HUGO — Tami Enz grew up spending her summers at her grandmother’s store in McGregor, Minnesota, tagging products, doing inventory and running the cash register.
In January, she launched her own children’s clothing company, Just For Littles.
“It all started with a passion for childhood. My daughter tried on a twirly dress years ago, and the sparkle in her eye and the giggles from her friends melted my heart. My oldest grew up right before my eyes, so it sparked some passion in me. I wanted to create clothing that would help keep little girls little for a little bit longer,” Enz explained. “I was searching for products to do that, and I just couldn’t find the perfect thing that my customers were looking for — so I decided to make it myself.”
Enz, a Hugo resident, grew up in White Bear Lake and graduated from White Bear Lake High School in 2003. She has always had a passion for childhood things, so it is no surprise that she majored in child psychology at St. Cloud State University.
After college she became a stay-at-home mom to her four children: Aubrey, 11, Axel, 9, Aizer, 6, and Zada, 4. Enz was looking for an occupation she could pursue while at home with her children. She started her own online store, which carried other people’s brands.
“When I do something, I don’t just do it little, I want to do it big,” Enz explained. She decided to launch her own company so she could design products just the way she wanted them.
Just For Littles specializes in twirl dresses for girls ages 12-24 months all the way through 12 years. Enz designs all of the clothes herself; they are then manufactured in China. “We use special fabric. It is 100% cotton, but we go through a couple of different processes so it is super soft and very stretchy so girls feel really comfortable and confident,” she said.
When a shipment returns from China, Enz recruits people to help her do quality control. “I will not send out products that aren’t perfect. I’m a perfectionist,” she said.
Just For Littles also makes tunics, tank tops and leggings. In addition to selling the clothes online and at various events such as Marketfest in White Bear Lake, Enz’s products are also sold in stores throughout the U.S. including Los Angeles and New York. Jes Bissett, a resident of Becker, Minnesota, runs the company’s wholesale operations.
In the end, it is seeing the girls’ smiles and confidence that inspires Enz to keep designing clothes.
“I love watching confidence come out of the girls when they put the dresses on. It fires me up,” she said. “It is so much fun for them to twirl and dance. The adults smile and glow, and you can see the little girls’ souls being filled up because their parents are stopping for a minute and noticing them and delighting in them.”
Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or email@example.com.