Businesses come and go, open and close, move or change names all the time. One thing that has remained constant for the past 25 years in Austin is Picket Fences Baby & Big Kids on 34th Street.
An Unexpected JourneY
Owning a children’s boutique was never in the plan for Kathryn Kenjura Hall. As a pharmacy student at UT, she had a career all mapped out. Then, while looking for a part time job, she turned to Picket Fences. At first it was just a job. But as Kathryn became more involved with the store, she discovered talents and interests she never knew she possessed.
Picket Fences became a creative outlet for her as she fell in love with designing nurseries, matching fabrics and colors, putting together bedding, and seeing how happy it made new mothers. Kathryn realized that being a pharmacist wasn’t going to fulfill the artistic spark that had been kindled.
Just as Kathryn was embracing this newfound insight, she learned Picket Fences was going to close. After nine hard years of building a successful business, previous owner Aimee Laughlin was ready to move on to a new stage in her life. Kathryn wasn’t willing to let Picket Fences go. Inspired by her father, also a small business owner, and her mother’s love of decorating, she took a chance and purchased the store herself.
Eighteen years later, Kathryn still enjoys the challenges of tracking changing trends, sorting through countless products to find the best items for the store and watching the children’s industry grow. She finds joy in seeing mothers return when they are expecting their next little miracle. Kathryn especially finds it satisfying when Aimee stops back in, these days shopping for her own grandchildren.
After three decades, Picket Fences has become part of the Austin community and is excited to be here for decades to come.