May 5, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
The owner of The Brass Owl, a boutique located on Ditmars Boulevard, is opening a children’s store.
The new store, which will be called The Tiny Owl, will open on May 21 at 31-21 Ditmars Blvd. in a space that was previously occupied by Zikos Realty.
The Tiny Owl will cater to infants as well as children up to 5-years of age. It will offer clothes, accessories, toys, books and games made by local creators—with an emphasis on being eco-friendly.
The new store is owned by Nicole Panettieri, the proprietor of The Brass Owl, which she established at 36-19 Ditmars Blvd. in 2014. Panettieri also founded the popular shopping crawl Shop Small Astoria, a week-long event where small businesses offer promotions, giveaways and deals.
“It’s very exciting to be opening, it will be an extension of my brand,” Panettieri said. “I live in the neighborhood so to be able to grow within my own neighborhood has always been a dream of mine.”
Panettieri said she was inspired to open the store after giving birth to her son Nate in 2019. She said the timing is now right, with The Brass Owl having weathered the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
“We worked really hard to stay afloat during the pandemic and it does not get lost on me how fortunate I am to open a second store.”
Some of the items The Tiny Owl will offer include swaddles and onesies for infants, as well as pants, T-shirts, dresses and pajamas for older children.
There will be an accessory section consisting of hats, bags, sunglasses, clips and scrunchies—while bedsheets, bibs and rattles will also be available, according to Panettieri.
The toys and games at the store will be made from wood and will have an educational component to them. For instance, there will be pet puzzles, word puzzles and geometry sets for sale, as well as a range of cars and trucks.
Panettieri is creating an area inside the store called “the book nest,” where coloring books, educational books and playbooks will also be available. She also aims to have story-time events inside that space.
The store is currently being renovated, Panettieri said, and will have a similar look and feel as The Brass Owl, with a soft, mint-colored interior. A local artist will also be creating a mural that will go up on one of the interior walls.
Panettieri said she is also installing a bulletin board inside the store where parents can post flyers for support groups, kids’ activities, or childcare hires.
The store will also offer many of its products online.
“We are going to have a great selection of baby items,” Panettieri said.
“It’s going to be a really fun and friendly environment and all children are welcome.”