meet the mama: a New Jersey boutique-owner with an eye for great design

Walking around Alexandria Pavel’s Montclair boutique, Apple Village, is the perfect way to remind yourself that: No, not all kids’ stuff needs to be plastered with Mickey Mouse’s or Elsa’s face and beautifully designed kids’ clothes and furniture do exist. She has a knack for finding the best of the best—and balancing it all while being the mother of two “super energetic” boys (her words), Milo and Sebastian. Hear how she defines the elusive term balance and which brands you need to be shopping right now.

Hi Alexandria! What motivated you to open your own shop?

After city living in San Francisco and Chicago during my pre-baby years, I decided to move back to my hometown of Montclair, New Jersey with my family. I opened Apple Village as a way to indulge my passion for design, ethically and artfully crafted goods, and unique finds and share it with my  community.

What were you doing before you opened Apple Village?

I was a brand manager for a fair trade home décor company, while always making time for freelance interior design projects.

What’s the biggest challenge of mom-preneurship?

Mom guilt. I’m always wishing I could give more to my kids, and also my business (which is very much like a babe) at any given moment. Also, turning off my boss brain, and switching gears to family mode. I.e.: Putting down my phone, not checking emails and Instagram!

What’s the best part? The most unexpected reward?

Connecting with so many amazing women, families, and other local business owners on a daily basis. I've made many dear friends through real-deal conversations about life, and motherhood at the shop. It’s a space where people like to hang out and connect, and I always get to participate, which I love.

What kids’ brands do you love right now? What do we need to be paying attention to?

There are way too many to name, but I love what’s coming out from Savage Seeds, Rowdy Sprout, KicKee Pants and L'ovedbaby. For décor, I’m into HLuv Co.’s soft wall sculptures and Gauge NYC handmade wire words. They work in so many rooms.


Trends catching your eye in the world of kids’ stuff?

Mommy & me is happening in a big way right now. Hand embroidery, organic fibers, minimal solid wood furniture and attention to child development in nursery/bedroom/playroom design.

Wisest words uttered to you by a child?

I can do it, because I can do anything I want!

How do you define balance?

The knowing that there will always be more to do, or that could be done, and feeling OK with how much I actually do in a given day.

You sell The Pop at Apple Village. What do you like about it?

It’s a brilliant concept: a pacifier that doesn't touch the ground when it drops. Something I wish I had when my boys were in the paci stage. The are super popular at my shop! People love the idea of a pacifier that will make parents’ lives easier, and keep germs away from their baby. Also, we are in Montclair, NJ, the same town as  Doddle co-founder Nicki Radzely. Our community is super supportive of this innovative mompreneur, and this brilliant pacifier.

Thank you Alexandra!


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