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Fancy and Fun Up Front

  • Thursday, September 26, 2013

  • Updated Saturday, September 28, 2013 10:30 pm

By Ashley DesMarteau

Nicknames are like a snapshot, a moment in time captured in a word. Our friend Tom who towers over us at nearly 6'4” proudly wears the nickname “Little Tommy Tetlow” when he visits his favorite tackle shop, nearly 40 years after his first visit with Dad. Growing up I never heard anyone call my Grandfather anything but “Skipper” and didn't know for years that it wasn't part of his name. In our house, terms of endearment — honey and love — are used more than our first names. Usually when I hear my husband say “Ashley”, I know that either he can't find matching socks again, or that he just opened the VISA bill! With our children, it's hearing their full names that give them fair warning and usually means that I just got another e-mail from a middle school teacher. More than anything, a nickname is a personal connection.

When deciding what to name her store 11 years ago, Ginger Gray didn't have to think twice about a name. Doodlebugs was the obvious choice for her since she'd been calling her daughter that for years. It's a whimsical, happy, make you smile kind of name that has a family connection to the owner, so what could be better? One step inside Doodlebugs at 721 Front Street and it's hard to imagine it as anything else. But this prime location on Front Street has cornered the market on adorable for many years, before Doodlebugs it was the Calico Closet with some of the same inventory that Ginger carries to date.

“I love having a store on Front Street. This is a great location, and a beautiful city especially the historic district. Unfortunately a lot of people don't even know we're here. They never make it to this part of town and just have no idea what we have to offer.”

But when they do find Front Street, and Doodlebugs, they keep coming back. Ginger's clients are half local and half visitors, mostly from Greenville and Charlotte. She has a number of visitors she looks forward to seeing every summer when they stop by during their beach vacations.

Fancy or fun, Doodlebugs has a great collection of classic children's lines. Ginger's Kidorable & Stephen Joseph rainwear is so stinking cute you'll be wishing those sunny skies would take a rest so little dinosaurs, frogs, kitty cats, and pirate slickers, boots, backpacks, and umbrellas could come out of the closet. Really, they're that cute — you'll be encouraging puddle splashing! Now is the perfect time to pick out something for the littlest pumpkin you know to help celebrate this harvest time of year. A collection of outfits with fall colors and themes will take your tot from now through Thanksgiving in seasonal style.

Ginger really should post a warning sign on the front door — because new grandparents won't know with hit 'em! A cute couple from Tallahassee caught my attention talking about being parents of three boys, now all grown up and the oldest just gave them a granddaughter. They were having the time of their lives and when they couldn't decide between the outfits, they just bought them all!

Making every day a special occasion, Doodlebugs at 721 Front Street, open Monday-Saturday. Make it your business to keep it local.

Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

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