10 Years of Bowfish Kids // 2013 • year one

ocean city new jersey kids store

Hey there, bowfishies, new and old! Caitlin here.

It's been a while since I've written a post, but this is a special occasion. In exactly ten days, it will be Bowfish's 10th birthday. I've been wracking my brain about how to celebrate this huge — and, honestly, unbelievable — occasion. I have grown personally and professionally so much over the past decade, something I couldn't have done without the support of not only my incredible team but every customer and friend. And, really, the best way I could think to honor our little store and each of you was to share one year of growth in each post, from 2013 to 2023.

So here it goes, jumping back to 2013:

I had just graduated college and was pursuing a dream of bringing something unique for kids to Ocean City. It was a family affair from the beginning, with everyone pitching in to help get the store off the ground, from late-night painting sessions to building custom fixtures. I learned quickly that it truly does take a village.

For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, you'll remember that we started our journey on the boardwalk as Bangles N Bows Boutique, not as Bowfish Kids on Asbury Avenue. Looking back, I realize how crazy it was to open a store on the boardwalk with zero business or retail experience — and, yes, the photos are so cringe-worthy to look at now. But, at the same time, it's also an excellent reminder for me of what constant reinvention can do over time.