It's funny how things work out sometimes. A few weeks back, we made a stop at Gurnee Mills to check out the first completed wing of their ongoing remodel. Among the new stores, I spotted one that caught my eye: RUUM American Kid's Wear. The store was fantastic, and only a few days old when we made our first visit. Colorful, and staffed by a friendly bunch, we ended up leaving with outfits for both of our girls (a treat from my Sister-in-Law). I was so immediately impressed that I actually started following RUUM's social networks before we were even done checking out. I tweeted a photo that I'd posted to Instagram - my daughter, Addie, trying on a cute little biker jacket. The folks from RUUM (pronounced "room," btw) noticed, and then asked if I'd like to go back there to explore their store in a more formal capacity as part of my Back-to-School Coverage here on The Rock Father. Mission accepted.
Note: While I'll be focusing on the Girls' department, RUUM American Kid's Wear carries clothing for boys and girls, newborn through Size 14 (actually, remember the band SIZE 14? they had that song, "Claire Danes Poster") in collections that include "Rocker," 1950's-inspired "Rockabilly Prep," and even "London Calling" (with a dash of Mod-inspiration).
The girls and I returned to RUUM yesterday, on the hunt for another Back-to-School outfit for Addie (she starts Pre-K in two weeks) and a special outfit as a birthday gift for one of her classmates. Mere seconds after entering the store we were greeted by Kate, who just so happened to be the Store Manager. "What brings you in today?", she asked. I gave her the scoop on what we were looking for, and she was quick to connect with Addie and start dishing out suggestions built around the first thing that caught my little one's eye... a cool little cardigan sweater, gray with silver stars and a tiny bit of pink accent. "What color jeans do you like?" Without hesitation, Addie responded, "I like pink."
Asking if Addie likes to play dress-up (which she certainly does), Kate suggested some additional items before my four-year-old and I (and little Finley, who was in the stroller) had a new experience: the fitting room.
And then we had to run around the RUUM...
One thing that was quick to be pointed out when we arrived at the store is that there's a sale going on right now for outfits - Buy Three Pieces, Get 30% Off. The really cool thing is that once you hit three pieces, everything above and beyond that is also 30% Off (excluding clearance). What that means is that I got a great deal at RUUM.
With Addie's outfit squared away, we still had to get a birthday gift for her friend. Starting with some graphic tees, Addie settled on an orange one (officially called "sweet potato") because she really liked the sunglasses on it. There's a good selection of pieces that are easily mixed-and-matched at RUUM, but in the end, we went with this really Fall-ish plaid, pleated skirt.
For a finishing touch, Kate walked Addie over to the hair accessories rack to pick out some ponytail ties. On sale 2 for $8 (actually, each is a two-pack - perfect for pigtails), we grabbed one for each outfit.
From our first visit, Addie knew that RUUM has a special treat in the back of the store for kids that are "good" through the entire shopping trip (yes, it's sometimes hard to keep a four-year-old content, and bribery works)... Free CANDY.
Addie kept herself busy picking out the perfect lollipop while I went through the checkout process, signed up for The RUUM Clubhouse (their Loyalty Program), and found out that with all discounts applied, I bought nearly $90 worth of clothing for just $59 (including tax)! I even got a nice gift box and tissue paper for her friend's birthday gift.
Having already visited RUUM twice in three weeks, it's safe to say that's it's already becoming a regular stop on our shopping adventures, and a store that I can heartily declare ROCK FATHER-APPROVED!
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About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality and Commentator.
He serves as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), has made guest appearances as a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew, was featured in the Father's Day issue of Lake County Magazine, and is a former contributor to Chicago Parent.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for the likes of FEAR FACTORY, DIRGE WITHIN, PRODUCT OF HATE, ARCANIUM and others, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, and in 2013 he's been quoted on CNN, Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project, in addition to making appearances on ABC News and WGN.
Learn more here.