It's the end of an era for Ms. Sutherland who says she "always wanted a shop for little kids' clothes, ever since I was 8 years old."
Last week the store was filled with shoppers, there for its going-out-of-business sale. Many said how much they would miss the genial owner.
"Don't worry. You'll see me downtown one day," Ms. Sutherland assured Lucy Rutherford, 7, who gave her a goodbye hug. "Lucy has been coming here with me since she was a baby," said her mother.
Rose Borrone and her daughter, Marina, stopped by for shopping and brought a box of scones as a farewell treat.
Always known for quality clothing, the Children's Shoppe has been the place for a new grandmother to splurge on an exquisite christening dress, hand-embroidered with tiny seed pearls with matching bonnet, bib and booties. It is where a young gentleman could be fitted with a blue blazer, camel top coat, or a tuxedo, complete with red cummerbund.
Mothers and daughters have shopped for party dresses, like a pale blue taffeta with hand smocking for a 4-year-old, or a royal blue silk discreetly embroidered with sparkles that a 12-year-old would cherish.
For special occasions, such as a bat mitzvah or first Holy Communion, Ms. Sutherland has always made sure a dress is never duplicated. She has kept a calendar of local religious and social events so "You'll never see the same dress twice."
The Children's Shoppe is liquidating every item. All merchandise, fixtures, furniture and equipment will be sold, with the store closing Dec. 22 or sooner. The train table in the front of the store, beloved by generations of little kids, will be sold in a silent auction.
Cynthia Keefover of G.A. Wright Co., a retail consultant assisting in the store closing, says customers are welcome to drop by and pen a few words in a tribute to Ms. Sutherland.
When asked if the children's clothing business has changed in the last 28 years, Ms. Sutherland says with a smile, "The industry's changed, but I haven't."