At home in business

Nancy Guettier, owner of Nancyland, poses for a photo inside her store in the Linda Mar Shopping Center. She is putting her experience in the retail industry to good use with her own store. Adam Pardee / Tribune

A children’s store that lets kids play right in the shop opened recently at Linda Mar Shopping Center.

“The eight-foot magical unicorn does all the advertising for me, ” said Nancy Guettier, owner of Nancyland, at 1223 Linda Mar Shopping Center.

Besides the unicorn, kids can find lots of wind-up toys, a beach section with toys, a building section, toys for cooking and playing house. There are sunhats and puzzles. A dolphin-in-a-box toy. The Kindness dolls company gives back to charity with every purchase, she said. Kids can ride a scooter that turns into a tricycle.

“Rockets are selling well,” Guettier said.

The store has maternity and newborn clothing including a swim diaper. Avanchy plates offer a bamboo choice for babies.

Guettier’s career with children started more than 30 years ago when the Gap clothing retailer moved her from New York to do visual merchandising for children. She worked with the Fisher family, owners of the Gap, to dress mannequins for Gap Kids and opened the first Baby Gap store. She helped open Baby Gap stores all over the world.

Then she moved on to Pottery Barn doing the same work. When Pottery Barn launched its first kids catalog, she wanted to do the furniture. She was there at the launch of the first Pottery Barn kids store and the first Pottery Barn teen store.

“It was quite a treat for me to work with the founders of these companies. I worked with a lot of inspiring women who helped shape retail. That inspired me,” she said.

When her kids, now 13, 14 and 16, were younger, she wrote books about their experiences and imagination, about seeing constellations in the big city, the importance of water conservation when you are a mermaid on Mars and one about the phases of the moon, among others. Those books and others are for sale in the store. She wants to host events in the fall, reading from her own books and inviting local artists come in.

Guettier recently moved to Pacifica from San Francisco. “I want to be part of the community,” she said.

Families have enjoyed seeing the play spaces at Nancyland.

“It’s been well-received,” she said. “It’s nice to meet the generations. It’s been very rewarding.

“It’s necessary to keep the small moms and pops going. It’s hard competing with the Amazons of the world,” she said. 

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