If you’re familiar with Southport Corridor in Lakeview, you know the entire area has transformed over the years into a parents dream street. It’s lined with with family friendly offerings and when Kidcreate Studio opened they fit perfectly. When I first came across the studio, a flyer in the window caught my attention for their “Parents Night Out” offerings. I immediately thought- YES, they nailed it! This is a duo who not only knows what kids want, but what parents want too. Along with parents night out, Kidcreate Studio offers kids art classes and workshops in various forms for multiple ages and will host birthday parties complete with party favor bags. Bonus- they clean up after the mess (I told you they nailed it!). Read on for more from the ladies behind the studio.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
Lindsey- I have 2 girls, 7 & 4
Allison- I have a 2 year old daughter and a newborn son
What do you love about living in Chicago?
Lindsey- There is always a new museum, event or park to explore.
Allison- The people, exploring the parks and neighborhoods, the restaurants and the energy.
What Neighborhood is your favorite to explore?
Lindsey- Because our art studio is in Lakeview, and there are so many families here, it has been a great place to explore with my girls.
Allison- I love exploring Chicago neighborhoods! My family loves to take long walks and Chicago is a great place to do it. I love the beautiful tree-lined streets in the Southport Corridor, and all the little shops and restaurants.
What are your favorite restaurants and places to shop?
Lindsey- We took my girls and some friends visiting from New York to the Little Goat Diner recently and that was great! The Red Balloon is great for baby gifts, and cool clothes for kids. Click Shoes and more on Southport has really cute stuff too.
Allison- Lindsey and I like to take lunch breaks on Southport to do some shopping- there is everything you could want- M2 Boutique is full of fun things! I love Real Good for smoothies and Pretty Cool for ice cream. Ella Eli is a great date night spot.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”?
Lindsey- Allison and I got a really great facial and pedicure at Allyu spa for a recent birthday. That place is so nice and relaxing. Mostly for me time I read, work out and grab coffee or wine with friends.
Allison- I am a big fan of Zen Yoga for a little me time. I’m also lucky to say being at work is one of my favorite things, and it feels like “me time”!
Tell us about Kidcreate Studio. How did you get started?
Lindsey- Allison and I have been friends since middle school. We never talked about starting a business together until now. Kidcreate Studio is a Franchise started out of Minneapolis about 12 years ago. I had been working in community arts in Minneapolis, for over 10 years, and worked with the founder, Lara, of Kidcreate Studio Corporate on lots of different events and programs.
Allison came to visit me and was talking about wanting to quit her corporate job and start a business of her own. Around that time, Lara started franchising Kidcreate so I sent Allison the information. She loved the idea immediately and at that point the idea just kind of took off. We were both ready to take our careers in a new direction and my family was looking to leave Minneapolis to be closer to family.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Lindsey- Having gone to art school and worked in the arts for my whole career I have always believed that creativity is one of the most important job skills for the future. I have always felt we need to be fostering creativity in kids because without creative thought there are no new ideas. Creativity is a skill that needs to be developed and practiced just like anything else. Working with Kidcreate in Minneapolis, I loved the concept and Lara’s commitment to fostering creativity in all kids. The programs have themes and content that even kids who don’t typically think of themselves as creative can get into.
Allison- There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the smile on a kids face during our “Ta-Da” time after they have completed a project. I also love seeing kids develop their skills throughout a class series. I am also motivated by keeping kids engaged and having fun!
How do you juggle your business with mom life?
Lindsey- It can be really tough sometimes. There is flexibility at times and no flexibility at all in other times. What I try to do is offset the weekends I have to be gone with making sure I am able to pick my kids up from school myself a couple of days a week. I also try and involve them in the business by bringing them with me and testing out our new curriculum on them at home.
Allison- It’s a give and take- sometimes I get to be around more, and sometimes I have to be away from my family. Lindsey and I try to put our families first! Part of the reason we did this was to create our own schedules.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
Lindsey- Anyone who has ever told me- it’s ok to say no sometimes. Sometimes it’s hard to say no, but I don’t have time to volunteer for the PTO. So anyone who has ever pointed out that I have enough on my plate at the moment, and that’s okay, is a good reminder that it IS okay!
Allison- You always get a fresh start if you’re having a bad day.
What’s the best advice you would give to another Chicago mom?
Lindsey- after 3 years old, outsource your birthday parties. No one needs that mess and stress in their house.
Allison- What Lindsey said!! No need to stress!