Inside its lavender-painted walls, sofa-stuffed nooks for kiddies to curl up in—plus a much-loved resident pooch—Stoopher & Boots on the Upper West Side holds indie treasures aplenty for gift-giving city dwellers, especially ones with kids in tow. The idea for the family-focused shop, which opened in May 2010, began when Founder and Owner Stephanie Goldstein started designing t-shirts for her sister’s children. Fam and friends were impressed and after posting her creations online, the shirts started selling like crazy. Even Sarah Jessica Parker wanted some of the threads for her twins. With that kind of attention, you can guess what happened next.
“I needed to make a decision—did I want to be a wholesaler or a retailer?” Goldstein remembers. Ultimately, she chose to pursue retail for the creative freedom. The result? A super cozy, local Etsy come to life.
“I felt like the neighborhood could use a good gift store,” says Goldstein. “I thought to do gifts because there’s a lot of flexibility in it and then I wanted to do handmade because it’s unique and I thought this neighborhood would appreciate that.”
Open seven days a week, Stoopher & Boots is a small community in and of itself with familiar faces walking through the door on a regular basis. With Kings of Leon and Beck softly pouring through its speaker system and an open door policy, the uptown store is a one-stop destination for families looking to browse a wide array of unique gift ideas, such as quirky stuffed animals, toys and books, throw pillows, wall hangings, kids’ clothing and women’s jewelry.
“[The store is] about letting the kids do what they need to do while the parent is shopping,” Goldstein notes.
“I want it to feel like you’re in my living room,” says Goldstein while petting her lovable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Scout. Her business philosophy is to be as helpful as possible without being pushy. The approachable owner keeps nothing in her store above arm’s reach and she’s constantly offering new services to her customers, like custom-made party favors and personalized embellishments for camp tees and uniforms.
Aside from her own crafting talents, Goldstein has a keen instinct for one-of-a-kind finds, often by small, independent artists.
“A woman who was making children’s NYC taxi tees stopped by the store one day,” Goldstein recalls. “She had heard about the store from a friend… She wanted to show me some samples.” While Goldstein normally doesn’t take pitches without an appointment, the instant she caught a glimpse of the artist’s work, she was hooked.
“I bought all of her samples right off of her and sold out within 10 days.”
In the year and a half it’s been open, Stoopher & Boots has also made itself into an online shopping destination while hitting its stride as a gift hunter’s paradise. And with soft and inviting kids’ couches for lounging, a giant chalkboard upon which little shoppers can unleash creative urges and a steady stream of new toys and gifts to discover, this city store has found its niche: having a little bit of something for everyone.
Stoopher & Boots is located at 385 Amsterdam Avenue. Visit the store online at stoopher.bigcartel.com
For More Great Shopping Ideas, Check Out Our Stoopher & Boots Sampler
Teething Giraffe, $18
Sock Monkey, $44
Baby Booties, $24
Original Kid Kit™, $38
Perpetual Wooden Block Calendar, $28
The ABCs of Central Park: An Alphabet Guidebook by G. Augustine Lynas, $12.95
Taxi NYC Thermal Tee, $38