Nina Westbrook Sets Sail

Welcome to Nina Westbrook’s world, a soulful and light-filled boutique called The Little Ark. The name is part tribute to the Westbrook’s baby, Noah. But it also signals that there’s a little bit of everything inside the ark.

by Veronica Pasfield | photos by Rachel Maucieri

 

The children’s ABC book opened with A is for Activism. It was an early clue that there was a fresh new voice in Nichols Hills Plaza. Similarly so is a small but mighty collection of books and stylish ephemera for new parents: books titled Do One Thing Every Day That Centers You and The Sh!t No One Tells You, sustainably made toddler dishes, toys by Mayan artists, loungewear that’s both reasonably priced and Los Angeles made.

Welcome to Nina Westbrook’s world, a soulful and light-filled boutique called The Little Ark. The name is part tribute to the Westbrook’s baby, Noah. But it also signals that there’s a little bit of everything inside the ark. The merchandise ranges from organic cotton onesies proclaiming “Old Soul” across the front (and, yes,Thunder tees) to adult pleasures such as luxe candles and copies of her husband’s coffee table book, Style Drivers. In back, a lovely gathering space hosts parent-tot workshops.

The Little Ark isn’t a posh-baby boutique, but a space created to foster connection and intentional family life.

“Being socially conscious is really important to me,” explained Nina, a marriage and family therapist. “My goal in (my) career path has definitely been to assist people with personal growth. And I think personal growth comes with knowledge. People can take in information and choose do with it what they want. However, it’s important to build perspective, and know what you want, and know what you think, and how you feel and what you believe. They’re all parts of being a whole person. I wanted (to) bring a little bit of everything in. So people can choose what they want to share and learn about.”

It’s a refreshing premise upon which to launch a retail brand. And for those who have reality-TV expectations of families associated with the NBA, behold a brand instead based upon “cozy and cute,” as Nina often said during our visit. We especially loved the State & Manor line, ultra-soft and stylish loungewear designed by Nina’s friend, and made in LA. New motherhood doesn’t have to look like old sorority tees and spit-up on your shoulder, The Little Ark seems to encourage.

The class roster is beginning with the likes of storytime and music play (sign up online). Nina would like to see the space evolve to hosting workshops and “mommy get real” groups.

“I don’t want to bring therapy per se to this space because that’s a different thing,” Nina explains. “But I’d like to empower people to be enriched, and promote wellness and health, and happiness and social experience. (A place) where they can have community and…be supported.”

Nichols Hills Plaza, 6421 Avondale Dr. @thelittlearkokc

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