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Fashion Forward: Ginger Gray’s Doodlebugs has made sure children are dressed in their best for 20-plus years

By Ashley Daniels

Ginger Gray, owner of Doodlebugs in downtown Georgetown, says she always wanted to be involved in the fashion industry, but her sights weren’t originally set on children’s fashion – it just landed that way over 20 years ago.

“I really had a desire to open a formal wear bridal store,” says Gray. “It’s what I always wanted to do.”

She goes on to explain how her husband, who used to be a UPS delivery driver along Front Street, talked to the owner of Calico Closet, the former children’s boutique pre-Doodlebugs; she was in the process of selling her store and moving to Mount Pleasant. Meanwhile, Gray was in the midst of buying a formal wear store in Georgetown, but when that fell through, the door opened for her to buy Calico Closet.

“It was definitely a decision through lots of prayer,” says Gray. “We knew at that point that we definitely had things falling into place for a reason. … And I’m so glad we did because I’ve enjoyed it so much. It’s definitely something that is rewarding.” 

Dubbed Doodlebugs after a nickname Gray endearingly gave her daughter when she was younger, the children’s clothing and gift store has withstood the test of time over the last couple of decades. Gray lost the original store location to the fire that swept through downtown Georgetown in 2013. They moved to the 900 block of Front Street for several years, where it flooded several times, and now Doodlebugs stands at the corner of Front and Broad streets, where it has operated since 2018.

“It’s really neat to see how much Georgetown has grown,” says Gray. “It’s amazing the difference, to look back from now to even 10 or 20 years back. … And it’s really nice because the businesses are a close-knit community, especially after the fire, offering help when needed.”

Doodlebugs specializes in baby, boys, and girls apparel for all seasons, including gowns, outerwear, loungewear, swimwear, gifts, accessories (shoes, socks, jewelry, sunglasses, and more), toys (stuffed animals, lovies, baby books, diaper bags, photo frames, and more), rain gear, and more.

“For little girls, the traditional smocking is very popular,” says Gray. “I don’t think that will ever go out of style. And for the little boys, we sell a ton of the Properly Tied line, which is just casual shorts that can get wet, and PRODOH is another brand that’s great for the area because they can get wet.”

Gray’s eight employees help with merchandising, sales, social media marketing, and Doodlebugs’ online store, with Gray solely doing all the buying for the store. The boutique hosts special events in-house, such as pop-ups in the summer and appearances from silhouette artists.

“It’s nice to see all of these kids that we dressed as kids, and now they’re having children, and they’re bringing their children in, and we’re dressing their children,” says Gray. “It’s really neat to have watched them grow up and now watch them become mothers and parents themselves. It’s really fun.”

Today, Gray’s daughter, “Doodlebug,” is 28 years old and a registered nurse at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet, and her son just turned 25.

“No more little ones!” says Gray, with a laugh. “Now I have to wait for grandchildren.”

Gray shares that when she is not having fun dressing her little clients in the finest wear, she always has a book in her hand.

“I sit by our pool and read or go to the beach, or we’re out on the boat,” she says. “We have such a beautiful area here, so, I mean, really just anywhere on the water is where I want to be.”

Doodlebugs Children’s Finery & Gifts is located at 800 Front Street in Georgetown. For more information on Doodlebugs or to shop online, visit www.doodlebugschild.com.  

Haley Brandon

Haley Brandon

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