- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - Pixie dust fuels Scranton’s newest mobile merchant.

Jessica Bredbenner, a 25-year-old from West Side, wields the fairy power behind a new road-ready shop for specialty children’s clothing, Tiddlywinks Children’s Boutique, which will hold its grand opening Friday evening, parked in the Marketplace at Steamtown’s center court.

The Marywood University alumna and former pharmaceuticals sales rep started selling her own glittery clothing for little girls on the artisans online marketplace Etsy.com after her daughter Madison was born in January.

She had a good job with vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur in Monroe County, but was starting to feel uneasy with a recent assignment on the other side of the country in Portland, Oregon, and a baby on the way.

“It was very hard because I did have a very good salary,” she said. “If I was to stay with my job, then I could end up in Alaska or North Dakota, and as a new mom with a family, it was kind of a decision I had to make.”

So, she moved home to Scranton and resolved to extend her maternity leave indefinitely to focus on raising Madison and starting her own business. Online sales took off. Three months into it, she has more than 1,000 Facebook followers and nearly 3,000 followers on the image-sharing app Instagram, where she draws most of her sales.

She sells dresses and accessories that she makes by hand for girls mostly 1 to 8 years old.

She found a vintage 1976 Dutch Craft camper on Craigslist and restored it, inspired by Cinderella’s carriage. Bright pink and white with gold trim on the outside, inside are a tiny dressing room, clothing racks and accessory displays. A tapestry of flowers adorns the wall and a faux crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling.

The Internet and a fondness for putting her daughter Riley in special clothes led Heather Holton of Orange County, California, to Bredbenner’s online store. She was hunting for the perfect dress for Riley’s sixth birthday party. The theme was Alice in Wonderland, and she wanted something unique.

“Once I came across Tiddlywinks, I was just sold,” Holton said by telephone. She praised Bredbenner for the design and was thrilled with the quality of the dress, which Riley has worn about 20 times since her party, she said.

“There’s all these girls out there that want Elsa dresses,” she said referring to the blockbuster heroine from Disney’s “Frozen.” ”She can make you something that’s Elsa-inspired instead of getting the typical Disney Store Elsa dress. . I can’t even express how impressed everyone was with the outfit my daughter wore for her party.”

With a fairly established food truck industry in Northeast Pennsylvania, Bredbenner thinks the region will welcome boutique clothing sold from a camper, she said.

This week, she picked up her vendor’s permit to set up shop outside the Viewmont Mall in Dickson City. She plans to be in downtown Scranton soon.

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Online: www.tiddlywinksboutique.com

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Information from: The Times-Tribune, https://thetimes-tribune.com/

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