Sol is  an online store dedicated to teenagers and young teens, created by Salomé Galib and operating from the US (Dumbo in Brooklyn, NYC). A great concept when you think how difficult it is to find a place that combines fashion content, reasonable prices and expectations of both parents and children. Now, let’s Salome talk about her business and about things she cares for…

Salome Galib

How long have you been in the children’s industry? I have been in the children’s business for almost four years. After having been a journalist and an attorney, I realized I was passionate about buying clothing for my children (I have three!).  I started out distributing lines from my native Puerto Rico and soon noticed I also yearned for contact with the end users of the clothing and their parents. Hence, the launch of Sol, my online store for tweens at, a little over a year ago.

What makes Soltween different from other e-stores? I like to think that I offer as personalized and warm a service I can provide through a computer.  I also look at my site as a well-curated, yet varied, collection of clothing and accessories for tweens.  A store that shuns the typical cheesy styles that are presumed to be preferred by this age group, and offers elegant, yet fun clothing that both the kid and parent will like. As Sol’s motto states, it is a store “for tweens who like to wear fun, stylish clothes and parents who still care about what they wear.”

While I don’t always get to meet my clients in person, given the virtual nature of my business, I know that most of the time, their purchases are the result of a joint effort and negotiations between a tween and his or her parent (yes, I have some dad clients too!).  They are sitting together in front of the computer, looking at a collection of clothes that I’ve put together for them.  And that is, at the same time, very rewarding and challenging.

What are the brands that are very successful, that New Yorkers love? One of the brands that flies off the shelf, as they say, is Kit + Lili.  It is stylish and fun, generous in size, and its pieces are very, very comfortable, particularly when they are made of super soft modal fabrics. It is as big a hit with tweens as it is with toddlers, and their women’s collection is also taking hold.  I see kids who wear their hoodies every single day!  On the more sporty side, Acido Domingo, an edgy line of graphic tees from Puerto Rico, is a winner.

What children’s trade shows do you visit? I visit ENK Children’s Club and Playtime NY, of course.  While there are few lines that offer the styles and sizes that I’m looking for, visiting them is a must.  I always find something that’s just right for my store, and I just love getting to know the people behind the lines. Being a wholesale exhibitor myself, I appreciate the amount of work and sacrifice that goes into launching and showing a line, and I love learning about the many ways vendors get there.

Some of my lines, however, I get by reading magazines and blogs, and visiting stores in other cities and countries.  And those discoveries are just thrilling.  As a matter of fact, I learned about Talc through Pirouette. That discovery led me, in turn, to Soeur. And last Fall I visited both stores in Paris and started to establish a working relationship with them that has now led to the creation of Boutique Soleil, the section of my store devoted to French designers.

Anything you can think of that is missing in the current children’s product offer? Perhaps it would be nice to find fun yet elegant clothing at a lower price.  Style comes at a price, most of the time, and not all parents can or want to spend large amounts of money on their ever-growing kids, particularly in times of economic hardship.

An online destination, preferably children’s related, that inspires you? Well, I have to point to your blog, Florence.  Pirouette features entrepreneurs looking to make a mark in the children’s wear market around the world. We are all doing different things with the purpose of spreading good taste and an appreciation for style.  Thanks to you, we get a chance to learn from each other. [A BIG THANKS FOR THE KIND WORDS SALOME!]

What would you say about the general economical climate in your country/area? The economy is still far from were you need it to be. In Brooklyn, however, there is an enthusiasm and a burst of creative talent, that has allowed it to maintain a vibrancy that is not typical in economically depressed settings. You see it in real estate, the clothing industry, but must particularly in the restaurant business. I can only imagine how exciting it will all be when the economy straightens out.

How would you dress if you were a 13 years old girl ? Knowing what I know now, if I were 13, I would need a very big closet!  I like so many different styles.  I’ve always liked to wear loose, unstructured clothing, so I would probably go for outfits by Vestiaire de Jeanne, which I will be carrying come this Spring.  My closet would probably have jeans by Soeur, leggings by Kit + Lili; both graphic and solid tees by Acido Domingo, Talc, Soeur and ever/after; and dresses by Kit + Lili and Talc (which I do wear in adult sizes!), and Llum, a very mod line from Philadelphia.  I would probably wear ethnic accessories, like the beautiful handmade Moroccan pieces from Tangier.

Have you seen interesting/new children’s stores that you liked recently? There is a very quaint store in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn called Dumbelle, which features a series of paper dolls designed by fashion artist Elaine Page. Kids get to paint the paper dolls, as well as clothing for them. Elaine carefully designs new clothing each season and helps kids customize their creations.

The children’s stores you like? I love Pomme, also in Dumbo. I miss Samantha and Stephanie very much (the founders, who sold their store about a year ago), but I’m happy that the new owner has kept the spirit and aesthetic of the store, even as she has expanded its offerings a bit.

The new and interesting places in New York? There are more new, exciting restaurants in Brooklyn than I can count. My most recent “discovery,” however is in Manhattan. I just went with my family to Todd English’s Food Hall at the Plaza Hotel. It is beautiful, fun and yummy, and it offers so many different types of cuisines in one place, that your kids will never fight over wanting to eat different things. Plus, it is not rare to find chef Todd English himself walking through this upscale food hall – the first of its kind in Manhattan. We all loved it!

The book on your bedside table; what you like about it? I am almost done with the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson is a brilliant biographer (I previously read his Benjamin Franklin biography), and Jobs is a brilliant subject.  I pretty much own everything that Apple has currently in production, and to read about how this media revolution came about thanks to one brilliant, eccentric man, has been immensely enjoyable and striking. I have cried; I have laughed; and I have wondered at how we have been witnesses to history, at so many levels.

What inspires or motivates you at the moment ? My children inspire me. Salma is 9. Yamila is 7. Santiago is 5. They are growing and learning fast.  And their sense of humor, wits and humanity make me feel happy and very much alive.