Le Papillon—French for “the butterfly”—is a second act for Norma Guerra-Martinez, who said she takes pride in bringing European flair to a local boutique.
“We have European quality without the price,” she said. “We have some things here, this is the only place you can find it. You’d have to go to Europe.”
Guerra-Martinez owned and operated a similar boutique with a partner for 10 years in Houston’s Uptown area near the Galleria. A few years after it was sold, former customer Ramon Cantu persuaded her to get back into the business closer to her new home in the Pearland area.
“I have several ideas in my journals, and Le Papillon was one,” Guerra-Martinez said.
She and Cantu collaborated on the logo—a butterfly that has blue eyes for Cantu’s son, Ramon Jr.—and they worked together to design and build the space. Approaching its third year, Le Papillon has come to be known as both an exclusive boutique as well as a comfortable place for parents and children alike, she said.
“I want this to be a place where kids can come and feel welcomed, where they can be themselves and touch the toys,” she said.
There is even a designated play area inside the store.
Every Monday the store has Children’s Circle Time, where a local “celebrity” reads to children, giving parents a chance to shop or just take a break.
The shop caters to young children, from preemies to size 8 for boys and girls. Popular items include christening gowns, seasonal outfits, stuffed animals and books, Guerra-Martinez said. She shops markets in Los Angeles and New York City to find unique, high-quality products.
“People who come here want a relaxed environment but also nice things—we have that,” she said. “We offer a lot of unique items, we really have that uniqueness and something different when it comes to gifts and outfits.”
Patrons can find products such as Noodle & Boo, a line of lotions and other products for baby and mother, Gund-brand stuffed animals, Jelly Cat books and toys, and dresses from a variety of designers. Guerra-Martinez said she watches trends and will carry whatever is most common for kids at the moment. Unicorns, mermaids and dinosaurs are all the rage right now, she said.
“The style always changes, but you’ll find there’s always variety, always something for everyone,” she said.