LONG ISLAND CITY — When it comes to heading back to school, the neighborhood stores and boutiques of western Queens have plenty to offer parents looking to shop local, and for kids who want to look chic for the first day.
Parents in Hunters Point can check out the kids selection at LIC: Living, a lifestyle boutique at 5-35 51st Ave., which sells everything from home decor to women's clothing, plus a selection of clothes and accessories for kids eight and under.
The shop is the labor of love of two friends, Jillian Tangen and Rebekah Witzke, who are both moms themselves.
Their back-to-school inventory for the fall includes several different styles of children's-sized TOMS shoes, plus t-shirts and plaid button-downs from Munster Kids, a trendy boutique label based in Australia which turns out "very design-oriented" looks that mix gritty with cute, according to Witzke.
"I would say [it] has a little bit of an urban edge, which his I think why it does well in New York," she said.
Shoppers who want to give back to the neighborhood can head to the store on Sept. 26, when the store will be hosting a fundraiser for Hunters Point elementary school P.S. 78. From 7 to 9 p.m., 10 percent of sales will go to the school's PTA.
Also in Long Island City is children's boutique Tiny You, which opened its doors at 10-50 Jackson Ave. in June. The shop is the second location for owner Jill Callan, a children's clothing designer who runs the original Tiny You in Sunnyside at 46-21 Skillman Ave.
Both locations cater to children up to age eight. Their back-to-school inventory includes hand printed vintage-style boys' t-shirts, girls' clothing from designer Minti, backpacks from Japanese design company Bit'z Kids and insulated lunch boxes from SoYoung.
"There's a lot of great things to choose from," said Callan, who adds that a bestseller are kids' shoes by Livie and Luca.
"They're really bright and fun designs," she said. "I see a lot of those in Sunnyside — people come back every year once they get their first pair."
Tiny You will be offering discounts on Sept. 22 at the Long Island City store, where there will be free face painting from 1 to 3 p.m. and 15 percent off on fall clothing.
A new option for shoppers in Astoria is Lockwood Shop, a furniture, clothing and home decor boutique at 32-15 33rd St. Owner Mackenzi Farquer opened the store this summer after closing her first location, the popular SITE NYC, for the chance to operate in a bigger space.
Lockwood is more than three times the size of her old store, and includes a kids' section with clothing for infants and children up to age six, including leggings, reversibles hoodies and silk-screened t-shirts.
The store will be hosting a kid-friendly grand opening party on Sept. 14 starting at 10 a.m. that will feature face painting, a decorate-your-own cupcake bar and other children's activities.
Lockwood will also be having another grand opening for grown ups on Sept. 10 with a soul DJ, a photo booth and candied bacon lollipops.