A refashioned children’s boutique, formerly known as Lillian Trails, hopes to give downtown Benton shoppers a shop worth throwing a fit over. Accordingly named “Tantrums,” the boutique reopened at the end of October.
Like its predecessor, Tantrums provides “all things kiddo,” says owner Kelsi Evans. The shop has children’s apparel and gifts for babies and toddlers through adolescence.
If anything, Kelsi says she hopes Tantrums will bring “a bit of happy” to Saline County. “I try my best to give moms their time in the shop,” she says. “My favorite part is loving and playing with the kiddos who come in. We have one sweet boy who has his mama message us on Instagram to check on his ‘friends’ (my daughters and me) and it just warms my heart.”
Kelsi’s hope is that every parent can come and shop knowing Kelsi “gets it”—the ups and downs of parenting and the tantrums in between. “My motto is, let’s read a book or color or dance and let your mom shop.”
Kelsi says she just wants Tantrums to be a fun spot for moms and children. “Mommin’ isn’t easy and it takes a village.”
She also tries to make sure the price points are affordable while remaining competitive. “It’s hard being a small business and competing with big box store prices and that’s always a challenge, but I truly try.”
Like many individuals and small businesses, Kelsi has seen challenges this year. Lillian Trails closed its doors pre-pandemic in January for renovation, per the landlord’s request. Weeks turned into months, and then Kelsi learned her store wasn’t included in the renovation plans.
After much prayer, another local business owner contacted Kelsi and offered her building space, and Kelsi was off to new adventures. “It was the fastest whirlwind of a month, but I’m totally happy to be back, and the outpouring of love and support from our town is amazing.”
Being shut down from January to October was difficult. From being at the house to watching what felt like her business falling apart, Kelsi says a bright spot is she’s grown in many ways.
Kelsi got her start in retail at a young age and had always dreamed of having a shop in downtown Benton. She jumped into retail when she worked at Forsyth’s and Kristen Todd in Little Rock with her “Nana” from the time she could work, through college. She worked in medical social work following college until her oldest was headed to kindergarten.
What motivates her to keep going are her girls, Sawyer and Harper. “I’ve been thrown a few curveballs this year, and the last thing I want them to see is their mama giving up,” she says. The girls were some of her biggest cheerleaders when deciding to take the offer to reopen.
With the holidays approaching, Kelsi says to look out for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28. “We will have 20 percent off all apparel and a chance to win a Kate Spade bag. I always offer promotions during the holiday season—it’s my favorite time of year.”
She encourages shoppers to follow Tantrums on social media to keep up with all of the deals: https://www.facebook.com/Shop.Tantrums.Downtown on Facebook and @shop_tantrums on Instagram.