Ana Apple set to open a children’s clothing store in Old Sacramento

Photo courtesy of Ana Apple

Ana Manzano, owner and operator of Ana Apple, the handmade, eco-friendly children’s clothing company, is opening her first shop in Old Sacramento, with an anticipated opening in the first week of March.

Last year, Manzano, 30, won the second annual Downtown Sacramento Partnership “Calling All Dreamers” contest, designed to help start-ups open their first storefronts. Ana Apple was selected from a pool of 33 contestants and won the grand prize valued at $135,000 and a year of free rent. (The inaugural “Dreamer” winner was Andy Paul, who has since opened Andy’s Candy Apothecary near 9th and J streets. The 2015 contest launches today.)

What started as a one-woman show in 2009 with Manzano selling her clothing at local craft fairs and farmers’ markets, will morph into a full-fledged storefront at 114 K Street in Old Sacramento, the former location of Taylor’s Art & Soul gift shop, which closed its doors in December. 

“The community has been so supportive and incredible ever since I was playing with fabric on my kitchen table,” Manzano said. “This really does feel like a dream.”

The 1,600-square-foot location will be divided into three spaces: the retail shop up front, a workshop area called The Greenhouse for hosting community classes and gatherings, and a production space in the back where her team hand makes and assembles each garment.

The retail space will house Ana Apple’s kid-focused products like onesies, bibs and T-shirts—with simple, quirky designs (like playful skull and crossbones designs to turntables and boom boxes) using felt made from recycled plastic bottles and U.S.-grown cotton—and will also feature handmade products from other California-based designers and artists, like creative plush toys from Los Angeles-based Janie XY (plush crispy bacon strips, anyone?) and illustrated greeting cards by San Jose-based Le Petit Elefant.

Manzano said she was drawn to Old Sacramento for its historic vibe and popularity among young families. Her storefront itself, though designed to be fresh and modern, will be modeled after an old general store, with mason-jar-lined shelving behind the sales counter she hopes to outfit with a vintage cash register and a fruit cart to hold merchandise. Manzano also hopes to integrate creative kid-friendly features like patches of AstroTurf and a large tree display along the wall for products.

The Greenhouse will be a creative education center aimed at youths from ages 4 to 18 (as well as adults) and eventually host gatherings like parent and infant yoga classes, after-school snack cooking classes with local chefs, or even happy hour craft beer nights.

“I really want to activate the neighborhood and collaborate with restaurants and businesses down here [in Old Sacramento], to make it a family experience for kids and adults to come in and get messy and be creative,” Manzano said.

But perhaps the business model and vision dearest to her heart is giving back to the Sacramento community through specific charities once her storefront is up and running.

“That’s just how I was raised, to use your life to give back,” Manzano said. “I want to use my business to not only celebrate joy, but to spread awareness and inspire generosity.”

Ana Apple. 114 K St.