The move was a good one. Business doubled because more parking was available, she says.
Cessna brought two doors from the Central City store that has Mickey and Minnie Mouse art work on them. Her daughter, Kim Loughry, painted the doors for the first store, which now are in the playroom where kids can play while mothers are shopping.
Another work of art on a wall near the front of the store was done by Cessna’s twin grandsons, Brice and Nathaniel Milburn, in 2004 when they were teenagers. It shows a boy in a swing hanging from a tree with ducks on a pond. The Milburn twins later studied art in Savannah, Ga., and are professional artists.
Throughout the 20 years in Central City and the past 20 years in Danville, Cessna has grown to think of her customers and sales representatives as family. She says you have to know your customers’ wants and needs to buy for them. Going to merchandise markets is the easy and fun part for her.
Cessna has seen four generations of mothers come through the store.
“It’s a one-stop shop for grandchildren at Easter,” said one satisfied customer as she made a purchase last week.
“Stride-Rite shoes to babies and young children are my strongest sales,” says Cessna.
Kid’s Alley also offers girls’ clothing; shoes from newborns to size 16; accessories; jewelry; ballet and tap shoes; and dance wear. Boys’ clothing includes three-piece suits, shoes, and a variety of dress and casual clothing.
She also offers diaper bags, school uniforms and University of Kentucky items.
“I’m thinking about going more for gift items like dolls and strollers for little girls,” Cessna says as she talks about how business has changed in the past few years.
“Business is slower now more than any time in my 40 years,” she says. “It’s been slow at times but never like this. I’m still blessed with customers. I’m real optimistic, I think business is coming back.
“I’ve been so blessed in my business these 40 years. I love what I do, then and now. I enjoy working more now in children’s clothing because of all the babies I get to see.”
When asked about retirement, she says, “I would miss customers and sales representatives. They are like family.”
When not working, Cessna does mission work around the world and says, “I’ve never been anywhere I thought was any nicer than Danville.”