ANDERSONVILLE — After having her son nearly three years ago, Andersonville’s Stephanie Sinnott realized how few local shops catered to new parents.
So, she decided to do something about it.
On Saturday, Sinnott will open her first store, Sandbox Baby Boutique, a children’s clothing shop at 5349 N. Clark St. The shop seeks to give parents a locally-owned, ethically-sourced store to not only patronize for clothing needs, but to also seek out parent questions and resources, Sinnott said.
“As a parent of a toddler, I know how frantic it can be to go shopping,” Sinnott said. “I want to remove some of those barriers.”
Sandbox Baby Boutique will sell clothing and accessories for children up to six years old. It will offer items from newborn layette sets to children’s swimwear, pajamas, leggings, hats and more. Sandbox sources from six brands, and they are all women or person-of-color owned, Sinnott said.
The store is also designed with families in mind, Sinnot said. Much of the floor space is open, leaving plenty of room for strollers and kids. A “sandbox” will offer a foam-padded play space for kids. (It won’t include sand, but will have toys and a magnet board.) All accessible outlets are child-proofed.
“My goal is to have a nice, safe space for kids to play while mom and dad shop,” she said.
Sinnott got the idea for a children’s clothing store in late 2019 and signed a lease at 5349 N. Clark St. in March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic swept through Chicago.
In response, Sinnott said she “pumped the brakes” on the project and sought to wait out the pandemic. She didn’t build out the store until an opening date came into clearer focus, she said.
Sandbox Baby Boutique will open during Andersonville’s InSidewalk Sale, a pandemic-friendly take on the neighborhood’s annual weekend-long retail sidewalk promotion. Sinnott wants to introduce her business to the community during the event and let parents know she will be a resource to them for things beyond clothing.
The business plans to host public events for new mothers and parents, and will hopefully help connect parents to groups and organizations helping and supporting new parents, Sinnott said.
“Being a mom can be a very lonely experience,” Sinnott said. “Resources are a little harder to come by than I expected. I hope that this is a place the people come to seeking answers.”
For more information on Sandbox Baby Boutique, click here.
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