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Monica+Andy to Feature Gift Concierge, Milk and Cookie Bar

By Paul Biasco | May 13, 2014 8:31am
 Monica Royer said the birth of her daughter Bella was the inspiration behind Monica+Andy.
Monica Royer said the birth of her daughter Bella was the inspiration behind Monica+Andy.
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LINCOLN PARK — Online infant and toddler clothing retailer and all around mom advocate Monica+Andy is preparing to open a storefront location in Lincoln Park.

The Monica+Andy guideshop, which is scheduled to open June 12, will feature the brand's clothing, ranging from seersucker suits to tutu dresses.

The business will also include a "milk and cookie bar" consisting entirely of plant-based products.

The shop, 2038 N. Halsted St., will be the first physical location of the online retailer, which is also based in Lincoln Park.

The guideshop will also host music and exploration classes along with mom and baby yoga, and will have an onsite gift concierge to help shoppers chose the best gifts for new moms and children.

"We want to make it as easy as just ordering flowers over the phone," said Monica Royer, co-founder of the company.

Monica+Andy is the brainchild of Royer, whose brother Andy Dunn founded the men's clothing retailer Bonobos.

The idea was to allow moms, especially new mothers, to shop online for high-quality baby clothes.

When Royer had her 3-year-old daughter, Bella, she was left scrambling to find clothing that would fit her as she was born smaller than expected.

Being from a Bonobos family, Royer went to look online from the hospital bed.

"As I was looking online it just struck me," she said. "Wow, there are so few choices."

 Monica+Andy is set to open in June at 2038 N. Halsted St.
Monica+Andy is set to open in June at 2038 N. Halsted St.
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Royer and her brother launched Monica+Andy in late 2013.

While Dunn isn't involved with the day-to-day operations, he serves as a mentor and advisor, according to Royer.

The only storefront Bonobos has in Chicago is also located in Lincoln Park and features a one-on-one approach to help customers find clothing.

The Monica+Andy guideshop will take that same approach.

"I spent a lot of time over the past few years hearing [Dunn's] stories, hearing great things that happened and that challenges her faced," Royer said.

All of the clothing in the shop is designed by moms and geared toward children up to 4 years old.

The gift concierge program has been wildly successful for the online company, said Royer, who expects it to thrive in the store.

Customers can fill out a form indicating the gift receiver's age, gender and a price range online or in the store, and a mom will help with the perfect gift.

"We found a lot of people who aren't parents who love doing this," Royer said. "As a new mom, you find you get a lot of the same presents from people."

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