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Aug. 12, 2022

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New Vancouver boutique Lyon & Pearle focuses on supporting community sustainably

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
5 Photos
Melanie Wyckoff, left, owner of Lyon & Pearle, looks over items for babies with her daughter-in-law, Jessica Wyckoff, in downtown Vancouver. "I love, love children and I love women," Melanie Wyckoff said.
Melanie Wyckoff, left, owner of Lyon & Pearle, looks over items for babies with her daughter-in-law, Jessica Wyckoff, in downtown Vancouver. "I love, love children and I love women," Melanie Wyckoff said. "So creating a space that women and children can come and find really special things -- that's really my heart." (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

As she walks around her store, Lyon & Pearle, Melanie Wyckoff grabs the products with care, oohing and aahing over each one. It’s easy to see the love she has for the shop and the dreams she has for it in her eyes.

Her vision for the store, located at 607 Washington St. in downtown Vancouver, has been in the making for 15 years. She wanted to bring a children’s store to the city, but not just any store — one with intentional products that would be there to support the community. It would have beautiful clothes and toys made sustainably, aimed at the growth and development of children.

Fifteen years later, that is what she has.

“I love, love children and I love women,” said Wyckoff. “So creating a space that women and children can come and find really special things — that’s really my heart.”

Three years ago, her dream began to take shape. During time spent in Barcelona, Spain, and in Norway, she visited many children’s and women’s stores, feeling inspired and snapping photos along the way. The experience led to an increase in conversations, and then, just after the pandemic had begun, her husband took her to this empty storefront and suggested she make it her own.

Then the real planning began. Wyckoff sent her daughter and daughter-in-law off to make lists of all of their favorite children’s and women’s things.

“Then we gathered together around the fire in our backyard and just dreamed of what we could do,” she recalled. They began looking into products from Barcelona and Peru and all over.

“I always think of when you go into this amazing organic restaurant, and they have the map on it that shares where everything is from. And you just know it’s so curated, that they’re intentionally bringing you the healthiest of things,” said Wyckoff. “That’s what I wanted for this shop — this really intentional, healthy, beautiful place that people can walk in the door and feel wanted and loved.”

The shop carries toys, party supplies, shoes, gifts, children’s dishes, bath and body products, women’s clothes, cookbooks and children’s clothes, all the way up to size 14. The items are not cheap, nor are they cheaply made.

Wyckoff’s own teenage son wears some of the boys’ clothes when he’s riding his bike and skateboarding. Despite his crashes, the pants’ knees hold up.

Her youngest daughter is 4 years old and loves the dresses by the Pink Chicken brand, especially when company comes over.

“The brand goal is to make it that fancy, but also easy to wear. So, the kids and parents want to put their kid in it every single day, just because it’s comfortable and easy,” added Jessica Wyckoff, Melanie’s daughter-in-law and the shop’s creative director.

“They really make it for heirloom,” said Melanie. “Even if you just had that one dress for that, it could be something you could pass down, which I love.”

The store has an online shop that draws customers from across the country, but the focus has been the target audience in the Vancouver area. The Wyckoffs want the store — whether for online shopping or in-person shopping — to be a place of encouragement. If someone buys something online, the order will come with a handwritten note. If someone comes into the shop to browse or buy, they’re welcomed.

Jessica shared a story of one woman who had shopped in the store before and knew it had a playroom and an area for moms to nurse. She had been eating at a restaurant nearby and wanted somewhere comfortable to nurse her baby.

“So she came in to use the nursing room and went back to dinner,” said Jessica. “It made me cry. That’s what we want for people.”

Lyon & Pearle

Where: 607 Washington St., Vancouver

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday

Website: lyonandpearle.com

Clark County has long been home to big-box stores, always full of people shopping for many of the types of products Melanie carries. How does Lyon & Pearle hold up to that competition?

Jessica says there are people who want those special items.

“Yeah, they’re going to Target and stuff, but they’ve also been ordering online because they still love the special things,” she said.

People, she added, come in so happy to be able to touch the products before they buy them.

Folks are “just so excited to be able to see it and feel it in person and buy it in person rather than online,” said Jessica. “So I would say that we have a big advantage.”

Then there are the folks who are shopping for gifts that Melanie hopes will consider coming by. The store even has a baby registry.

Melanie still has dreams for Lyon & Pearle — hosting a story hour, a craft hour and photos with Santa.

“We just have big dreams as we grow to really continue to have resources for the community as well as just offer beautiful, really-good-for-kids products,” she said.

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