Friday, July 1, 2011

Shameless Plug

I am posting this because I am proud to have it printed. Also it may share a little more about me in more journalistic terms! Let me know what you think!

Source: Smiley Pete Publishing

Kiddie Couture
Cradle Will Rock keeps kids hip with unique threads

by Tess Simon

June 28, 2011

Lexington, KY - Across the country in Orange County, Calif., Rhonda Smith had established herself as a well-respected children’s clothing designer at her boutique, Cradle Will Rock. The first outfit she ever made was featured on the cover of US Weekly, and the store was frequented by celebrities. MTV even brought in cameras one day to take a tour of the boutique. Yet despite Smith’s incredible success, when she took a two-week vacation to the Bluegrass, she felt like she was home. “I fell in love with Kentucky,” she said. “When I got on the plane to go back, I felt like crying because I loved it here.”

Upon her return home, Smith made the decision to pack up the profitable business and move it with her youngest son, Christian, to Lexington. “I thought it was a good idea to raise Christian here because it’s all-American and it’s different,” she said. “It’s quaint, and everyone knows everyone. It’s a community.”

Swapping her boutique’s bustling California location in favor of a healthy community environment in Lexington was not the first major life decision made with her son in mind. In fact, Christian was the inspiration for Cradle Will Rock nearly 11 years ago. “When Christian was a week old, I was strolling down a main street [in California] and there was a place for rent,” she said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to open a baby store. I’m going to take my baby to work with me,’ and that is how it all began.”

In June 2009, Smith opened her Kentucky location in Victorian Square, but after 15 months, she decided to relocate into Chevy Chase, where sales have picked up and Smith can walk to work.

While the boutique has relocated across the country from its original storefront, its fundamental concept is the same: to provide hip, handmade and often one-of-a-kind clothes for kids.

Smith’s innovation and natural talent for design can be seen in all of her clothing. She began her career with only a couple of sewing classes under her belt, yet she made her first piece without even the help of a pattern, merely envisioning a vintage pillowcase as a dress and pulling out her scissors. Now her craft begins by visiting Lexington’s several antique stores, where she said she “always scores” with items like Chenille bedspreads, vintage hankies, tablecloths and blankets, all of which inspire and inform her designs. Back in the shop, she cuts and sews on a table pulled into the middle of her store, welcoming customers when they enter. She sells everything from clothes for babies and young girls and boys to baby essentials, like washcloths, breastfeeding covers, blankets and silk-screen-printed onesies.

Perhaps even more impressive than Smith’s innate vision for fashion and goal to provide handmade, hip clothing is her strong commitment to support local artists. Smith makes space in her store to feature customizable jockey silk paintings by Jamie Givens, a local painter and designer who also created the boutique’s eye-catching wall murals. The back wall of the store is covered in artwork for sale by William Brown, an artist with One World Art Collective, which assists in the professional artistic development of adults who have been diagnosed with a cognitive disability.

With the reception the business has received in Chevy Chase, Smith has dreams of expanding the boutique to other locations and eventually franchising. A large part of this expansion plan is centered on her desire to preserve the lost art of sewing. She hopes to employ college students, stay-at-home moms and grandmothers who want part-time work making clothes. “I don’t need to take it to a manufacturer in L.A. and get pennies on the dollar,” she said. “I’m not doing that. I’m trying to say, ‘Hey, who wants to sew and help me make kids’ clothes?’”

Though the store operates with the same goals and values as when it was first opened, Smith has noticed a difference in her Kentucky and California clientele that extends beyond celebrity. In Lexington, Smith said, “little girls are little girls. They dress and act like little ladies.” Smith said she likes that compared to Los Angeles, mothers here prefer traditional clothes for their children. This has lead Smith to design more pieces with embroidered initials, polka dots and ruffles. “I love traditional, but I’m trying to put a funkier twist on traditional,” she said.

Smith’s transition to Kentucky has been made easier by her new family of Lexington supporters. Smith showed off a card that a little girl had recently drawn for her of a Cradle Will Rock original dress that her mom had purchased. “I don’t even know these people; these are customers that come in that I’ve just met,” Smith said. “This is a little girl that just loved my tank dresses, and thought they were cool. This,” she said, holding up the card, “this is cool.”

Cradle Will Rock is located at 814 Euclid Ave. For more information, visit

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Family time...

I apologize for not blogging faithfully but my husband has been here and we have been busy doing home projects. Family time is also top of the list so I hope with my absence, you all have been spending more time with your families too!

See you soon!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

CWR Originals - Summer Stripes

Summertime just makes you want to wear stripes! Everyone has their own take on how they will wear them. Some make it fun and dress like "Where's Waldo"

Some people want to look casual and fashionable, like LC from The Hills

Some just don't have a choice in the matter and wear what their trusty owner puts on them. They don't complain about the stripes at all!

This is how we do Stripes at Cradle Will Rock. No Stripes you see out there will be just like mine! Dress your little one in a CWR Original!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

To Know Me Is To Love Me...

If you love me or want to know me, these are the things that make me go MMMMMM.....

The simplest of my pleasures and most guilty is this:
Coke with crushed ice

and a long, hot, uninterupted bath!
However, I do love so many other things...some which are simple:

Green Tea on cold days next door at Mon Tea

Getting unexpected presents from my love or friends

Waking up and feeling good to be alive and healthy

Some good barbeque with my son

Having a great hair day - that makes everyday great

and some expensive...

the new Porsche Panamera - oooh la la

a convertible Bentley - I will use this one in California

big horse property in KY - yes it would be grand!

and the most precious of all, the ones which are priceless!
(I wish I had photos for these)

Sitting with my husband and son watching a fun movie

Talking with all my Mommy customers at my store

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The "R" in Cradle & Rock Doesn't Mean "Retail"

I have always been a person who rocks my own personal style. I created this store because I didn't like retail choices for my young son's attire. That is what created the idea of having a baby store! So with an idea and a dream I opened Cradle Will Rock.

I believe it is a dream when I wear something that I know no one else will have. I do not mass produce but I do create some similar looks. These are a few of the ideas that have been translated into clothing for your little loves.
I am very sure you will not find these outfits in any other store than mine!
Come try on an outfit and have your little one show their (your, ahem!) personal style!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Arrivals for Tea Collection - Spanish Noveau

This collection is just one of the lovelies carried by Cradle Will Rock. It is by Tea® and your little one will look very stylish but be comfortable as well! This is what I call "effortless style". Your little one's will looked "dressed" yet they won't fight you putting on "their good clothes".

Mila Embroidered Dress

Modernest Sweater Vest & El Born Tile Print Shirt

Mila Embroidered Skirt & Casa Nouveau Dress

Casa Nouveau Dress & Modernisme Ruffle Dress

Stop by and see what you think!

Cradle Will Rock Original

This little girl is so adorable and I am proud to have her model one of my original creations. She makes this dress work.

You can see the shape of the dress and mommy can help her accessorize. These ruby slippers and red bobbles make the dress just look FUN for a little girl!

Pillow Case Top - movin' & shakin'

Girls are always on the go... we are movin' and shakin' and sometimes you don't know what to wear!
This is a great example of how to throw together a look that Cradle Will Rock can bring together and make you a standout in any crowd!

This is how you wear an outfit and top it with something that nobody else will be wearing! Buying retail is blahhhhhh! Make her outfit come alive with a Cradle Will Rock Original!

Jammies are soooo comfy!

At Cradle Will Rock we carry Tea Collection and they have a nice line of jammies for your little one.

If you want to get them ready for bed and have a great night of sleep, then come try on a pair at my store.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let me introduce myself to you...

This little precious angel is modeling one of my CRADLE WILL ROCK Orginal girls dresses. The reason I am posting her here today is to share with you a little more about me.

If you were to know me when I was this age, you would think you were talking to me! She looks just as I did at this age! Like a mirror image of myself! I am smitten!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vintage is so much more than just a word!

If you know me, you know that I love vintage. Yes I love vintage things and what vintage means. Don't you wish you were a vintage phonograph and could come to life to tell everyone of the music you played and about the people who danced before you?

Some people would love to go to the future. I choose to go back in time, to a time before mine!

Simply said, I love vintage.

I love vintage furniture.

I love vintage toys.

I love vintage clothes and this is what I did!

I've created these new "one of a kind" pillow case dresses from vintage pillow cases. This is something you won't find anywhere so every little girl can be proud that no other girl will be seen in her dress! We all want to be special that way, don't we?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

From Seal Beach to Chevy Chase

For those of you who don't know me or are just starting to learn about me, I thought I would share this with you. There is a little special place in my heart that makes me smile. It is where I started the Cradle Will Rock when my little boy was... just that! Little!

Check out this video and you can fall in love with my old hometown. I am happy here in Chevy Chase and love all of you. Thank you for making me feel like I am at home!

If you look close as they pan down Main Street, you will see my Green awning with red letters CRADLE WILL ROCK!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Long Time No Blog...

Couple of topics for me to cover today:
1. Apology 2. My Neighbor, my saviour 3. The Weather 4. My New Collection

So first things first: I must apologize again for being so tardy on my posts. It has just been a crazy time. With opening a new store, working on new product lines, getting used the the winter weather and the commute with snow and rainfall... I have been slacking! There it is, the truth is out and I have admitted I have slacked on my blog! So so sorry!
I have been busy in the new store and meeting so many new people! I love Chevy Chase and the new location. You know, I am right next door to Mon Tea.

I have been drinking green tea every day since I moved in the new location. Secret revealed! I haven't felt better! I have been feeling bad for some time, but since I moved to the new location and with the help of my neighbor... I have been drinking Green Tea! I really think its helped! You should come get some and stop by and say "hi"! We can drink and get healthy together! If you aren't in Lexington, you can buy it online. They have a great assortment and you should read their website. Lots of good information. Check them out at

I recently met a photographer by the name of Amy Stickler. She does great things with her photos. The company name is Aim Photography. Check out this lovely photo of her little girl in one of my Cradle Will Rock Pillow Case Dresses! Be sure to look for her on Facebook: Aim Photography

There is rain today and it is expected through the night.

Tomorrow we are told we will have some snow. The best part is that my store is right next to Mon Tea and you can grab yourself a cup to warm up. But Enough! Spring just get here soon, I am ready! Monday is the first day we will see some sunshine according to newscasts!

My new TEA COLLECTION is a cute and affordable line. Come try them on with your little one. There are even a few things for you Mommies!