Rhinebeck’s StarryBird Kids store is a delight for the little locals

Photos courtesy of Kerry Lee Zeff

StarryBird Kids is a charming one-stop-shop for children’s clothing, shoes, toys, and more, as well as natural skin care and maternity products.

Rhinebeck is just one of those Hudson Valley towns that always attract visitors. The historic destination includes creative restaurants, celebrity-owned chocolate shops, and an atmospheric independent cinema. However, any day trip is incomplete without a little retail therapy. While the stylish clothes and other high-quality items impress, it is the sense of community that leaves a lasting memory.

StarryBird Kids, the maternity boutique / children’s clothing store, is emblematic of Rhinebeck’s positive charm. A trip to pretty brick and mortar – or her equally adorable online store – will net you everything from smiley rubber rain boots and pink puffer jackets to hand-knitted dolls and wooden alarm clocks.

Owner Kerry Zeff first opened the venue in 2010, albeit under a different name. The company was born under the name of Waddle n Swaddle, then was quickly renamed Sapling. Finally, she landed on the name of StarryBird Kids, the perfect recognition of all the kids who “shine and take flight”. Prior to opening a business in Dutchess County, Zeff worked as a prenatal massage therapist in Boston. Her many years of experience have inspired a dedication to supporting new parents.

“It offered educational classes, retail items, and services such as massages and other wellness and community development services. It seemed like such an important missing piece of our society to have a place where parents can build community and get support. I immediately decided that was what I wanted to do someday in the future, ”Zeff recalls.


The rest is history. StarryBird Kids has become a cornerstone of the community, offering more than crafts for children. In fact, service is at the heart of the business. Zeff runs charity campaigns for women’s shelters and raises funds for local mothers in need. Above all, she always offers advice and support to anyone who walks into her store. New parents face many challenges, and a few tips, good company, and a little extra comfort can mean the world.

“In the store we have comfortable clothes and bras for pregnancy and postpartum, because when your body is going through so many changes, I think it helps to wear clothes that you feel good in. and at ease. Plus, the clothes we sell fit both during and after pregnancy, so you don’t have to give up an entire wardrobe after childbirth. Not all of our items for mothers are fashion oriented, ”Zeff explains. For example, StarryBird Kids offers items such as “belly splints” that relieve discomfort during and after pregnancy.


All-natural soaps, facial cleansers, and supplements for morning sickness relief are just a few of the many items aimed at adults. Zeff meticulously organizes his store’s collection. She is looking for useful and safe goods for the whole family. In addition, most of the clothing and accessories sold at StarryBird Kids are organic. In addition, she gets her supplies of toys and playful items made of wood or ecological materials such as silicone. One of his favorite creators for working with handcrafted items from soft eco-friendly foam, resulting in responsible and unique toys. For clothing, Zeff uses items made from cotton, bamboo and wool.

In fact, most of the StarryBird suppliers are other like-minded small businesses.

I can have a more direct relationship with them and I know and trust their ethical production choices. A favorite are our food grade silicone bowls and plates that suck up to the table as well as tiny utensils and cups for early self-feeding. Items like these are not only safe for children, but they also solve innovative problems, ”says Zeff.


Additionally, StarryBird Kids seeks to nourish developing minds. Zeff likes to select books under different educational objectives. Through its Little People Big Dreams collection, StarryBird connects young readers with inspiring women. Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman and Ella Fitzgerald are just a few of the notable figures highlighted. Another series uses famous paintings as pictures from storybooks, teaching visually-oriented children to legendary artists.

“Children are little sponges, and if presented with materials in a fun way, they can effortlessly learn so much more than you might expect,” she says.

Baby registries are another key part of StarryBird Kids. Expectant mothers can sign up for gift lists online, detailing their exact needs. They select shoes, strollers, snow pants, slippers and more for friends and family to provide. As Zeff continues to grow her business, she prioritizes top-notch registry service and a user-friendly website. During the pandemic, StarryBird Kids closed its doors for several months. Zeff went to her store on her own every day to deal with online orders. She would take everything home, arrange them on her dining room table, pack them, then ship the individual orders.

Of course, she did all of this by cooking dinners and looking after her children at home. Most importantly, StarryBird Kids is all about supporting mothers, and even its founder needs that backup.

“I would be remiss to mention StarryBird without mentioning the incredible women who work with me at the company. These women are also the face of the business, deliver the exceptional customer service we are known for, and help me move StarryBIrd forward. One of them has been with me since the day I opened 11 years ago, ”Zeff says.

Related: Join In With Kingston’s Sustainable Children’s Clothing Company

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