Sweet Baby James opens in downtown Alpena, MI

June 5, 2021 – The Alpena News – “Happy little humans shop here.”

That’s what the sign says at Sweet Baby James, a new children’s boutique in downtown Alpena, MI. Happy big humans, from parents to grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, will enjoy shopping here, too, for unique children’s clothing, toys and accessories.

Today is the store’s grand opening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 200 N. 2nd Ave., across from Cabin Creek Coffee.

Sisters Baillie James and Mollie Allen co-own the boutique. They came up with the name based on their maiden name, James. The idea has been in the works for about seven years, but they signed the lease and took over the space on May 1. It is the former location of Alpena Vintage Co.

“I would say for about seven years, we’ve been thinking about it,” James said. “And the building came up for rent, and we knew that we had to grab it quickly.”

In addition to their maiden name being James, the James Taylor song ties into it, as well.

“My dad was always a big James Taylor fan, so we kind of grew up with the song,” Allen said. “So, we had the name picked for the store before the store was even close to being a reality.”

James is a teacher down in Birmingham, and she taught virtually this year. So her schedule was more flexible, which allowed her time to work on preparing to open the store.

James has an almost 8-month-old little boy named Trooper, who has been modeling many of the adorable onesies and outfits on the shop’s Facebook page in a segment called “Trooper Tuesday.” Their nieces Lou and Wilder can also be seen on Facebook modeling many of the little girls’ outfits.

James said she noticed that the selection of boys’ clothes is usually quite limited, and she wanted to offer more unique styles for the the little ones.

“I like to dress (Trooper) in pretty cute attire, so I thought we should bring a baby store to Alpena,” James said.

Read more at The Alpena News.