Photo courtesy Whimsical Alley.

10 Questions with Whimsical Alley

At Whimsical Alley, magic is an essential part of the shopping experience.

Located in an old two-story Victorian home in Zachary’s commercial district, the store earned its nickname, “The Unicorn Store,” for a reason. But don’t think the fun is just for the kids! We spoke with co-owners Carrie Godbold and Kristen Caccavo about what makes Whimsical Alley, well, whimsical.

1. What inspired you to open Whimsical Alley?

Zachary is known for its amazing school district, so our town is filled with children! Despite that fact, there has never been a destination for families to shop for toys and clothes or a place to send children to a fun painting or baking class. Whimsical Alley has become that destination–plus so much more–for families in Zachary and beyond.

Co-owners Carrie Godbold and Kristen Caccavo.

2. What sets Whimsical Alley apart?

The minute you open the door to Whimsical Alley, you have to stop and stare for a minute. There is so much to take in, you cannot possibly see everything in one visit. The store has become a one-stop shop for all types of gifts and clothing for babies through teens, including an entire line of boys/men’s clothing starting at 2T and running to a men’s 3XL—perfect for matching family fall pictures! When we first opened, we only sold toys and candy, but now we also have gifts for any age, as well as clothing, shoes, balloons and more.

3. When did you open Whimsical Alley?

We opened Whimsical Alley on Black Friday in 2019.

4. What made you want to enter the retail industry?

We figured someone needed to do it, so why not us? We wanted to fill the void in the Zachary market and couldn’t think of a more exciting way to bring some happiness to the community.

5. What’s one thing you want people to know about Whimsical Alley they might not be aware of?

I want people to know that everything in our store is also available on our website. We ship items across the country every day to people who find our website online. You can even create a “wish list” filled with items on our website and share it with friends and family so they know what your favorite things are. We also offer curbside pickup and free delivery to Zachary families.

6. What’s a typical day like for your team?

We have 4,200 square feet of retail space, and we are constantly ordering new items and restocking customer favorites, so a lot of our team’s day is spent unboxing items—and getting in a little play time while we’re at it. We also spend a ton of time searching for new whimsical gifts and clothes that would be a great fit for our store. For us, social media is huge,  so we spend a good deal of time taking pictures and making posts.

7. What’s the story behind the name of Whimsical Alley?

It’s not always convenient to drive to a store and pick something out when you can just as easily pull up your Amazon app and order something online. To succeed, you have to offer something in person that you can’t get on your phone. The name “Whimsical Alley” is trying to convey the sense of a magical place that can draw you in and make you want to go to the brick-and-mortar location, not just for a gift, but also for an experience—a little bit like shopping in Diagon Alley from Harry Potter.

8. What’s your favorite thing about your store?

That’s easy! It’s definitely all the décor. We have been nicknamed “The Unicorn Store” for a reason. We have so many fun and exciting décor pieces hanging from the ceiling, and we have so many more exciting surprises that will be coming in very soon. Not to mention, we are located in a gorgeous two-story Victorian home in Zachary’s commercial district, so the charm of the home contributes to the wonder of our location even more!

9. When a customer comes into the store, what can they expect to see?

We can always tell when a new customer comes through the door because they will open the door, take two or three steps in, and then just stop and start looking around—most of the time with their jaw on the ground. It’s become a telltale sign of a newbie. They can expect to see amazing décor, the most unique gifts, the most fun clothes, a ton of warm smiles and excited shoppers.

10. What items do you think will be popular for fall?

I think our clothes are going to be the most popular items this fall. We brought in a ton of new brands recently, and we really focused on the softness levels of each piece. You’ll be drawn in by the cute designs, but you’ll fall in love with the way they feel when you wear them.

Visit Whimsical Alley at 4512 Virginia St. in Zachary or online here.