On March 3rd, 2012, The Red Hen at University Mall held a birthday party. They are five years old! I spoke with the owner, DeeDee Lavinder, about this big milestone and her hopes for the future.

The Red Hen owner, DeeDee Lavinder and her daughter, Avis, 7.

The Red Hen, a resale and gift boutique for families, was located on Weaver Street in Carrboro and recently moved to University Mall. Lavinder says that the larger space at the mall has allowed them to increase their offerings. Previously they stocked up to children’s size 6. Now they carry clothing and shoes all the way up to size 16. The new location has also led to more diversity of clients. Previously their main clients were mothers with little ones. Now they are attracting customers from a wide variety of demographics who are looking for a unique gift.

Emmett Constabarias, 2, dons an impromptu birthday hat while parents Karen and Adam look on.

The Red Hen is very family friendly. There is a large play area at the rear of the store so children can play while parents shop.

Lavinder says she is very proud that for 3 out of the past 4 years they have been voted “The Best Children’s Clothing Store” by the readers of the Independent. They have over 6000 unique customers in their database and hope to grow in leaps and bounds. When asked what she would wish for The Red Hen when it celebrates its 10th birthday, Lavinder says, “I hope that The Red Hen becomes the first place people go when they are looking for a great gift for the children or pregnant women in their lives. I have put my heart and soul into this business and I believe people can feel that. Not to mention we have great stuff for low prices.”

Nine-month-old Nuhamin practices cruising during the birthday party.

Lois Winkler, an employee of The Red Hen, with her daughter Sophia, 14. Sophia is sporting a henna tattoo from Stephanie Baselice.

This Friday the 9th of March The Red Hen will be one of the stops on the 2nd Friday Art Walk. The featured artist is me, Kristin Prelipp Oguntoyinbo. My show, called Family Stories, is a beautiful and engaging look at several families’ stories through the years and the seasonal beauty that surrounds us in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Come have h’ordeuvres and a glass of wine and enjoy a live photo booth. The Art Walk runs from 6 to 9 p.m. The show is on view March 1 through August.

The Red Hen
University Mall, 201 South Estes Drive , Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (919) 942-4420.

A preview of one of the stories featured in The Red Hen exhibit.