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New beachside boutique has eclectic tastes

Little Freebirds, on Ocean Avenue, is co-owned by a mother and her daughter, who once lived around the world.

April 22, 2011|By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com
  • Jess MacEachern owns Little Freebirds, an infant and child boutique on Ocean Avenue in Laguna Beach.
Jess MacEachern owns Little Freebirds, an infant and… (KENT TREPTOW, Coastline…)

When Jess MacEachern was a little girl she used to be stopped on the street for her stylish wardrobe. Born in Mallorca, Spain, and raised all over the world — from South America to Africa — it might have been hard for her mother, Kerry Brougham, to pinpoint the origin of her garments.

MacEachern's new Laguna Beach boutique, Little Freebirds, will solve the problem. She's bringing her clothes to you.

MacEachern, 27, is showing off her eclectic tastes at her Ocean Avenue children's boutique, which opened last month.

Hanging in the window is a Desigual dress, a brand from Spain known for bright, vibrant, offbeat patchwork prints. Chenille plush animals decorate the displays and soft colors highlight each hand-picked piece hanging up on the wall.

To MacEachern the new venture is fulfilling a dream for her and her mother, who is co-owner.

"My husband teases me that I couldn't have found something better to do," MacEachern said. "It's all the things I enjoy wrapped up into one."

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MacEachern, who has lived in Laguna Beach for the past year with her husband, Laguna native Steve MacEachern, didn't want to set down her nomadic roots anywhere. She knew Laguna Beach was a special town and a good fit for Little Freebirds.

"I think people here have similar values to me," she said. "I have an appreciation for the outdoors and nature. That can translate into what you teach your kids and what you put on your kids."

Natural fibers are an important component to her store. Little Freebirds sells numerous brands made from bamboo, soy and organic cotton, such as BabySoy and Under the Nile.

Little Freebirds also carries special lines for children with tactile sensitivity, which is a common need for children with ADD or autism.

"I want to keep it as local as possible," she said.

She's already started reaching out. She has contacted artists to see if they'd like to showcase pieces on her walls. She is also selling postcards by a local stationary company and working with a children's book writer to see if she wants to host a storytime.

"I'm really happy to have this be where I landed," she said about her city.

On Saturday Little Freebirds is hosting an Easter Egg Drop for patrons. The Easter Bunny will also be making an appearance.

Little Freebirds

227 Ocean Ave.

(949) 376-9925

If You Go

What: Easter Egg Drop

When: Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

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