When I was a kid, my brother and I had twin beds with two built-in shelves beneath them. We assigned one as the drawer for cards and books and the other as the drawer for action figures. These beds are just one example of the furniture my parents bought for us at Kiddie Kastle, a store that had also supplied my grandparents with furniture used by my own parents when they were children.
Now located at 215 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy. as of January 1, Kiddie Kastle is Louisvilleâ€™s oldest childrenâ€™s furniture store and specializes in fine nursery, tween and teen furniture; custom bedding; accessories; and gifts. The quality furniture is made of solid wood and is meant to be passed down through families over the years.
Owner Pam Thelle understands the value of what she sells since she was a customer herself at one time. She acquired the store on August 1, 2005, when it was located on Shelbyville Road, and she knew how important it would be to continue the tradition of helping the Louisville area with all of its generational childrenâ€™s furniture needs: â€œI bought four sets of furniture here 21 to 26 years ago, and I still have all of it,â€ she affirms. â€œSo Iâ€™m a testament to a good product as a consumer. And then Iâ€™m also the owner and Iâ€™m going to take care of my customers.â€
The store is lined with beds, cribs, chairs and other types of colorful childrenâ€™s furniture. I felt nostalgic walking around even though itâ€™s a brand new location. Originally located at Iroquois Manor, the store has moved a number of times, but the quality of the product has always stayed the same. Additionally, shopping at the store has become something of a tradition for some families. â€œWeâ€™ve been around so long that weâ€™re hearing generational stories, which is wonderful,â€ Thelle relates.
When asked about current trends, Thelle told me that gray nursery furniture is very popular right now, and manufacturers are responding to what newly expecting couples want. For the couples who are less knowledgeable and need help deciding how to decorate their new childâ€™s room, the employees at Kiddie Kastle, many of whom are moms themselves, are always happy to offer advice. â€œSome girls come in here totally armed,â€ Thelle describes. â€œI mean, literally, a notebook under their arm. They know exactly what they want. And then other people come in here and they have no idea what to even ask you because itâ€™s their first time doing this.â€
Buying furniture for children is a type of shopping experience that creates positive memories, and the employees at Kiddie Kastle know how special it can be for new families. It can raise a lot of unexpected questions and harvest excitement when planning for the future, especially when considering how rooms will evolve over the years as children age. These are all issues Thelle enjoys dealing with. When asked what her favorite part of her job was, she emphasized without a second thought that it was the people.
â€œThe interaction with people, I love people,â€ she gushes. â€œItâ€™s a wonderful time in these galsâ€™ lives, and we are helping to create that for them. Itâ€™s a big purchase â€“ itâ€™s a purchase you only do once or twice in your childâ€™s lifetime, and itâ€™s exciting for the family. …Â Also, meeting new people and assisting them so that they walk away with a smile on their face about what theyâ€™ve purchased and what theyâ€™ve learned.â€
A store dedicated to quality childrenâ€™s furniture can be hard to come by, but the knowledgeable staff at Kiddie Kastle has been working to help answer questions and provide quality furniture to the Louisville area for generations. Itâ€™s a local cornerstone where newly expecting couples flock for wisdom, guidance and the types of household accessories they can feel confident will continue to move through their family, even after their own children have grown. VT
For more information, visit kiddiekastle.com or call 502.895.1648.
By NICHOLAS SIEGEL, Contributing Writer