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Cutie Patootie
Comes to Jonesboro

By Audrey Hanes, photography by Melissa Donner

When Kim Erby opened the Jonesboro location of Cutie Patootie, an impressive baby and children’s clothing and toy store, her goal was to bring high-end brands and unique, on-trend toys to her hometown. She has done all that and more with an 11,000-square-foot store on Caraway Road that is helping to keep children’s retail business local.

Six years ago, once her two daughters were grown and she was looking for something to do, Erby took over a small children’s consignment store in Paragould. She took the existing inventory and kept adding to it until it was a thriving children’s boutique, eventually adding toys, as well. After years of success, Erby bought her own strip center and moved Cutie Patootie to that location, where she also took over Glo Salon and Boutique.

When the time came to expand to Jonesboro, because Erby felt that Jonesboro was in dire need of a toy store, she opened one in The Mall at Turtle Creek. When that store and much of the mall was destroyed in the March 2020 tornado that tore through Jonesboro, Erby took advantage of the ability to start fresh and found a large retail space on Caraway Road; she decided to “go big or go home,” and offer a large selection of clothing and toys that would mirror her Paragould location.

“It’s been a complete gut remodel, but in the end, it has everything we wanted,” said Erby. “It wasn’t easy. It was hard to get the remodel done and the inventory in with the timing of the pandemic, and with people not wanting to get out and shop online, it was really hard when we opened. People are starting to get out more, and that will hopefully be more of a shift to shopping in person, or at least locally, since we also deliver.”

Juggling multiple businesses in two different cities is demanding, but Erby says that she makes it work by remaining flexible and putting in a lot of time.

“It’s a lot of hard work, seven days a week, but I really love it,” said Erby.

A few of Cutie Patootie’s most popular brands are Madame Alexander, Adora dolls and Melissa & Doug when it comes to toys, and Kickee Pants, Posh Peanut, Chaser, Properly Tied, Flowers by Zoe, Riley + Cru, Millie Jay and Serendipity for clothing.

“I wanted to bring all the good clothing and toy brands to Jonesboro, so people could have the convenience of shopping locally,” said Erby. “If customers come in and ask for specific brands, I’ll look into carrying it. We will deliver, we gift wrap, we have baby registries and we are also starting birthday buckets where kids can register and put a few things together so that family and friends can come in to shop for them.

“… I plan to keep bringing new fun stuff in; I’m always at market looking for what I can bring to the store next.”

From newborns to tweens, Erby’s goal was to make Cutie Patootie a one-stop shop. She says that many of her customers were asking for more boys clothing, so the store recently expanded that section. There is a large tween clothing selection for children ages seven to 16, as well.

While the store is known for its impressive offering of toys, clothing and shoes, the Jonesboro location also has activities, such as mining for gemstones and jewels. In the future, Erby says that they plan to be able to offer more activities on Saturdays, such as story time and art projects.

“We carry all the new trends; you name it, we will carry it,” said Erby. “Trends are always changing, and we try to stay on top of it. We have Bogg bags coming soon, and we will soon be expanding our book department.”

That growth is possible because of how well the city has received the children’s retail store. Erby’s passion for what she does is evident, and she enjoys cultivating the store’s inventory.

“I love dressing kids from head to toe – the perfect bow, cute shoes and socks, all of it,” said Erby. “I love helping people find the perfect outfit for photos or for special events.

“Jonesboro has really stepped up to support us since we opened our doors. We are very happy to be here in a community that supports local businesses so well.”

The Jonesboro location of Cutie Patootie, located at 1608 S. Caraway Road, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to
6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. For more information, find Cutie Patootie on Facebook or call (870)277-8881; its website is coming soon.