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Mother Essentials

Mother Essentials: The Mamas Behind Storq

Written by Emy Merritt

This year marks 10 years of Storq (!), the minimal maternity brand known for comfortable, stylish, and practical essentials for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and all those child wrangling days ahead. Co-founders Courtney Klein and Grace Kapin—who’ve become mothers themselves over the past decade—are all about clothing that doesn’t scream “maternity,” but instead seamlessly blends into your current wardobe (think: roomy button-ups, stretchy leggings, and classic tank dresses). They’ve also recently extended their interest in the practical (and delightful) with their parenting-themed Substack, Parent(thetical). Below, they’re sharing even more resources through their entertaining Mother Essentials lists, filled with their go-to products and practices. Enjoy!

Grace Kapin, Mother to Merce, 6, and Onde, 4

Ankle Boots. “I have a pretty straightforward daily uniform, so I don’t have to agonize over weekday outfits when I have to get children dressed and make lunches and get everyone off to school. These boots are fairly timeless, they slip on and they look good with jeans (I cut off or tuck in the little fabric pulls).” Vaquero Suede Ankle Boots, $110.99, Amazon.

Vintage 501s. “Which brings me to mom uniform item number two, jeans. My mom wore these jeans. I wear these jeans. Are they mom jeans? Or are they just the best? My online shopping advice is that it’s all about finding the right shade of blue and the perfect measurements. Waist, rise, hip, inseam. Check it against a pair you already have. Then check it again.” Vintage Levi’s via The Real Real, Passenger, Junkyard Jeans.

Sunglasses. “This doubles as my beauty tip because the eyes never lie. Plus sunglasses make everything look more like an on-purpose outfit. I like a fun cat eye for my tiny head.” Square Cat Eye Glasses, $98, Norma Kamali.

Crewneck Cashmere Sweaters. “You know who made great cashmere sweaters that you can find on eBay and Etsy for pretty cheap? Fancy department stores. I always search for Saks Fifth Avenue or Lane Crawford or Barney’s crewneck sweaters and they rarely disappoint. No pilling! Good quality! And that’s it, that’s the uniform. Every single day.” Cashmere Sweater, $58, eBay. Cashmere Sweater, $30, Etsy.

Box of Crap (a.k.a. Lots of Little Distractions). “If you have a kid or kids that thrive on novelty and lose interest in 3 seconds, then I humbly suggest the box of fidgets for you. I don’t like to promote total wastefulness and destruction of the environment for the sake of small moments of peace, but sometimes you’ve just gotta survive and a monkey noodle is the only way, in that moment.” Fidget Party Pack, $19.95, Amazon.

Kids’ Bedding. “The world of children’s sheets is generally too ‘kid’ for my taste. I wanted to share what I have liked on this front—H&M and (perhaps strangely) L.L. Bean. Somehow they just seem like normal sheets but a little more fun.” Printed Sheets, $169, L.L. Bean. Blueberry Sheets, $109, L.L. Bean. Strawberry Twin Duvet Set, $34.99, H&M.

Crunchy Veggies…With A Wedge Of Lime. “I love adding a slice of lime to squeeze over raw veggies (usually bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, sometimes cabbage!). Maybe it makes lunch more fun. Maybe it gives my kids some control? Whatever it is, it works for them.”

Snack Transport. “Speaking of snacks. Once you’re done shuttling breastmilk hither and thither you can repurpose your cooler bag as a cooler than usual snack bag.” Super Chill Cooler Bag, $34, Storq.

Lightweight Wool Balaclavas. “For riding to school on a bike in the winter in the northeast. Neither child has seen a Balenciaga show in their life and yet.” Merino Wool Balaclava, $17, Mama Owl.

Naming Your Plants. “After you and your partner. Whenever you need to lighten the mood or change the subject. Grace needs water. Grace is looking sad. Brian is sprouting a new shoot. These things are never not funny to hear!”

Courtney Klein, Mother to Nell,9, and Lew, 7

Blank Flip Books.“Perfect for sketching or playing games, I always carry a couple of these mini blank flip books in my purse for when we’re out and about.” Flip Books, $15.99, Amazon.

Djeco Gel Multi-Pens.“With six colors in one pen, these let me carry a whole palette of colors without the jumble of a dozen pens. Plus, the gel ink is more vibrant than a ballpoint, making them a hit with my kids.” Rainbow Gel Pen, $8.95, Finn and Lizzy.

Pipolo. “One of our family’s favorite card games, Pipolo, is akin to a kid-friendly version of the game ‘Bullshit.’ Another item I keep in my purse, it occupies minimal space on a restaurant or coffee shop table and is genuinely enjoyable for both kids and adults to play.” Pipolo, $15.25, Amazon.

Flowerhead Early Gray Tea.“I don’t do coffee, but a cup of Earl Gray tea is a non-negotiable part of my morning routine. Flowerhead’s Early Gray blend is my favorite—and honestly, everything they make is great.” Earl Grey Tea, $20, Flowerhead Tea.

Storq Easy Button-Up. “It’s an open secret at Storq that, among everything we make, the Easy Button-Up is my ultimate real-life favorite. Crazy soft, easy to care for, and effortlessly classy, it’s a wardrobe staple I reach for over and over again.” Striped Button-Up, $98, Storq.

Noto Multi-Bene Stick in Fluxus. “This stick is perfect for a low-maintenance makeup routine—exactly my skill level. Use it as contour, bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, or even on the lips. I usually swipe it on my cheekbones and the outer corners of my eyelids and blend. Multi-use at its most effortless.” Noto Botanics Bronzing Multi-Stick, $26, Revolve.

Low Messy Bun.“I’m similarly low-key when it comes to hair. I’ve found that a messy low bun is a quick and uncomplicated style that consistently looks chic. This reel recently upped my skill level.”

G.H. Bass Penny Loafers. “I like to believe these classic loafers bring a polish to my school drop-off style. With a reasonable price point, I don’t hesitate to wear them day in and day out. A nostalgic touch: my dad sported these during my childhood, amplifying the sentimental value.” Penny Loafers, $175, G.H. Bass.

Silk Sleep Mask. “Tired mom trope, but a couple of years ago, I discovered the magic of a sleep mask. It has transformed my sleep quality. This one is my current favorite. The silk adds an extra touch of luxury, feeling remarkably soft on your skin, and the molded cups block out a good amount of light.” Sleep Mask, $9.99, Amazon.

Gift Stash. “I keep a gift stash (in our case, a spot in my closet) stocked with a variety of items at different price points and age levels. It’s a lifesaver for kid presents, ensuring we can gift something we genuinely love. Some of the usual suspects include Surprise Balls, Clixos, Hirameki Draw What You See books, Sarah’s Silks Fort Kits, Linea Carta Wish Bracelets, January Moon Teethers, and Tattly Tiny Tattoos. I also keep white butcher paper on hand, giving my kids the chance to create their own personalized wrapping.”

Greenlight. “I’ve found Greenlight to be a game-changer for managing my kids’ allowance. It lets me allocate a percentage of their money each week into savings and spending and eliminates any arguments over purchases. If they want something, the decision is simple–they use their own money. I admit, I’m still learning to hold my tongue when they want to spend on things I don’t entirely agree with (new stuffie) but I’m working on it.” Greenlight App.

Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants. “When I need a break from the usual frenetic energy of kids’ content, I put on Minuscule. The movie tells a sweet story of ladybug and a band of ants embarking on a sugarcube heist from an abandoned picnic. With gentle humor and, most importantly, told entirely without dialogue, it’s a crowd-pleaser in our house.” Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants via Amazon Prime.

Sylvanian Drama. “I used to believe my daughter crafted the most chaotic storylines for her Calico Critters (aka Sylvanian Families) until I stumbled into the world of Sylvanian Drama on TikTok. It’s stupid, it’s dark, but it makes me laugh.”

For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on comedian JENNY SLATE, poet MAGGIE SMITH, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream co-founder LAURA O’NEILL, author and doula BRANDI SELLERZ-JACKSON, designer CLARE VIVIER, Miles & Milan founder SHENNEL FULLERGRACE NA of Pistola, the designers behind MILK TEETH, photographer NICKI SEBASTIAN, Duster co-founder MELISSA MAGSAYSAY, Herman Miller creative director KELSEY KEITH, chef VALERIE GORDON, artist ERIN JANG, Chicago party mom KRISTEN KAZA, Hedley & Bennett founder ELLEN MARIE BENNETT, Mochi Kids founder AMANDA STEWART, chef CRISTINA KISNER, chef CAMILLA MARCUS, artist CAROLINE Z HURLEY, Just Date founder SYLVIE CHARLES, food icon AMANDA HESSER, Prickly Pear founder MONA BAHRAINI, Solace Summer founder MEGAN BRE CAMP, Wonder Valley co-founder ALISON CARROLL, OZMA designer HEIDI BAKER, author TIFFANY ROSE SMITH, and PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic.

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