focus to creating fun, graphic and smart products for all ages.”

Martin adds that while her 4-year-old is delighted to open the boxes of goods and see the toys, it’s actually her older sons who are most excited about mom’s business.

“They’re really proud,” she says, “I get teary-eyed just talking about it.”

Visit the shop

Petite Cabane in Birmingham is located at 205 E. Maple Road. Typical store hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

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