That little girl wearing the Wonder Woman swimsuit overlooking Long Island Sound in Connecticut... that's me!

As the youngest of four children and member of a sprawling extended family, my parents always taught us the value of reusing. Long before anyone knew what "up-cycling" was, my mom was an avid consignor. She was forever coming home with new-to-us "treasures" or whisking our outgrown items off to be discovered by another family.

After falling in love and marrying a Michigan boy, this East Coast girl moved to shores of Lake Michigan...a fish out of salted water, you might say.

Three children and 20 years as an early childhood and elementary school teacher has taught me how much all parents crave personal real world connections (all the more precious in the age of social media). I remember well those days when a conversation with a shop keeper or another parent in a store were my lifeline. And each year, I'd see my student's parents struggling with similar feelings of isolation.

I opened Freshwater Whale Boutique as a way to meet the needs of families in our community who want to take advantage of the practical, economic and environmental benefits of consigning and up-cycling. But I also wanted to create a comfortable and welcoming place where families can connect in a personal way. I hope you will find that, beyond the high-quality clothes, books and backpacks (all at "unsalted prices") that we stock on our shelves, our play area and story times offer a chance to linger longer and strike up a conversation with another parent, or with me!

Swim by next time you're in town and say hello.

Cheers!

Whitney Vydareny

Long Island Sound, Connecticut 1980

East Coast Meets midwest!

Monday - Saturday 11-6
Sunday- 12-4
1558 Wealthy Street SE,Grand Rapids, MI 49506
616-214-1281
freshwaterwhaleboutique@gmail.com
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