Catherine Roberts, Raleigh mom of two and self-described free spirit, has always told her kids that if you can imagine something and believe in it, you can achieve it.
Roberts took her own "imagine, believe, achieve" advice when she opened The Enchanted Fairy, a store featuring exclusive designer children's dress-up clothes and accessories, in Raleigh. The Enchanted Fairy opened this month in a strip of businesses that include Wine & Design and Wild At Art Kids (formerly The Painted Butterfly) across from Roanoke Park in Raleigh's Five Points.
The opening comes just in time for Halloween. But Roberts wants to provide kids with dress-up clothes for creative, free play all year, along with formal attire for weddings, parties and other affairs.
"It's really dress up in all the ways you would define dress up," Roberts tells me. New boutique features high-end children's dress-up clothes
The store is full of everything from gorgeous and detailed princess and fairy gowns to wizard robes, capes and Native American headdresses. Just know before you go that prices for accessories can range from $5 for a wand to $125 for a headdress made of real feathers. Dresses or tutus can cost more than $100. The store carries sizes 0 to 6 months to 10/12 for boys and girls.
There's even a child-sized entrance to the dressing room (right next to the toadstool table) that makes a visit to the store even more magical for kids.
Roberts, who worked for 15 years in the corporate world, has a theater background and has always been a big supporter of open, creative play for kids. Her two children, both grade schoolers, have helped put the store together.
Pretend play through dressing up can enhance a child's social, emotional, language and thinking skills, Roberts says. Kids create their own stories; experiment with different social and emotional roles; and can help build empathy by pretending to be different characters.
In addition to the Raleigh storefront, Roberts also is the exclusive dealer of three lines of high-end dress up clothes for kids - Little Gems and Fairy Kisses, both from Australia, and Wanabe from Bali.
Now that she's open, Roberts has plans to continue to grow. She hopes to organize regular themed events at the store and possibly be the exclusive dealer of more lines new to the United States.
In the meantime, she's looking forward to more kids turning into princesses and wizards as they walk into her store.
To hear more from Roberts and see some of the items she carries, watch my video interview with her. The Enchanted Fairy is open Tuesday through Saturday at 225 Bickett Blvd. in Raleigh. Check the store's Facebook page for more information and lots of pictures.
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