When you’re buying for a little boy the chances of finding clothes as cute as tutus and Mary-jane shoes that isn’t J. Crew, The Gap, or some other generic brand, is much tougher. Luckily, for moms of boys, stylist Elizabeth Davila has entered the market with her online-only boys’ shop, four the boys. Davila handpicks stylishly sweet clothing from sought after, but hard to find brands, to stock her site. Her choices combine function and style and open up the world of fashion to boys starting at a young age. With a boy of her own, Max, who also serves as a company muse, Davila knows what boys need day in and day out.
I have a son, so was obviously thrilled to find such a great shop with only boys clothes – what inspired a boys only shop?
Having a son made a huge impact on me. I spent so much time searching through several websites only to find one or two pieces on each site that I liked; it was equally frustrating having to pay separate shipping fees. I started wishing a site like Four the Boys existed and since it didn’t, I created it.
Do you get asked to add girls clothes?
I have not been asked to carry girls clothes and I am so focused on boys clothing and accessories that it hasn’t occurred to me. However, a girls only site could be a strong possibility in our pipeline.
Is Max your son? Does he love clothes?
Yes, Max is my son. He doesn’t think too much about clothes or what he’s wearing. He is way too busy getting into things and making a mess! When he decides to get dressed, he has good taste because I have taught him early.
In what ways does he influence your buying decisions?
I started Four the Boys for him and it is his personality that draws me to certain styles and colors. I always think of him and what he will or won’t wear due to something being uncomfortable, like turtlenecks, which he dislikes. I figure, like Max, most other little boys would probably think they are uncomfortable as well. So, we don’t carry turtlenecks!
As a Mom, I also think about functionality for playing. The clothes need to be high quality with plenty of room to grow!
How do you select what’s in the shop? Do you go to tradeshows?
I know right away if something will be a top selling item and of course I select and stock the most of that item/items.
I do go to tradeshows every season because I like to see the quality of what I am buying in person and I like to see what the upcoming trends will be for the next season.
As far as my selection process, I actually enjoy going through line-sheets at my home office. I have my own little system and I think I make much better buying decisions that way.
How has having a son impacted your personal style?
I am definitely someone who had a simple style even before my son was born; however, now, I think I am much more into wearing comfortable shoes to chase Max – and saving my heels for date nights.
What were you doing before launching four the boys?
I was a stay-at-home mom with a ton of hobbies, painting, drawing, shopping…to name a few and I was actually working on sketches of clothing designs before launching my idea to have a website.
Needless to say, my husband is thrilled that I turned my shopping hobby into a business.
Where is the company based?
We are based in Seattle, WA.
What advice would you offer mom’s with sons? Or maybe I should ask, what laundry detergent?
As a mother of a boy, I think it is important for us to shower our sons, as we do our daughters, with many clothing options for style. Boys, just like girls, need to learn to dress and put things together because “Boys with style become men with style”
As far as spots . . .Shout is our best friend. I find most things come out right away!
Boys are busy and very active – how does your online selection of boys clothes speak to their lifestyle?
Yes, they are! Having a busy boy living in my house allows me to see first-hand what works or doesn’t work.
Typically, boys don’t care what they wear and they just want to be comfortable. Keeping that in mind, I also look for styles with a little something different ie: sweats/shorts with a drop crotch. Boys don’t need playtime to be hindered by fashion
Would you consider launching an in-house brand?
I have most definitely toyed with that idea and there are a few gaps in boys fashion that I would like to see filled. So, it definitely could be an option worth considering!
Is a brick and mortar shop in your plans? Or do you like the digital universe?
I love the ease of having an online boutique; however, my dream has always been to have a brick and mortar store. I have an aesthetic yearning to build such a cool one!