by Cassandra Wisdo
If you’re looking to provide an adorable and unique experience for the little ones in your life, your next shopping destination should be Tiddlywinks Boutique in Dunmore. Or if you want something closer to home, Tiddlywinks will come to you.
Owner and creator Jessica Bredbenner was working as a pharmaceutical rep when she became pregnant with her daughter, Madison. Realizing her corporate career would not allow her to spend the time and energy she wanted with her daughter, she decided to start her own business. “I always knew from a young age I had an entrepreneurial spirit and eventually wanted to open my own business,” Bredbenner said. “I was always into everything creative and artsy ... making my own clothes and trying to sell them, I knew I was destined for something creative in my life and that corporate was not something I could stick with forever.”
During her pregnancy she began hand-making dresses and other clothing pieces to sell on Etsy, an online marketplace. After her designs became popular, Jessica realized she was interested in pursuing her passion full-time. With her BA degree in marketing from Marywood University and her experience working in sales and retail throughout college as well as in her corporate job, she knew she was prepared to open her own store – she just needed a concrete idea.
Then, while traveling on the West Coast, she was inspired by a colorful, mobile boutique she saw parked outside a mall in Portland, Oregon. Realizing she could combine her passion for designing children’s clothing with a unique boutique concept, the idea for her mobile business, Tiddlywinks Boutique, was created.
Tiddlywinks Boutique is a converted princess mobile on wheels that is so much more than just a specialty clothing store. The boutique hosts community shows, events and even home-based birthday parties. After her business was running for about a year, Jessica decided to open a permanent shop, called simply Tiddlywinks. Tiddlywinks offers a tea room inside, where customers can have tea parties, birthday parties and public/private events featuring princesses and characters.
The shop offers sparkly, sequined dresses with pretty, girly textures and everyday unique designs. There are still numerous homemade pieces in the store and custom clothing for events, such as flower girl or birthday dresses, can be ordered. The dressing room area offers a unique experience for children. Containing a mini salon which provides services including makeup, hair and nails fit for a princess, as well as princess dresses and accessories for girls to dress up in anytime they enter the shop. They can then model their new styles on a small stage or inside a hang out area complete with a princess tent.
“My idea for the store was not to just be a clothing boutique,” Bredbenner said when asked about what inspired her. “I wanted something truly unique, special and unlike anything in our area. I wanted an overall experience and something that little girls and family can come to and truly feel magical and youthful. Girls are our future and every little girl should feel special, unique, and empowered.”
In the future, Bredbenner hopes Tiddlywinks will become a national brand with stores across the U.S. She is currently working on expanding into a few Northeast cities and plans on employing women, particularly mothers, to run them.
Bredbenner’s advice to other women thinking about starting their own business is to “never give up. Even if you feel like you are juggling a million things or do not have the time. It’s about your passion, drive and ambition ... find other business owners in your community ... Finding like-minded people you can connect and relate to can be such a huge help, and leaning on each other and helping one another is even more rewarding on all ends.”
Cassandra Wisdo is an intern with University of Scranton Women’s Entrepreneurship Center under the supervision of Donna Simpson, Consultant Manager.
For more information, visit
tiddlywinksboutique.com, Tiddlywinks Boutique on Facebook and @tiddlywinksboutique on Instagram.