Lale Ketcham is the woman behind Windy City Bebe, the ultimate Chicago stop for kids clothes so cute you’ll wish they came in your size! Windy City Bebe might be Lale’s first shop, but her love of fashion predates WCB. Not only did she study at Columbia College right here in Chicago, but she also studied fashion at Lorenzo de Medici in Italy. Fast forward a few years and her little boy Aydin was (and is!) the perfect dose of inspiration that prompted Lale to open Windy City Bebe. Not native to the Chicago area? Windy City Bebe has an online shop too!
Tell Us All About Windy City Bebe: Windy City Bebe started as a blog to highlight the adventures of raising a child in Chicago, all while maintaining my own identity. At the time, I was working for a wholesale showroom and traveling throughout the Midwest selling garments to retailers (as far away as Lexington, Kentucky). My new-found role as a mama, combined with both my passion for fashion and experience working in the showroom helped me realize there was a real desire for and lack of “cool kid” urban fashion in Chicago.
I knew that to find the pieces I was most interested in, it would mean traveling to other parts of the country like New York & Los Angeles, and broadening my search internationally to source the most unique garments & accessories. I love finding new brands, especially those that are mama designed and owned! Encouraging and enabling women entrepreneurship will always be extremely important to the foundation of my business.
Being a Working Mom is Tough Work, You Keep from Losing Your Mind By: Disconnecting from business, social media, the phone and life is critical to maintaining both a healthy mind and relationship with my family. Our world of constant social interaction can be all consuming at times. It is easy to forget that these little creatures need us far more than we know — the mornings of lounging around in our jammies whilst eating waffles or playing cars uninterrupted by cell phones or computers are so special and memories I know he and I will cherish forever.
Give Us a Glimpse into What an Average Day is for You from the Time You Wake Up Until You Hit the Pillow: Waking up is hard to do most days. My husband Andrew and I usually wake up around the same time and one of us takes charge of breakfast while the other gets ready and gets things together for the day (clothing, school activity etc.). We then switch off and get ourselves together enough to get out the door to drop Aydin off at school before cut off time.
I then head into the shop and focus on answering emails, receiving packages, uploading new items to our website/social media and working on other back end projects. I handle all aspects of social media, the website, ordering and inventorying, so most days I feel like I’m playing never ending catch up. I spend the second half of the day browsing products and brands online and reaching out to new companies.
Once WCB closes, I typically head to the grocery store or meet my guys for dinner. Dinnertime is usually followed by watching our favorite show (lately it’s been Blaze or PJ MASKS) and bath time. Andrew works nights so bedtime is usually a solo routine. After jammies, story time and lots of kisses and cuddles, I’m usually kid free around 9PM. I spend this time tidying up the house, working a little more on the store or personal projects, and occasionally end my day building Legos and drinking my favorite red wine.
Little’s Name & Age: Aydin is two and a half, he will be three in July!
Top Beauty Product That Makes Mom Life Easier: Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter, it’s a real pick me up and makes me feel like a million bucks.
Favorite Under the Radar Kids’ Brands: Koolabah – it’s a Swedish brand (arriving in the shop oh so soon) and Lala & Lulu– A Korean brand that’s a little bit Harajuku and a little bit Yeezy ’17.
If You Could Only Pack Three Items for a Weekend Away You Can’t Leave Home Without: DryBar DETOX Dry Shampoo – perfect for clean hair too! It’s a must and smells delicious. iPad Mini — where I get most of my work done! Adidas Superstar Shoes — these have quickly become a staple in my wardrobe, you can catch me on a weekend flight or at the grocery store in my favorite pair. (Bonus: They make little kid sizes to match!)
Dream Destination for Vacation: My bucket list is LONG and most of my dream destinations include animals. A big one for me is to do a Middle Eastern safari in the dessert — insert luxurious tent and Arabian horse rides through the desert (a’ la Sex & The City).
Activity You Love to Do with Your Babe: I am a girls’ girl. Being a boy mom has been an adjustment but any morning spent playing with our cars, monster trucks or wrestling is my favorite.
Your Secret Obsession When You Get an Hour to Yourself: I have a confession — I build Legos. I mean those elaborate kits that are 500-1000 pieces. My most recent was the Beatles Yellow Submarine. I find it extremely relaxing.
Closet Staple You Can’t Live Without: My Louboutin Suede Fringe Boots are my most coveted piece. They are so versatile yet so unique.
Favorite Snack or Dessert Recipe That Your Crew Flips Over: This is a real favorite! After purchasing our chocolate covered banana bites from Trader Joe’s we made these and LOVE them. We also LOVE Sour Patch Kid grapes. Get the recipe!
SHOP LALE’S FAVORITE THINGS