Now open: C'est Chic

212 3rd Av. N., Mpls., 612-226-5944

Concept: A French-style accessories boutique with a few key clothing pieces. When you walk in, it's easy to see what you need to update your look. Right now, go for navy and gingham.

What you'll find: International brands, including straw hats and bags from Italian line Kitchen by Nimé, purses from Japanese label Acrylic and French lines such as Royal Tapisserie bags and Eva Tralala linen clothes. Then there are local designers, including jewelry by Gretchen Gray and Liebling Designs and silk carves by Palettepassion.

Who: Owner Pam Pappas Stanoch has a lifelong love of all things French. The former French teacher is an international relations expert. She wanted to bring a bit of Parisian culture to the Twin Cities: "I love the attention to detail of French style," she said. The store is inspired by Grain de Sable, her favorite shop on Ile Saint-Louis.

The service: Be prepared to have scarves tied on you and hats placed on your head -- and you'll love the polished result.

Grand opening: Saturday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) with live harp music and French cookies.

Local label: Cakes & Beans

The Twins' open- er is Tuesday, but Alisha Perkins, wife of pitcher Glen Perkins, will be helping out with another opening this weekend.

On Saturday, she'll be meeting and greeting customers at Über Baby (see sales and events for details) with her line of tutus, onesies and barrettes called Cakes & Beans. She named the line after her daughters' nicknames: Addie-Cakes (3 1/2 years old) and Lyla-Beans (20 months).

When her eldest started a dance class and needed a tutu, Perkins didn't like what she found. "I'm not a pastel person," she said. Luckily, her grandmother taught her how to sew when she was a kid. Now Perkins makes barrettes ($8), halter tutus ($55), standard tutus ($30 to $35) and onesies ($24).

Her daughter/muse Addie is a big fan. "She'll come into the room and say, 'Mom, they're beautiful, I love them.'"

Available at, Pink Door Boutique (20784 Holyoke Av., Lakeville, 952-985-4118) and Baby Grand (1137 Grand Av., St. Paul, 651-224-4414).

Sales and events

With a new Columbia Sportswear (3014 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-825-6213), Uptown is now a destination for urban outdoorsy types. The first 50 people at the 6 p.m. opening on Thursday will take home a free high-tech Mobex backpack ($100). If you stop by Thursday through Sunday, enter to win gift cards and a Boundary Waters trip ($2,200 value). During opening weekend (and at the Mall of America location), 10 percent of sales will be donated to Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.

Another reason to visit Uptown this weekend: More than 40 businesses will be offering deals on Saturday as part of a campaign to encourage shopping and walking. At Cowboy Slim's Saloon (1320 W. Lake St.), the first 200 visitors will receive a gift bag and you can pick up a list of specials, including 15 percent off purchases at Local Motion (2813 Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-871-8436).

On Friday night, Cliché (2403 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-870-0420) is hosting a trunk show for Amanda Christine and Kjurek Couture. A private viewing at 7 p.m. (call for reservations) will be followed by an all-access fête from 8 to 10 p.m.

From April 12 through 18, take advantage of $50 treatments during Spa Week. Deals include a 60-minute aromatherapy massage or hot stone pedicure at ReVamp! Salonspa (2910 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-341-0404). .

Bargain hunters, get thee to the opening of Second Début2 (1825 University Av., St. Paul, 651-645-5048). It's a smaller version of the original store with an emphasis on accessories. Shoppers at a preview sale on Friday ($7 tickets, 4 to 7 p.m.) will get first dibs on merchandise. The store opens to the public on Saturday at 10 a.m. and sales will support Goodwill/Easter Seals.

Über Baby has a new flagship. The store will debut at the Shops at West End (1628 W. End Blvd., St. Louis Park, 612-869-0930) on Friday. The new loft-like space features a large assortment of diaper bags, an extensive shoe gallery and a new private label line of basics -- Ü, designed by Lynne Gonsior, who owns the store with her husband Dan Gonsior. Maternity clothing store Expecting Über Baby will also be housed within the store. On Saturday (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), meet designer Alisha Perkins of Cakes & Beans. In the meantime, Über Outlet (6021 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.) will be open only Thursdays through Saturdays.

On Saturday, catch Envision: Artopia Spring 2010 fashion show (9 p.m., Graves 601, 601 1st Av. N., Mpls., $25 for general admission advance tickets and $50 for VIP at There will be a runway show featuring local boutiques and designers.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 •