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Ooo La La! in Hinsdale Supplying 'Glam' for Local Tweens

The party store recently relocated to Hinsdale from Clarendon Hills.

Mary Anne Spidalette and her daughter, Ann Sobczak, ran into a dilemma several years ago when Sobczak was trying to plan her daughter's birthday party: they couldn't find a birthday party venue that catered to young girls.

So Spidalette and Sobczak took matters into their own hands and opened up Butterfly Garden in Clarendon Hills, a party shop that specialized in birthdays for elementary school-aged girls.

At the time, "[my daughter] told me that she thought we could do this really well," Spidalette said.

The shop was indeed a success at two different locations in Clarendon Hills for six years, but Spidalette and Sobczak decided to make a change by moving their business to 9 E. 1st St. in Hinsdale about a year-and-a-half ago. 

"We decided we needed to change our focus when we moved to Hinsdale," Spidalette said. "All the kids thought it was a little girls' shop as opposed to a shop for the tweens."

Spidalette and Sobczak thought the name Butterfly Garden wouldn't appeal to older children, so they changed it to Ooo La La! and focused on the glam when they opened up shop in Hinsdale.

"What we carry has evolved," Spidalette said. "We've branched out. We carry accoutrements that are a little bit different." 

Spidalette said that, although throwing birthday parties still "turns the key in our place," Ooo La La! also features merchandise for shoppers of all ages.

"We have a baby section with stuffed toys and little things for a newborn," Spidalette said, "as well as purses for teens."

After introducing purses in their store, Spidalette and Sobczak discovered that they had a good market for it, and now Ooo La La! carries purses for all ages.

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Butterfly Garden started out by hosting princess dress-up parties for young girls, but Ooo La La! now features spa, scrapbooking, or craft parties.

"Glam and spa parties are a big hit," Spidalette said.

The shop's biggest market is middle school girls who come to the store to shop and attend parties. Spidalette and Sobczak hope to continue to attract their middle school shoppers by setting up a tween area in the shop, where kids can hang out with their friends, read magazines, and listen to their favorite music.

The shop currently features a princess chair in the back, which Spidalette said is very popular with tween shoppers. She wants to continue to make Ooo La La! a place where "kids can drop in." 

Ooo La La! is loyal to their younger shoppers, too. They're currently offering a bookmark to preschool children that features spaces to write in the titles of 15 books. After a child's bookmark contains five titles, they can come into the shop and use an Ooo La La! Dollar to buy a special treat. 

Spidalette has enjoyed her business' move into Hinsdale.

"There's so much activity; so much foot traffic," she said. "Someone told me that residents of Hinsdale shop Hinsdale, and I do find that to be true. They're very loyal to the Hinsdale businesses."

And luckily for Spidalette, she and her daughter enjoy working together as much as they enjoy what they do.

"We get along really well," she said. "We kind of complement one another on the work that we do."

And for the shop to succeed, its owners need to enjoy their young customers.

"I like being around the children," Spidalette said. "They’re very invigorating. I never realized how much I enjoyed them."

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