Way back when, when I was pregnant with my first child, approximately 7 years ago, there was only one shop I loved, and it was Giggle in soho. They were a small boutique, where I ended up befriending my regular salesperson, because she was just the coolest, and it made the search for the endless newborn products easy and enjoyable. They were well-curated with only the best products and furniture on the market, so even if you were new to the baby game, you kind of couldn’t go wrong in this shop.
I remember walking into stores like Bye Bye Baby and feeling so overwhelmed by the sensory overload surrounding me, I’d literally run out the door. I was sad to see Giggle go a few years back, even though I was past that phase of life, however they are now under new ownership, back as an online store, and better than ever!
Erin Moennich has found all of the best baby products and will even be starting her own line to add to her site. She has a very well-curated layette available for purchase and has partnered with Darian Ablon to create a quality private label collection of children’s pajamas and clothing at affordable prices. For all of you new Mamas out there, this will be your go-to for all things baby.
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
The Giggle store was founded in 2003 by a busy mom in Tribeca. At the time, it curated the best products for city moms who had limited space and time. The company operated successfully for many years but closed its doors in 2017. Because we shopped and registered at the old Giggle (and loved it!) we felt its closing left a big hole in the market. We are four moms working together to bring back the best parts of Giggle to the market and sell and produce items that we love for our own children.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
Erin: I’ve worked in retail for over 15 years, first at Bloomingdales and most recently at Louis Vuitton. After the birth of my daughter in 2017, I became fascinated by the kids space. The choices out there for parents can be overwhelming! Giggle always had a great curated edit with amazing products. We wanted to bring back the best parts of Giggle, but in a new and modern way, with a focus on online shopping and community.
Darian: My two boys are a constant source of inspiration for me! Since working in finance, I have consulted with many different brands, from workout apparel to jewelry. It’s nice to focus on something so close to home since being a full-time mom is my number one and most important job!
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
Creating our own line of Giggle branded products is a focus for us. We are working on amazing and unique products but at accessible prices – never compromising on quality. Our first line, coming out next week, consists of PJs and layette items. We are producing mainly from Peru using the best organic, Pima cotton. We worked with a NY-based, super-talented print designer to create whimsical prints that are unique to Giggle. We have onesies, receiving blankets, towels, hats, bibs and pajamas for children up to six years old. When we created this line, we thought of the pieces we wish we had as mothers! Go-to gifting items and interchangeable accessories all of a level of quality that can be passed down to siblings or cousins, alike.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
The way that people are shopping these days is changing so rapidly! Parents want an easy and dependable resource for shopping - from re-upping everyday essentials to discovering a new brand or product they didn’t even know they needed! We will be online, so that parents can access us anytime of the day (or during those middle-of-the-night feedings), but we will also create dynamic, fun events and pop-ups around the city – coming soon!
How do you positively impact your clientele?
We want to create a wholly inclusive and accessible community for parents (and anyone with children in their lives) around our brand. We’ve started a section of our site called Giggle Experts where we feature different moms and dads who have interesting stories and tips to share from their lives. Becoming a parent is really exciting, but can also be scary, and we want all parents out there to know that they are not alone! We get it and we are with them. We share in the joy and the challenges of parenthood and they can always rely on Giggle for the most trusted products and advice.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Meeting other women (many of whom are mothers) who are creating amazing businesses! Since we relaunched our site, we have had so many people reach out to us regarding opportunities and partnerships. We find the kids market in particular extremely inclusive and supportive.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
Erin: Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – it has a line around the corner before opening their doors every night at 6PM. The pizza really is that incredible!
Darian: Blue Ribbon wine bar in the West Village – for a quiet place to escape, great music and some wine of course!
How do you benefit mamas?
We curate products from other brands and create products under our own brand that are trusted, unique, safe and fun! We want to take the legwork out of gifting.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
We take client feedback very seriously! We’ve had a ton of emails asking for the Giggle crib, which we are bringing back in May. We want to create more opportunities for our clients to tell us what they want and need.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field.
Alexa Leigh – a close friend, mom and a Giggle collaborator (products coming soon!) who has an amazing jewelry line that we all know and love.
Terez - another close friend, mom and Giggle collaborator who is creating amazing product with a very important, powerful and impactful message to the community!
Jenny Fleiss - co founder of the very successful Rent the Runway who is now at the helm of Walmart’s JetBlack, revolutionizing moms’ lives on a minute to minute basis!
Sam Alston – Erin’s former colleague at Louis Vuitton who struck out to create her own experiential retail business called Big Lives. Sam creates amazing pop-ups in unique locations around the NYC featuring new designers.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Erin: My first boss at Bloomingdale’s told me – “You can win at business while still being totally yourself, you just need to define what that means.” I believe in a really inclusive work environment and that you need to enjoy what you do everyday or what’s the point?! We are working on bringing this spirit to Giggle, through the Giggle Experts, the products that we create, and, in the future, the partnerships that we pursue.
Darian: I echo that sentiment! Most of the projects I’ve been working on lately have been born out of my own personal interests or things that I enjoy and use in life. It never really feels like work when you’re doing things you love! I enjoy sharing my finds with my people because without sharing, what is a good find anyway?
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Erin – Instacart, I couldn’t get through my week without it!
Darian – talk to text! Until I grow a third arm anyway ;-)