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Hello, my name is Jean Polsky and I own Estella with my husband, Chike Chukwulozie. I was born here in New York City and have been interested in fashion since I was old enough to figure out how to dress myself. My first job was an internship at the beautiful Bergdorf Goodman and professionally speaking, I haven’t strayed far.
In 2002, Chike and I opened Estella, an eclectic, high-end designer baby and children’s clothes boutique in New York’s Village. The concept behind Estella was to bring the amazing, artisan-inspired kids’ clothing we saw scattered across Europe here to New York. In 2002, luxury children’s fashion in NYC was synonymous with big box retail, big price tags, and somber, conservative frocks. We saw things differently. “Kids have personality,” we reasoned, “their clothes should too.” Our vision was built on high quality kids’ and baby clothes that were designed by mothers, not corporations. These creations were full of gorgeous colors, textures and spirit. Kids loved wearing these clothes and parents loved owning them.
Our retail business blossomed over the course of 11 years. We were humbled by the response from the press, celebrities and all our customers: Estella appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Elle, The Today Show, People Magazine, US Weekly, InStyle and numerous other press outlets.
"When he's looking for inspiration, Mizrahi heads to Estella ... 'It sounds totally random, I know, but I adore the incredible color sense. They never get too twee the way they do in other kids' stores--it's very eclectic and sophisticated in an exclusively New York way.” - Designer Isaac Mizrahi on cnn.com.
Over the years, we created various collections of toddler and baby clothes because our customers were asking for them and they did not exist in the market. Our customers wanted soft, elegant newborn baby clothing so we designed a capsule collection of Estella bamboo baby clothes, which has since been featured on the Martha Stewart Show and in other national press outlets.
Our gift shoppers always wanted that extra something special to include with their baby gifts that would give it the “wow factor.” Thus, Estella’s organic baby toys, baby blankets, and nursery decor pillows were born. Our baby gift line has gone on to win prestigious national awards. Barney’s New York and other luxury baby boutiques picked up the line and demand grew from there. To cater to this demand and grow our collection, we closed the retail location in 2013 and now sell through specialty baby boutiques, gift stores and on our e-boutique.