Shop assistant Devyn Mañibo
"Peach Fuzz is an inclusive kids' shop," says Claire Tibbs of her new business, which opened in Humboldt Park in mid-July. She named the store accordingly: "We all have [peach fuzz], no matter our age. It is tactile, textured, body positive, inclusive, and undeniably human. The space and our goods I hope evoke the same. . . . We want all people to enter and feel hugged by the space."
And that's exactly how I felt after arriving at the store, which is painted in various soothing pastel tones with vibrant neon accents. The walls are covered in unexpected color combinations that surprisingly work beautifully together. One of them opens into a cozy nook designed for more introspective activities: decked with beanbag chairs and minimalist wooden blocks, it's the perfect hideaway for the little ones.
There kids can enjoy a handpicked selection of the books Peach Fuzz offers, from Julian Is a Mermaid
to Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
to the bilingual picture book Buenas Días
. I chose books that "speak in some way about the world I wish to see," Tibbs says. "Where cultures and kids and queers and immigrants and women and people of color and animals and feelings are all valued and empowered."
Besides books Peach Fuzz carries a wide array of stylish toys, accessories, home goods, and clothing imported from all over the world. "There is something really beautiful about melding child raising from different cultures," says Tibbs. "It's good for parents to see that there are many ways to make empathetic, well-rounded, healthy kids." On the clothing rack (pictured above) is a selection of recycled denim jackets in kids' sizes zero months and up. They're easy to personalize with the store's lovely selection of iron-on patches ($3).
Wooden wall decor by Brooklyn-based the Great Lakes Goods
Peach Fuzz also hosts free events geared toward the community—for example, a family planning night promoted by a fertility clinic, a kid-friendly yoga class, a singalong with readings about gender identity and how being different is special. Still in the planning stages are a denim jacket embroidery class, salsa dance and Spanish lessons, "and much more," promises Tibbs, 31, who since 2013 has also owned the midcentury-modern home decor shop Humboldt House
At Peach Fuzz, Tibbs says, "I want kids to feel seen and heard, and to know that they are interesting."
Peach Fuzz 1005 N. California, 312-785-1442, littlepeachfuzz.com
. Wed-Fri 10 AM-6 PM, Sat-Sun 11 AM-6 PM. Instagram