Inside Williamsburg’s Cute Attack! with Owner Liza Dare

Located on a stretch of Metropolitan Avenue in East Williamsburg that is probably better known for its bar-going residents than for its toddler population, children’s store Cute Attack manages to be that rare kid-oriented spot that attracts both parents and non-parents alike. Full of everything from Jane Austen counting books (really, you have to see the Pride and Prejudice version to believe it) to Tattly fake tattoos to deviled egg-patterned bandanas (which double as drool catchers) from Brooklyn-brand Kid Falco, Cute Attack manages to fit a lot of, well, cuteness inside its cozy, sun-filled interior.

Owner Liza Dare opened up shop just over a year ago, after learning that the owner of the children’s store that previously occupied the spot needed to relocate to Los Angeles. Dare jumped at the chance to open up her own store and make a mark on her neighborhood of five years, which is a bold enough move for a seasoned veteran of the retail industry, but is all the more impressive when you learn that Dare was only 24-years-old at the time. Dare explains to us, “I’m just really passionate about the neighborhood and I noticed all the new families living close by, but also that there were no other kids’ stores right around here. There are plenty over on Bedford Avenue and there’s Caribou Baby in Greenpoint, but there wasn’t anything right here. And I wanted to support my neighborhood and I love fashion and I love kids and I really thought it was a good fit.”

And it certainly does fit in well with the neighborhood, both in aesthetic (lots of black children’s clothes, which is just smart re: stains, as well as looking good) and in atmosphere—it’s a welcoming, laid-back spot that caters to consumers who care about what they’re buying. Dare handpicked every item in the store, and much of it is crafted by local Brooklynites, including mobiles by Caitlin Wicker, stuffed monsters by Veronica Chen (including a yeti that we want for our bed), and whimsical flower crowns made by Dare herself. When planning how to stock Cute Attack, Dare tells us, “I would go to flea markets, like Brooklyn Flea and the Renegade Craft Fair to find designers. I wanted it to be different, I wanted it to be a store where you could only find these things here. So, this is a yeti with a tushie! I love the monsters. I have them in my apartment, they’re all over my couch.”

This is the beauty of Cute Attack. Is everything in here meant for children? Sure. After all, as adults there are really very few times and places where it’s acceptable to wear a clip-on unicorn horn. That said, children and parents and childless adults alike will all find pleasure in the store’s contents because good design and thoughtful curation trumps everything else. And about those unicorn horns? Even though it wouldn’t work as well on an adult, a child could easily pair one with sparkling high-top sneakers, flip-up, scallop-edged vintage sunglasses, and some fringed shorts for good measure. After all, as Dare says, “Nothing’s wrong on a kid.”

Cute Attack!; 770 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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