Meet Gretchen | Hyde Park Moms

Meet Gretchen, Mom and entrepreneur right here in Hyde Park. Hyde Park has always had a special place in her heart over the years and she finally made it home with her boutique, house and school all within 2 blocks – talk about the ultimate Hyde Park Mom! Get to know more about Gretchen and stop in to her sweet shop and say hello.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Hyde Park?
Initially what drew me to Hyde Park was the character of the older architecture and the constant activity and energy of the neighborhood. I love that even though we are so centrally located and close to downtown, there really exists a sense of neighborhood and community.
I love the crazy convenience of having our home, school and my store all within a two block radius!
I have a beautiful girl, Grace Elizabeth who is 11 years old.
Favorite things to do with your little girl around town?
We all enjoy arts and crafts so Brazee Art Glass studio in Oakley is one of our favorite places. Brazee has easy access online to their open studios and classes and has options for all ages.
Do you have a favorite local store, fitness class or restaurant?
That one is tough, as there are so many to choose from. I would have to go with store (being a shop owner, of course) and if I could only pick one, it would have to be Castle House.
My grandmother used to take me on an annual outing to Castle House to pick out clothes for my birthday and we would follow the shopping up with lunch at The Echo. I just turned 48 (shhhh….) so that would have been 40 or so years ago. Because of that I always feel like there is something special about the shop. In addition to shopping there for my daughter (who is sadly now too big) it is my go to for sweet baby gifts.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Yes, I have a little boutique on Edwards Road, The Gifted Shop. We are just celebrating our one year anniversary and it is so much fun to feel even more involved in the community than we already were.

How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I worked in shops on Hyde Park Square while at Indian Hill High School and that is when my love affair with Hyde Park started. Long before opening my own shop, something about Hyde Park just felt like home to me.
Tips for Balancing it all? Motherhood, career, family and social life?
This one is an ongoing work in progress.. I have to remind myself that the “balancing scale” is never truly even. I am at my best when I remember it is fluid and that during certain seasons I am a little off balance for short periods of time but that is to be expected. Initially I thought that I should be able to focus every day on all aspects of my life in equal proportion. I have a lot of energy, but not that much, so it left me feeling overwhelmed.
I once had someone give me the analogy of juggling with regard to life balance. I was told to think of all of the areas of my life as balls being juggled. While there are several in constant motion being thrown up in the air, some are rubber and will bounce if they fall, and others are glass can’t take a hard drop. That visual really helps me prioritize.
What is the best advice you have received as a mom?
The best advice I received as a mom when Grace was a newborn was from an article I read on mothering. This was essentially the message:
Don’t give up all your own hopes and dreams as an individual outside of your role as wife and mother, and then try to encourage your daughter to follow her dreams. Let her see you living yours, and that is what will inspire her to do the same.
It really hit me how important it was that my messages as a parent needed to be congruent with how I was living my life for them to truly be impactful.
What is the best advice you would like to give to a new mom?
Trust your gut when deciding what parenting techniques and tips work for your baby and the family. The majority of the stress I felt, especially as a new mom, stemmed from reading a book or getting advice from others and feeling like I had to be a perfect mom to be a really good mom. Sadly the stress I felt trying to be perfect was more hurtful for both of us than feeding her cereal too young or letting her sleep in a swing for a nap.

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