This week's spotlight is on Sprout San Francisco. We recently spoke to Suzanne Price and Rachel Styne - the brains behind Sprout SF. Suzanne and Rachel successfully executed their vision for creating a go-to space for parents with carefully curated items of all things baby that were natural and safe. They started with one store in SF on Union Street and in just a few short years, added two more locations - New York and most recently Chicago. Below is their story:
How long has your store been around? We opened in SF a little over 3 years ago, in NYC last September, and in Chicago in April.
What was your background before starting your baby store? I was an Equity Research Analyst at an investment bank, focused on the Healthy Living Consumer. I became extremely interested in organic products at the same time as I started thinking about having a family. I knew that I would want a go to place with educated sales staff where I could be all the natural products I needed for my baby. When I couldn't find one, I decided to create it. My business partner Rachel Styne had just moved from NY where she was pursuing a musical theater career. With a dad who is a pediatric endocrinologist, Rachel had grown up with focus on healthy living, and as a soon to be new mom, she was focused on creating the same environment for her family as well.
What inspired the name of your store? I must admit that a friend of mine who is both a journalist and a doctor came up with the name. We had been throwing out lots of names that we didn't like. I wanted something that evoked kids and natural at the same time. My friend said "Sprout" and that was it. We added the San Francisco part to show our connection to this city where people are so conscious of what their environment and the products they are using. This great city was the first to ban phthalates in plastic toys and is about to mandate a charge to consumers for shopping bags. We are proud to be associated with it.
What best describes your stores personality? Nostalgic. That's the word we have used for every architect or website designer we have worked with from the beginning. We believe that the wooden toys our parents played with when they were little can continue to entertain our own kids as well. We want people to walk in and feel a sense of going back to a simpler time, without the light up, noisy, plastics that fill so many playrooms today.
What's your favorite ZoLi product? They are all great, but I would have been lost without the On the Go Formula dispenser. It has been a lifesaver when trying to quickly and neatly make a bottle with a crying baby on my lamp on many plane flights. Other moms always look on and say, "that is such a great idea!"
What's your favorite song? Rachel's the musical one so she should really answer. [Rachel] said Goodnight Sweetheart by The Overtones is their favorite song to sing to their son Cooper.
What's your favorite activity to do with your family / kids? A quick hike with the two kids in backpacks and our dog Cody. It's great how easy it is to get to some beautiful places outside San Francisco for a quick trip.
If you get a chance, visit any one of the three Sprout SF stores if you are in the neighborhood:
1828 Union Street
NY STORE1375 Third Avenue