28.06.16

CouCou – kids store

CouCou shop CouCou Store is a new and unique children’s store that recently opened in Boston’s South End neighborhood. They offer carefully selected clothing, toys, kitchenware, crafts, and home decor. Their beautiful Playroom hosts an array of classes that spark creativity and imagination in children and young-at-heart adults.

cOUCOU SHOP

We had a little chat with the wonderful owner Astrid Motsenigos about the store’s beginnings, plans, and their irresistible collection of kids’ products:
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1) What inspired you to open a new, one-of-a-kind, kids store in Boston?

I had enjoyed a long and very high paced career as a Creative Director for a global photography organisation, but by the time I had my daughter, I was quite burned out by the constant work and travel. Having my daughter also made me aware of the lack of children’s products in Boston. I would go to Europe for work and come back with a suitcase filled with everything from clothes to kitchenware, wooden toys, accessories and even bandaids. Everything was so beautiful and I could not find the same style here. I started to realise how great a children’s boutique with well curated products would do in Boston, and after a lot of meditating on the idea, one day I woke up and decided to open CouCou. I wanted something completely different from my past career.

 

coucou shop coucou shop

2) What inspired the name CouCou?

CouCou (pronounced koo-koo), means Peek-a-boo, in French. It is the same word in many other languages – Spanish, Greek, German – just different spellings. In French the word is also used to say hello and as a term of endearment – many will call their girlfriend CouCou for example, which I find so sweet. Designing the logo of the mouse playing peek-a-boo behind the leaf, was so much fun too and I’m so happy to see that kids react to the little mouse just as we’d hoped!

 

coucou shop coucou shop

3) What has been your most enjoyable experience at the store since you opened its doors about a month ago?

Bringing my daughter in to work with me.

 

4) What is your criteria for selecting the brands you stock? Can you name some of the popular European and American brands at CouCou?

I have a few – My main criteria is that they do not already sell in Boston. I want to bring unique and new items to Boston parents and children. Equally as important is attainable quality. Things need to be made well but I don’t want them to be unaffordable either. I especially love things that are hand-crafted, made where they are designed (although that is not always possible!), gentle on the environment, wooden toys and clothes that are easy to wear but made from lasting fabrics.

 

coucou shop

5) How do you strike the balance between stocking unique and highly curated products imported from around the globe while keeping in mind the preppy New England aesthetic?

To be honest, I pay no attention to that. CouCou has a certain style and it’s not for everyone. There are many other stores out there that will fill the gaps that CouCou does not.

 

6) What are your top three go-to brands (clothing and toys) for your 2.5-year-old daughter?

Clothing – Le Toit de la Lune, Louise Misha and Nanos are definitely her favorite.

Toys – My daughter is not very preoccupied with toys at the moment. She’s in love with ballet, drawing, yoga and pretend play. I’d say her favorite items from the store right now are her ‘The Little Yoga Mat” (made in California), her many shoes by Spanish shoe maker, Za-Patitos, her REX pencils (UK brand) and her new squirrel nightlight from RICE (Danish lifestyle brand).

 

coucou shop

 

7) Tell us about some of the fun classes and activities you have planned at CouCou’s Playroom?

We currently teach toddler and kids Yoga for ages 2 – 8 and creative story & learning based Art classes for 18+ months. We are adding Baby Music & Dance and Introduction to Dance for toddlers later this month. The playroom is also always open for kids and parents or caregivers to enjoy the many great toys, books, and art activities.

 

Thank you so much Surabhi for this great interview and the beautiful pictures!

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