HUMBOLDT PARK — Artisan-made toys, drag queen story circles, protest sign-making workshops — these are just a few things you can expect at Peach Fuzz, a new intersectional children’s store opening in Humboldt Park this summer.
Claire Tibbs, owner of popular vintage-modern mecca Humboldt House, is opening the new shop just down the street at 1005 N. California Ave. Tibbs envisions an “inclusive shop that celebrates the wonder of childhood and the charms of objects that make us think and play.”
Think “radical” children’s books like those with main characters who identify as LGTBQ and sustainable wooden toys that parents could just as easily display on their bookshelves. Plus, kid-friendly items Tibbs plans to bring back from her travels.
“Kids are just given these disposable, ugly [toys]. We’re bringing a sense of craftsmanship, sustainability and beauty, but also being kid-friendly,” Tibbs said.
After the success of Humboldt House, Tibbs was yearning to open a second retail shop. So when the storefront down the street opened up, she jumped at the opportunity, signing a lease in April.
Tibbs doesn’t have kids herself, which her mom lovingly teased her about when she developed the concept for Peach Fuzz.
“I told my mom about the shop, and she was like, ‘That’s great, you should definitely open a children’s store before you have your own kid,’” Tibbs said with a laugh.
But she’s drawing on experiences with family and friends’ kids, as well as her own experiences as a kid, to make the shop a lively and engaging place.
“I just remember shopping as a kid and just thinking stores were such a fun place to be. It was so nice to be in a place where you felt seen and welcome,” she said.
Unlike Humboldt House, which is crammed with stacks of Kilim rugs and all manner of colorful objects, Peach Fuzz will be more minimal in style, but no less intriguing, Tibbs said. She’s planning to install a turf area for children to play and a climb-in reading nook.
The shop will also host an array of inclusive events like drag queen story circles and protest sign-making workshops for kids and adults alike.
Above all else, Tibbs said she’s hoping to help give children the tools they need to build the world they want to live in.
“I think that after the [presidential] election, all of us were looking around thinking of ways we can engage more deeply in our communities and change things,” Tibbs said.
“I think that it takes a village to raise kids, and I love being a part of Humboldt Park. It seems like a opportunity to do what I can to show kids, from an early age, that there’s lots of different ways to be.”