Among the 80 specialty shops making up the 5th Avenue Shopping District in Old Town Scottsdale is Cricket + Ruby – a modern bohemian boutique for infants, children and moms.
The 700-square-foot boutique is relatively new to the shopping district; owners Savannah Strehlow and Elena Shaw opened the brick and mortar store in October 2018.
But this fall, Strehlow and Shaw will soon welcome Scottsdale’s storefront sibling into the world: the second Cricket + Ruby brick and mortar store located at The Frederick, a neighborhood retail center on Missouri Avenue in North Central Phoenix consisting of a restaurant, a cafe and eight small businesses.
“We’re really excited to be in a space where I think it’ll attract mostly all locals, and we can start rebuilding those relationships,” Shaw said.
Cricket + Ruby carries a hand-picked selection of globally sourced, unique, bohemian-inspired goods by local artisans and independent designers.
“We much took all these brands we really love from all over the world and brought them in so our customers could have a totally different shopping experience,” Shaw said. “We have a lot of Australian brands. We have Nicaragua, Peru, Bali, a few European brands.”
Prices range from $10 for accessories to about $200 for matching mom-and-me sets.
The average sale is about $100; and according to Strehlow, their most popular item at the moment are their $12 bows.
“It’s really hard to find good bows,” Strehlow said. “All of our customers tell us they love our bows.”
Strehlow and Shaw started Cricket + Ruby because Shaw was in search of baby and maternity clothes, herself.
“When I got pregnant,” she said, “a lot of those brands we like actually make baby clothes, but not a lot of people know about them and not very many people bring them into the U.S. So, we were just thinking, ‘Why wouldn’t we bring all of these brands we know people love? Our friends are buying them, following them on Instagram, and spending a ton of money on shipping.”
Shaw and Strehlow launched the Cricket + Ruby online boutique in 2017 and opened their pop-up store in central Phoenix in 2018.
“A lot of it had to do with the pricing, honestly,” Shaw said of their move from Phoenix to Scottsdale. “In uptown Phoenix where we were looking, the prices were just astronomical. ”
Now, the Scottsdale location drives a lot of foot traffic, mainly by tourists.
“It’s like our biggest market right in Old Town, which is really different than what we had in Phoenix. In Phoenix, we had mostly all locals, so we were able to really build up our local clientele,” Shaw said.
In addition to the globally sourced products, the “mommy wear” also sets Cricket + Ruby apart.
“Everything we bring in is bump-friendly or breastfeeding-friendly, too,” Strehlow added. “We try really hard with the women’s stuff where it’s cute even if you’re not pregnant. We both wear it all the time, so they’re not true maternity style.”
And with the opening of the new, 750-square-foot store, Strehlow and Shaw plan to expand their women’s wear offerings at the Scottsdale location.
“We would love for more women to know they can come in and shop for themselves, even if they don’t have a baby,” Strehlow said. “Instead of it being mama and child, it’d be more like child and woman.”
Shaw said she and Strehlow work hard to choose the right products for their customers, describing the process as an “Instagram rabbit hole.”
“We’re constantly thinking, ‘What’s the next thing we can do? What’s the next brand we can bring in?” she said.
Strehlow added they also work hard to create a community within the store.
“Like, we know if you’ve shopped here more than once. We know your name. We know who you are. We know what your baby’s wearing,” she explained.
As they work to open the second store, Strehlow and Shaw have paused progress on their clothing line.
“It’s definitely still in the works. It’s not something we’ve forgotten about,” Strehlow said. “As soon as the Fred is up and running, then we can focus the other portion of our time on doing this. We’re very passionate about it.”
Shaw describes the line as “elevated basics really easy to wear.”
“For example, for our girls’ stuff, a vision we have is a very cute cropped tank for babies — maybe go up to size 4 — and an elevated bloomer. Most of it will be sold as sets unless it’s a romper, which we have ideas for as well,” Shaw said.
But what they won’t put on hold are attending pop-up events, like selling at Phoenix Flea or taking part in any mom-centered events throughout the Valley.
“No matter how much we grow, we will still want to have our faces in the community. We’ll be at these events, we will be meeting moms, we want to be wherever the moms are and we want to know what they want. That’s our goal, to make sure that we’re constantly doing that,” Shaw said.