Husband and wife team Michelle and Eric Belyea have been business partners for over 20 years and own a kids’ ski shop in Vail. As fans of the Colorado outdoor lifestyle, their foray into retail for kids gave them the experience and desire to open their new Northfield children’s boutique, Wild Child. With over 2,000 square feet of shopping space, the Northfield location will serve as the flagship store with plans to open several more boutiques in Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs and other locations along the I-25 corridor.
Named for their daughter, Libby, whom the Belyea’s have always referred to as their “wild child,” the boutique carries clothing, toys, novelties and gifts for children. “Our sweet spot is really merchandise for kids ages 5 to 12,” says Michelle Belyea. “We offer unique merchandise that isn’t found at big-box retail stores.”
The Belyea’s chose Northfield for its outdoor lifestyle shopping area and the diversity of the people in northeast Denver. “Everyone goes for something different,” Belyea remarks. “We want to carry items that encourage self-expression, promote creative thinking and instill confidence in kids.”
Belyea emphasizes that Wild Child offers teen employment opportunities and teaches teens how to job hunt effectively. “We don’t use applications to screen and hire new staff members. Instead, we ask applicants to come with a prepared résumé and commit to a formal interview,” says Belyea. “This gives teens a chance to learn beneficial résumé and interview skills through firsthand experience.”
The value of money is also part of the newly minted Wild Child Crazy Cash program. Each time a purchase is made in a child’s name, 10 percent of the cost will be credited to a store account for them. Crazy Cash can be saved toward a special purchase and the program is designed to teach kids about savings and the value of a dollar.
Wild Child is truly a family endeavor. In addition to Michelle and Eric Belyea, their son Jayme, a 16-year-old, works at the store. Libby, age 14, is beginning to learn about retail and will work at the store when she turns 16.
To learn more about Wild Child or shop online, visit www.thewildchildstore.com.