source for style: interview with tina burgos, co-owner of monkey and the bug

Name: Tina Burgos

Title: Co-Owner of Monkey And The Bug (a children’s clothing shop) and its sister store Stel’s (a men’s and women’s clothing shop)

Please tell us a bit about yourself:  I’m 39 years old, and my husband, Dave, and I have three-year old twin girls, Gemma and Riley. I have Filipino roots and my husband is of Lithuanian descent, so our family is an interesting blend of American, Asian and European cultures.  Originally from the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin I came to Boston for college and graduate school. After stints in corporate America, my husband and I made the decision to start our own clothing shop. Along with our friend, we launched Stel’s over 8 years ago.

What inspired you to start Monkey & The BugThe birth of my twin girls, Gemma and Riley, inspired the shop. I was on strict, hospitalized bed rest for 10 weeks during my pregnancy. I kept myself busy with books, mindless TV, and conducting online research for children’s clothing and gear. I had a very difficult time finding clothing that appealed to my aesthetic. So I decided to curate a selection that reflected my sense of style.

Where did the name Monkey & The Bug come from?  These are nicknames of my girls. Gemma is the monkey and Riley is the bug.

What do you look for in clothing/accessories companies when buying for the boutique?  Monkey and the Bug is a small, independent boutique located in a small, condensed city. So I look for vendors who not only have the same stylistic vision, but want to grow our partnership in a methodical and organic manner. The brands I represent are not found anywhere else in Boston. And if there is crossover with one or two other brands, Monkey and the Bug was typically the first to stock that collection.  Also, quality is of the utmost importance to me. If one is paying premium prices for clothing, the items need to stand the test of time.

What favorite trends are you seeing for Spring/Summer 2012?  Prints! But done in a more sophisticated way. This trend is definitely a take on the prints we are seeing from the women’s spring 2012 collections.

What are your favorite accessories for:  Girls: Feather headbands from Wovenplay  Boys: Scarves from ESP No. 1

And I must mention that for both boys and girls, my favorite shoe is the Clark’s Wallabee. Everyone in my household owns these. They are extremely comfortable and can take a beating.

What are some of your favorite brands and why?  Girls: My girls own several graphic tees from Atsuyo Et Akiko. These are hand screened in Brooklyn.  I love throwing these t-shirts over everything because it adds a little street edge to any outfit.
Boys: Nico Nico is always spot on Sue Tsai is a stylist and she has an amazing eye. She has designed a range of basics but with a very hip twist.
Any up and coming brands we should be on the look out for?  We are so excited to be introducing Mini Rodini to the shop. This spring collection just arrived and it looks amazing. The collection will be available online sometime next week.

What advice would you give to parents shopping for their children?  Do you find that most parents take the same stylistic approach with dressing their children as they do with themselves?  Have fun with dressing your kids! Particularly between the toddler and preschool years, kids can get away with wearing almost anything.

I think it’s inevitable that children will be influenced by the their parents’ wardrobe choices. But I think you should also give your kids leeway to develop their own sense of style. Clothing can really provide a wonderful creative outlet. Whether it’s playing dress up, getting artistic and working with colors of the fabrics, or simply practicing zipping and buttoning skills kids can benefit from being involved.

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ENTER TO WIN a $25 GIFT CARD TO MONKEY AND THE BUG:
“LIKE” us on Facebook and write a wall post “monkey and the bug giveaway”
Or
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Winner will be announced March 15, 2012.
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