Bitte, a German word that means “please” and “you’re welcome,” is also the name of a local retailer of children’s goods founded by mother-daughter duo Sara McDonald and Maia McDonald Smith. “I thought it was a nice meaning to attach to what is often being given as a gift for a child,” says Maia, who studied German as a child.
A graphic designer by training, Maia had long dreamed of opening a business with her mother, who cut her retailer teeth years ago as the founder of the successful toy company Magic Cabin.
“I wanted to do something similar to the business she had started, selling things made with natural materials that were sustainable and beautifully designed,” says Maia. “When I went to look for these items as a new mom, I found it was hard to find them all in one place.”
Bitte, which has an established online presence and will soon open a brick-and-mortar shop in Sacramento’s Land Park neighborhood, sells everything from organic cotton baby swaddles and onesies to handmade cloth dolls and sturdy wooden toys.
“Our products have a modern look but also a classic bent,” says Maia, “because they’re made out of what toys used to be made out of. We’re trying to curate items that have modern shapes and a contemporary color palette. I am definitely inspired by Scandinavian and Japanese design. But overall, our focus is on quality items that you would want to pass down someday.” bitteshop.com