Park Ridge baby boutique more than moms might be a-Kustum-ed to
Lisa Arreguin, owner of Kustum Kribs baby boutique in Park Ridge. | Jennifer Johnson~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Kustum Kribs
SPECIALTY: Gear for mom and baby
LOCATION: 147 N. Northwest Highway
HOURS: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon. and Tues.; 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wed., Thurs., Fri.; 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat.; noon to 5 p.m. Sun.
Updated: June 18, 2012 8:13AM
Stylish clothes for babies and toddlers greet shoppers entering Kustum Kribs in Park Ridge, but for new mothers, the store is about more than baby couture.
Beyond the racks of colorful fabrics and must-have accessories there’s an educational and social component to five-year-old boutique at 147 N. Northwest Highway. And it all starts months before there’s an occupant for that zoo-themed nursery.
Owner Lisa Arreguin welcomes moms-to-be with a free gift bag of a few essentials that might include a plush rattle, laundry soap, a copy of “The Bump” motherhood guide, diaper ointments and coupons.
From there she invites them, and anyone else who has small babies and children, to take part in free classes the shop offers before it opens for the day. These include regular lessons in successfully using cloth diapers; gatherings for moms and babies with child-centered activities; and Mom Meet-Ups for mothers to socialize and get to know other area moms.
Kustum Kribs’ free cloth diapering class is offered once every other month, Arreguin said.
“There’s really three reasons why people cloth-diaper,” she explained. “One is definitely environment, two would be a financial reason and three is really the chemicals that are in a disposal diaper.”
She added: “A lot of people find cloth diapering a great alternative for all three of those reasons.”
Weekly events include a Tuesday music-and-movement class for mothers and children from infant age to toddlers. Led by Katie Gaby each class features a specific theme, stories, music and movement. If the theme is a specific animal, for example, each activity centers around that animal.
“There’s always some kind of movement where they are getting up and acting like the animal or making sounds like the animal, different things to engage them,” Arreguin explained. “It’s a lot of fun.”
For younger babies it is a chance for them to spend some quality time with mom or, in some cases, grandma.
On Thursdays it’s time for Mom Meet-Ups where mothers get to engage in some adult conversation while their children play with toys and books in the area of the store set aside for such gatherings. The focus, says Arreguin, is “moms hanging out.”
“Sometimes they are swapping recipes or talking about anything from cloth diapering to celebrity news,” she said.
Mom Meet-Ups started about a year ago. The gatherings have also helped Arreguin and Gaby identify some talented women in the community. Two mothers have created baby clothes that they have sold to Kustum Kribs on consignment.
On the second Thursday of each month the Mom Meet-Up turns educational with topics geared toward brand-new moms and expecting moms.
“We’ve had a lactation consultant; we’ve done sign-language classes,” Arreguin explained.
Arreguin herself is also a font of knowledge outside her shop’s classes. Shoppers who walk into Kustum Kribs can go straight to Arreguin for questions ranging from what’s hot (baby slings, Charlie’s laundry soap, the “Woombie” swaddling blanket) to what’s environmentally friendly (Kustum Kribs carries a line of clothing made from organic fabrics). Arreguin also helps customers choose the right accessories, like strollers or baby bags, based on their lifestyles.
“A lot of new moms are looking to find out what is the most innovative product,” she explained.
For more information about classes or other offerings at Kustum Kribs contact the shop, (847) 825-5742.