Hi Everyone! It’s time for Lincoln Park Moms Meet a Mom Monday! This week’s Meet a Mom feature is Megan Bernstein, Lincoln Park mom and founder of Starfish Kids. Read on to learn more about how clothes shopping for her little boy inspired her to create a her own (sustainably made) clothing line, Starfish Kids! Let me just say, I’ve already filled my cart with basically everything on the site! I love that a portion of the proceeds goes to Cradles to Crayons. Beyond her inspirational career journey, Megan also shares some great mom tips and favorite places around the city. Thanks for sharing with us Megan! Megan is also generously sharing a coupon code for 15% off for Lincoln Park Moms followers! Use the code ChiMom15 for 15% off your order!
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Hi Megan! Thank you for speaking with us today! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! I’m Megan Bernstein, founder of Starfish Kids (a new line of children’s clothes I launched earlier this October!), and I live in Lincoln Park with my husband Dave, 3-year-old son Bennett, and we are expecting a baby sister to join us in February (just before the second Starfish Kids collection launches, so things aren’t busy at all!) :).
Where are you from originally, and what brought you to Chicago?
I grew up in Michigan (suburbs of Detroit), and since leaving Michigan, I have lived in Minneapolis, San Francisco, New York City (where I met my husband and where my son was born) and we moved to Chicago to be closer to family (and have more space than we did in Manhattan!) in May of 2019.
How many kids do you have, and what ages are they?
My son Bennett is 3.5 years old, and we are expecting a baby sister to join our family in February!
You’re a Lincoln Park mom! What are your favorite things to do as a family around the city?
My son loves going to the Lincoln Park Zoo (though ironically we spend much more time on train rides and carousel rides than we do seeing animals!). We have a Saturday morning tradition of getting a croissant at the Lincoln Park Farmers Market which we enjoy. And we belong to Midtown Athletic Club and have had fun spending time at their outdoor swimming pool this summer (which has stayed open all of October and we even got in a swim in our unexpected “summer weather” a few weeks back!).
How about without the kids – what are your favorite places for “me-time”?
Ohh…. sign me up for a relaxing massage, manicure or pedicure any time!
What do you love most about raising kids in the city?
I love the ability to walk to almost anything, the exposure my son has to so much as a result of being in a city, and I like how he feels like part of his city community– whether that’s by passing the same dog on a walk on our street, seeing a preschool friend at our local farmers market, or delivering a package to a neighbor, etc.
Do you have any favorite local businesses in the neighborhood?
Oh, so many good ones to choose from! I really like Monograms on Webster for their beautiful monogramming, and also have enjoyed many sweet treats at Annette’s ice cream shop this summer!
Tell us more about your career journey, and how it led you to create Starfish Kids!
I have had a 15+ year career as a marketer for some iconic brands including eBay, Tiffany & Co., and just prior to deciding to launch Starfish Kids, I led Marketing here in Chicago for Nordstrom’s Trunk Club business. Ever since my son was born, I looked forward to dressing him in cute outfits, but as he grew, I discovered that shopping for children’s clothes was a time consuming chore full of compromises– I felt forced to compromise on style, fit, price, and felt like the comfy play clothes I found for him had more of a sloppy aesthetic than I wished for. As a former senior marketing executive, I was determined to solve the consumer problem of having to compromise on design, fit, feel, durability, and price when shopping for children’s clothes.
The result is Starfish Kids, a new line of sustainably-made and thoughtfully-crafted, versatile staples that are as adorable as they are functional, with a superior fit, super-soft feel, and family-friendly prices. Our debut clothing line comes in sizes 2 to 8.
Give us all the details on Starfish Kids – what can moms expect from your brand?
I spoke with thousands of moms about their expectations and frustrations with shopping for children’s clothes and obsessed over every last detail: regular and slim sizing options, reinforced knees, plenty of pockets, and sustainable non-toxic fabrics that can stand up to serious horseplay. We selected a sophisticated but playful color palette with prints that brilliantly mix and match for effortless dressing. Our fabrics (exclusive of trims) are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, which means they’ve undergone testing and are free of more than 300 hazardous chemicals, allergens, and skin irritants (think pesticides, heavy metals, carcinogenic colorants, formaldehyde, and pesticides). Our debut clothing line comes in sizes 2 to 8 and is available on our website.
And because we believe in spreading joy beyond your closet, we donate a portion of proceeds from every purchase to support children in need through our partnership with Cradles to Crayons- Chicago.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I am the oldest of 5 children (I have 3 brothers and 1 sister), so as you can imagine, our holiday functions are a bit loud.
As an entrepreneur I’m sure your days are jam packed! What is a “mom hack” or piece of advice that helps you get through your busy days?
You mean besides consuming coffee? 🙂 This is probably advice that many of us can relate to (or already do), but I think just like being a mom in general, being a mom & entrepreneur forces me to ruthlessly prioritize- I make sure to do what I deem to be the most important things (both as it relates to my business and family life), and as I believe we all should, I’ve given myself grace in the fact that not everything will always be done, the kitchen may not be clean, etc.
Rapid Fire Round:
Coffee or tea? Coffee– which has become a definite everyday accessory for me since becoming a Mom! 🙂
Favorite way to relax? A massage
Favorite book? Haha, this took me a minute to think of when I last read a book for pleasure– and my son just told me “yesterday Mom, we read “Where the Sidewalk Ends” so I’ll go with that :).
Best thing that happened this month? That one’s easy– launching Starfish Kids!
Favorite candy? Peanut Butter M&Ms
Favorite restaurant? Juno Sushi