Naartjie Kids will open its first Midwest store at Mall of America in April. I know that will make some online shoppers happy. Naartjie is known for its playful, kid-friendly fashions: Mix and match prints, vibrant colors, natural fabrics, and a soft, casual feel. Bonus for parents: Affordable pricing. The brand was started in the ’90s by a mother of three boys in Cape Town, South Africa who wanted an alternative to the basics that dominated the market at the time. Naartjie (pronounced nar chee) is an Afrikaans word for a “small, sweet citrus fruit” found in Africa. Naartjie Kids is now an international brand with stores in 30 countries, producing 11 collections a year that include clothes, accessories, and footwear for ages newborn through 10 years old.
Stay tuned: This is the first of at least a half dozen new store announcements coming from Mall of America this spring. I’m told the list consists of several stores new to the market – including luxury and European brands.