When Ciro and Rosa Sarra, the owners of Sara’s Children’s Boutique at 88 Park Avenue in downtown Rutherford, talk about their customers’ willingness to travel two hours to their store, or even from as far away as Syracuse, they aren’t exaggerating. Sara’s is a one-of-a-kind boutique that sells a delightful array of tiny-sized dresses and suits, most of which are specially designed for the little ones’ Christenings and Communions. In fact, the store’s racks abound with children’s clothing for all special occasions—from flower girls dresses and ring-bearer suits, to an adorable selection of layettes for the bouncing newborn.Just last week a customer named Sandra braved over forty minutes of rush-hour traffic to come to Sara’s for her son’s baptism gown.
“Coming here was a wonderful experience,” said the delighted new mom about her visit to Sara’s. “We went to other stores but this was the only place in New Jersey that had what we wanted.”
For 36 years, nearly 30 of which have been in Rutherford, Ciro and Rosa’s customers have spoken glowingly about their visits to this charming little shop in the heart of town. The kind of store that can’t be found in a mall, but gives any downtown a unique character. In turn, Ciro and Rosa feel continually thankful to their customers for nearly four decades of support.
“It’s always a joy—every day—to work with the babies,” says Ciro. “To help on their special day.”
Whether it’s a soft and frilly gown for the schoolgirl, a pint-sized Italian designer suit for the little guy, or an outfit of show-stopping cuteness for the newborns, Sara’s specializes in dressing children with a style that matches the importance of the occasion. And while every item in the shop is small or that much smaller, cute and that much cuter, Ciro and Rosa had first wanted to import women’s clothes, not children’s, from Italy. A single conversation with a neighbor in Hoboken, the location of the couple’s first shop, changed all that.
“She’s the one who suggested that we open a baby’s store,” Ciro says. “There were already so many places selling ladies’ clothing.” As their local customers began to move away from Hoboken to places like Rutherford, Lyndhurst, and Carlstadt, Sara’s second location opened on Park Avenue, and has been here ever since. After all these years, those same customers have remained ever so loyal.
To read but a sampling of the hundreds of Thank You cards Ciro and Rosa have received from their customers only proves the value of that friend’s advice from so long ago. One, in a child’s handwriting, reads: Thanks for the dress and sharing my special day! Another, punctuated with a smiley face, thanks Sara’s “for my beautiful outfit.”
Each but two moments in a long history of special days that Ciro and Rosa at Sara’s Children’s Boutique have helped to make possible.