The time is now for parents to haul their kids around town for back-to-school shopping.
While school supply lists may vary between different grades, teachers and districts, every child will likely need some new clothes, fresh pencils, and maybe even a new backpack.
The back-to-school shopping experience provides a great opportunity for parents and children to support their local businesses. While no single store on this list offers everything a child may need for a successful first day of the new school year, they all offer essentials for growing learners.
Supplies and accessories
Tova Keblish’s Gavin’s Treasures is a treasure trove of unique and locally sourced handmade goods. Among them are soft pouches boasting scholastic and other fun designs, perfect for pencils and other school supplies. The shop also sells some colored pencils and markers to start filling them immediately. Keblish also offers a bracelet set, perfect for those with first-day jitters.
“The bracelets are adorable, especially for the kids who are nervous going back to school,” Keblish said. “One is for mommy, one is for the little girl; this way, they’re connected all day. She can look at it and know that mommy will be [there] when she gets home, or her aunt, or grandmother, or whoever it may be.”
AJ Sunflower Boutique: Shirts and jackets
Shop owner Katie Goulding, who is also an educator who works with deaf students, can point parents to displays at the front of her store reserved for toddler and children’s apparel. There, they will find an array of long-sleeve tees showcasing Long Island pride for a first-day outfit. The boutique also carries children-sized hoodies and light jackets—perfect for the fall season—from Goulding and her brother’s Lifestyle Fishing Company clothing line. High-school-aged students in need of a new outfit may also consider shopping at the boutique. Goulding, 25, and her associates could certainly offer some fashion advice.
Cotton Caper: Backpacks
One of Center Moriches’ oldest clothing stores, Cotton Caper may not have apparel small enough for little ones, but the shop offers fashionable clothing for older scholars in need of some fresh outfits. However, the store will best help back-to-school shoppers find a backpack to tote their books. The store offers traditional two-strap backpacks boasting tie-dye designs, animal prints, and other unique designs. It also carries an assortment of single-strap shoulder bags for students seeking something a little different.
Love of Country: New shirts
Center Moriches’ most patriotic store, Love of Country, offers new children’s clothes perfect for the summer season. At the front of the store lies a rack loaded with unisex children’s tees of various colors. The boutique’s current stock also includes youth-size face masks. However, the shop teases more to come in its “Little Patriots” youth and junior collection.
Eastport General Store: Art supplies
Locally and U.S.A.-made goods fill the shelves of the Eastport General Store on Montauk Highway. One such section, designed to catch any child’s eyes, boasts plenty of art supplies, from pastel sticks to sidewalk chalk, that children could use in the classroom and during recess. Another area boasts colored pencils, sketch books and journals, more appealing to older students enrolled in art classes.
The shop also proudly carries an Eastport-themed coloring book, which could provide a child with a fun after-school activity that sneaks in some local history.
Eastport’s Little Secret: Supplies and accessories
Hidden inside one of Eastport’s gift shops is a scarce array of unique finds that could brighten a young student’s day. While the shop may not offer much by way of traditional supplies, it sells mermaid-themed stationery sets with glittery pens and a mermaid body pencil case, as well as small handbags boasting animals and magical creatures that could double as a handy supply case.
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