The stork has dropped an especially pretty bundle in Lincoln Park. Get ready to shower your affection on Monica + Andy, the new infant and toddler shop that opens this weekend on Halsted Street. More than just a boutique, this oasis is also a hub of kid and grownup fun. It has adorable clothes, a milk and cookie bar, ongoing story hours, music classes and even toddler yoga. Curious? We thought so.
Walking into Monica + Andy is like making your entrance at a lavish party — you don’t know whether you want to dive right into the fun (in this case, oodles of racks of adorable kids’ clothes) or just stand there and ooh and aah awhile. It’s a huge space, with gorgeous slate floors, floor-to-ceiling photo canvases, and a white chandelier that would look at home in a modern art museum. Roll your stroller right in — there’s plenty of room — and get lost in the namesake clothing, blankets and bibs made from super-soft organic cotton.
The Monica + Andy collection takes up the front half of the shop. Midway, at the cash wrap, there’s a milk and cookie bar, featuring soy milk (health consciousness is top of mind here) and plant-based treats from Hillary’s Cookies. In the back of the shop, a wide-open area is home to regular story hours, music and art classes, and yoga sessions. Plus, the staff keeps their office back there, so you’ll cross paths with people that really know the merchandise and perhaps even the designer herself.
Newborns and toddlers get most of the love here, as the clothing is designed for ages 0-4. Monica — with the guidance of a slew of mom advisors — is always introducing new pieces to her collection and this summer’s theme has a classy, Gatsby-esque spin. Pale yellow, mint and lilac are the main colors in the dressy, but not fussy, clothing. For girls, there are polka-dotted ruffle dresses that look ripe for picnics. For boys, look to “old sport” seersucker suits which refresh Jazz Era style. And for babies, kimono-like onesies in solids and polka dots make great gifts for the new arrivals in your life.
There’s more than the Monica + Andy collection up for grabs here. The shop works with a select group of local “Market Moms” that design and create things, and they have their own showcase space. Look for fabric bows from Bright Little Island, melamine kids’ plates from Anne Rudgard Designs, and Roopa Weber’s picture book, Messy Penny.
Keep your eyes open for the schedule of kids’ classes and activities (most of which will cost around $10 per child); registration will be required and drop-ins allowed, as available. Furthering this shop’s mission of being a friendly lifestyle destination, it has a private nursing room (complete with a changing table) and stroller valet. If you know somebody that’s expecting, ask about the cool services like delivery of “Cuddle Boxes” — packs of baby blankets, bibs and burp cloths — to the delivery room or new mom’s home.
You can be a part of the grand opening fun on Saturday, June 21 & Sunday, June 22 when Monica + Andy throws a celebration. On Saturday, go for toddler yoga at 11:30 a.m. or an art class at 4 p.m. On Sunday, there is live music by Miss Aimee Leigh at noon and toddler yoga at 4 p.m. Stick around for the milk and cookies … and shopping. Who could forget that?
Monica + Andy
2038 N. Halsted St.
Store hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon to 5 p.m.
What do you think of this new family spot? Let us know in the Comments!
— Kelly Aiglon
photos: Simply By Suzy Photography