Mothership Launchpad is one of those businesses you walk past and think “I wish THAT was around when I was a new mom!”.  Michelle Calderhead, and her husband Phillip, perfected the space everyone needs as a new parent.  She takes looking for playgroups, mom friends, and kids classes each separately out of the equation, and wraps everything into one location.  Easy-peasy, comforting, what every sleep deprived mom needs.  Mothership Launchpad hosts everything from children’s art and music classes and parties, to specialized parenting workshops and more.  The mom meet ups are particularly popular- most likely because they’re done in a non-intimidating, casual & fun way- in a gorgeous, zen space!  If you haven’t been, put it on your list!

How long have you lived in Chicago and what brought you to the city?
I’ve been in Chicago 16 years, I arrived as a student in fashion school & always thought I’d move to a coast. Chicago quickly became home.
 
How did you come up with the concept for Mothership Launchpad?  When did you get to the point where you decided that it was time to take the leap and open? 
I struggled with postpartum depression & wanted to be a resource for other parents looking to connect with others living the same lifestyle. We’ve created a space that gave new parents room to breathe, build & connect with other parents sharing the joys & the challenges of parenthood.
We opened October 2019 & when we saw the space in the Southport Corridor we knew Mothership Launchpad had found its home. It has been one of my most fulfilling challenges yet.
 
What was your mission or vision for your business at the onsite?  
Our mission is to give parents a home, a place they feel light & enjoy coming to with their families. Mothership Launchpad caters to the parent through family-centric events & virtual kids programming. In our retail space we offer baby gifts, clothes & toys. Our books & art featured in our space & online are all created by local artist parents.  We are a space that supports all types of parents.
 
What classes or services do you offer at Mothership Launchpad?  Following that, you’ve had to quickly adapt over the wake of Covid-19, how did you adjust and do you see continuing in that direction at all? 
We host a variety of New Mom Meetups, Music Classes & weekend events for the whole family to attend together.  We currently offer virtual music classes, Friday Family Concert Series & Vietual Mom Meetups. We will continue to offer the online classes after pur brick & mortar reopens.  Our online classes have been a great way to connect family members of all ages where a child can attend virtual music class with out of state cousins & grandparents.
 
What advice would you offer parents over the time of shelter in place?
Get outside, smile at strangers, get to know your neighbors & show your family how much you love them.  Get creative, nothing matters as long as you’re having fun!
 
When we’re able to get out and about again, what are some of your local favorites you’re excited to visit?    
I am looking forward to our Sunday morning walks to the studio for music class & brunch with friends afterwards.  And all the hugs I’m going to give!
 
What’s keeping you motivated and inspired over these weeks of quarantine?
Change always inspires creativity & resourcefulness in me.  I’m sewing masks, asking parents what they’re obstacles are & creating plans for our storefront reopening. We’ve been hosting virtuals for parents to chat & ask questions about how they are getting through this time. It’s also been inspiring seeing all the ways we can give, collaborate & reachout in our own community.  We’re all in this together.

 

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