Bedbugzz children's boutique will close on Jan. 5
● By J. Chambless
Kathleen Caccamo, who has owned and operated Bedbugzz in Kennett Square for a decade, is closing the store on Jan. 5.
By John Chambless
Kathleen Caccamo barely had time to switch on the lights at her Bedbugzz children's boutique on the morning of Dec. 14 before a customer walked in, asking, “Is it true?”
Caccamo nodded. Yes, it's true. She is closing the much-loved Kennett Square store on Jan. 5.
For the past decade, Caccamo has been behind the counter at Bedbugzz every single day. “I took my first big vacation this past year,” she said. “We were gone for 10 days.”
Since opening in the brand-new building in October 2005, she has seen her littlest customers grow up, along with her own two daughters. “There are two kids whose nurseries I designed, and I've dressed them since they were born,” she said. “They're twins, 8 years old now. Their mom's become my dear friend.”
Caccamo announced the store closing by email on Dec. 13, and her customers have been coming in to sadly say goodbye. “People are saying, 'I can't believe you're leaving,'” she said. “My email is starting to explode.
“I'm not closing because business is bad,” Caccamo said. She's been lured away from Bedbugzz by a company called Rockin' Baby that manufactures and distributes children's clothing and accessories. “Rockin' Baby has been in existence since 2012. They've been selling slings and pouches that are made in Richmond, Va.,” Caccamo said. “Now it's going around the world. I started out just helping the co-owner, Mark Jeynes, at a couple of trade shows as a retailer and consultant. It's boomed bigger than they thought. He was like, 'Please come and work for me.'”
For every item Rockin' Baby sells, they donate an item through Child Fund International to be given to needy children around the world. “They just shipped their first 20,000 units to children in Uganda,” Caccamo said. “They've sold, for the spring line, over 200,000 pieces. By next summer, they'll be dropping that many donations. It's good to be part of a company that's giving back to the community and the world, and growing something at the same time.”
The owner of the company personally checks out the places where the clothing is made, Caccamo said, to see that the factories are offering acceptable conditions to workers.
In her new position with the company, Caccamo will be in charge of the North American sales team, traveling during the “selling season” in January and February to promote the brand throughout North America. The job will allow her to remain at home in Kennett Square, where she lives with her two young daughters and her husband, who works at Winterthur Museum.
“I'll still be working on the Mushroom Drop and Art in the Square,” she said of two big events in the borough. “I'm not leaving the events I helped build here in town.”
The closing of Bedbugzz and the closing of the Bove Jewelers store in Kennett Square have been dark spots on the downtown boom in Kennett Square, even though Caccamo is leaving of her own accord. “It should make everybody think of how much they enjoy their downtown, and how much they need to support their downtown by shopping here,” she said.
Bedbugzz offered gift items, décor and clothing in sizes ranging from newborn to tweens, as well as maternity clothing. All the products were ethically sourced and well made, Caccamo said. That philosophy will dovetail nicely with her work for Rockin' Baby. But she said she will miss the relationships she has built with customers and friends over the past decade.
“I love Kennett Square,” she said. “I love the area, but it's time for a new adventure. I had to do a lot of thinking,” she said of her decision to close the store. “I'll miss the people. I've made a lot of friends here and I've loved watching the kids grow up.”
Everything in the store is marked down substantially, and Caccamo is wondering what she will do with the plush pink pony in the store that has been “well loved” by generations of children who come to shop with their families. “I've just been wondering,” she said with a smile. “Maybe I can raffle it off.”
For more information, visit www.bedbugzz.com.
To contact Staff Writer John
Chambless, email email@example.com.