A few years ago Samantha Swanson visited Minneapolis, a city which is nearly but not quite as nice as Bismarck. She did manage to uncover one aspect of the town which surpassed Bismarck, however. In the North Loop district, once a sprawling mass of warehouses now turned to chic boutiques, Samantha discovered a darling little store for baby things unlike any her hometown had ever offered.

“I thought that store was just the cutest thing, and I’m sure that I was pregnant with my first daughter at the time made me love it even more,” said Samantha. “I thought I would die to have something like it back home, although I never would have suspected at the time that I would become the one to actually open it. But the timing was just right, and the perfect space for a store opened up. By the time Camryn turned six months old, Lily Valley Baby was open for business!”

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Today Lily Valley Baby offers a selection of fine soft goods from the world’s preeminent baby clothiers. (To clarify, the clothiers themselves aren’t babies, but rather solely interested in dressing tots fashionably.) Go to Samantha’s store and you will find heart-meltingly small shirts, pants, hats, bibs, and footed pajamas by Babyface of the Netherlands, Beans Barcelona of Spain, Opililai of Italy, and PlayUp of Portugal. 

Lily Valley Baby offers many American-made garments for children up to six years of age as well. Samantha only demands that her wares be of exceptionally high quality. 

“I prefer organic cotton clothing, and especially green companies that are trying to do good for the world,” said Samantha. “I know kids grow fast, and that they’re messy. If you want something to last for a very long time, you would do well to keep it away from a baby – let alone have them wear it. But our high quality baby clothes do last a lot longer than what you might find at other stores. They keep their shape even when the person wearing them is just learning how to walk, and they don’t shrink in the wash.

“Many of our customers are picking out something for their little ones to wear for special occasions or family photos. Sometimes you can’t have someone you spent nine months making look any less than their very best!”

Lily Valley Baby offers a great many things beyond clothing for babies and toddlers to enjoy. There are pacifiers and teethers, colorful cutlery that clumsy diners can navigate mealtime with, and wholesome books and puzzles. There are the classic wooden toys that are becoming increasingly scarce in the age of tablets. Fuzzy stuffed animals await on their shelves, each one hoping they might someday become a child’s favorite thing in the whole wide world. Their glassy eyes betray a certain sense of anticipation.

“Nothing brightens our day more than when children visit us. Normally shopping is a bore for them, but they light up when they see our special area just for them, with a teepee and toys and coloring books to play with while mom shops. 

“As a small local shop, we enjoy getting to know our customers intimately,” said Samantha. “We’ve certainly saved more than one grandma from accidentally buying her granddaughter the same dress twice! It’s a funny kind of feeling, having the same people come in again and again over the years to buy bigger and bigger clothing. Oh! Why do they have to grow up so fast?”

Lily Valley Baby is located in the Schilling Building at 1408 43rd Ave NE in Bismarck. You may learn more about them online at lilyvalleybaby.com.


By David Scheller