Freestyle Kids clothing company was established in by Mimi Humphrey in 2005 to meet the fashion needs of parents looking for a return to a more traditional style of dress for children from newborn through size 10. As a parent, Mimi was often challenged to find appropriate clothing for both everyday and special occasion wear, particularly in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. She found that in exploring the need for a children’s store, the number one need as expressed by survey participants was for clothing that did not encourage brand-name addiction in young children. Parents were interested in developing their children’s intellect and social skills without having to worry about what they were wearing to school. Many of those surveyed also reflected on the difficulty in finding appropriate special occasion clothing.
Ms. Humphrey believes that her target market is saturated with clothing that speaks to a “hip-hop” look that is fashionably inappropriate for young children and a lifestyle that is often in conflict with the values being stressed at home. “Freestyle Kids will address this shortcoming in the Central Brooklyn market by opening a retail establishment that is a throwback to a time where children were free to explore and exercise their natural curiosities while looking great and remaining free of negative pressure as it relates to dress.”
Mimi Humphrey is the founder and chief designer of Kendiwear Clothing, established in 1996 specializing in tailored yet affordable clothing for children. She sold Kendiwear’s products at street fairs and special events for 2 years before the company transitioned to a retail space in downtown Brooklyn where it operated for 6 years before closing.
Freestyle Kids will open its retail space in an attractive corner location at 373 Lewis Avenue at Macon Street. Since 2000, Lewis Avenue has become a shopping destination for Bedford-Stuyvesant residents. The strip boasts Akwaaba Restaurant, Bread Stuy Coffee Shop, Brownstone Books and the Parlor Floor Antiques, each a destination in their own right. Freestyle Kids will open one block down from these establishments across the street from the Macon Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library and next to The House of Brown wellness shop. Freestyle Kids certainly expects to benefit from its proximity to these locations. By Public transit: B15 and B25 bus routes and the A and C train to Utica Avenue.