New and expectant parents in New York City can add a new store to their shopping list. The beloved Chicago-based digitally native baby clothing retailer Monica+Andy has officially opened a Guideshop location on the Upper West Side, where they’ll sell baby gifts, clothes, super-sized layette packages, as well as swaddles, blankets, burp cloths, and more.
As a mother herself, company founder and fashion enthusiast, Monica Royer, was inspired by the need for quality fabrics in today’s children’s clothing. “I learned in the early days of having my daughter that children’s clothing can have lead and it can be sprayed with flame retardant, and even when I bought things that were organic and didn’t have those things in them, I was still really surprised by the scratchiness of the fabric,” she says. Over the course of the next three years, while doubling as a stay-at-home mother, Royer built the foundation for Monica+Andy, which draws its name from her name and her brother’s name (fun fact: Her bro is Bonobos co-founder Andy Dunn).
The company, which has seen tremendous success with shoppers online, is now expanding their in-store shopping experience from their Chicago base to Manhattan. “As someone who had a 3-year-old at the time, I didn’t have the opportunity to travel back and forth as much as I do now, but it was always kind of planned that we would expand to New York once we were able to find a spot,” Royer says. Monica+Andy, which prides itself on customer experience, hopes to bring every unique experience found in their Chicago stores to New York. “We will have a doughnut bar, story-time and music classes, a lactation consultant, and we’ll be hosting a lot of pre-natal classes as well,” Royer says. “Having a positive experience in the retail environment is so important to us. We really want to build a community and make you feel like you have a friend.”
One of the most popular products offered by Monica+Andy is the innovative layette box, a carefully selected collection of essential pieces for baby’s first wardrobe. Boxes are put together at different price points to accommodate parents looking for a more full wardrobe or just the essentials, and include notes about how, when or where to use each item, as well as personal mom anecdotes. “As a new mom you can sometimes feel a little lost. You might have a ton of friends but you can feel isolated at times if your the only one with a one month old so we wanted you to feel like you’re in the know.”
All products sold at Monica+Andy are approved by Royer’s special Board of Mom Directors, with most items featuring a one-run print. We want to provide children’s clothing that is as unique as you feel they are,” Royer notes. Not only can kids have fun at the store, new and first time parents will be able to relax and enjoy a stress-free shopping experience. “Here, your kids can run around. We love noise, we love parents, we love kids and we want a vibrant and alive space that we can utilize as much as possible so that we can become as much a part of the local community as we are a part of the national online brand.”
Monia+Andy’s UWS Guideshop can be found at 410 Columbus Avenue! To learn more, visit monicaandandy.com!