Chibi Momo founder on the importance of quality toys growing up

Chibi Momo, a children’s specialty boutique, remains at the top of its game as it continues to be the most sought-after curator of high quality and unique children’s gifts for almost five years. Chibi Momo—translated to “mischievous little peach” in Japanese—was the passion project of New York raised entrepreneur Jackie Cohen Antonio. Inspired by the majestic aesthetics of the infant and children’s department of Barneys New York and the inventory in Sprout, a natural and organic children’s boutique based in San Francisco, Chibi Momo came to fruition when Jackie had her eldest child, Devon.

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Enriching childhood memories with quality toys

Jackie is all about her family. Whenever she’s in town, you often see her engaging in her kids’ school activities. About half the year, she is traveling. She uses this as an opportunity to source new merchandise to offer in the store. “Chibi Momo evolves with my kids, Devon and Tali. As they get older, their interests change and that pushes me to expand the range of items we carry. I also tend to buy inventory based on their preferences. They are the best sounding board for me,” says Jackie.

These days, parents are eschewing traditional toys that inspire the imagination. She believes, the more creative and lower tech it is, the better, as it encourages more play potential and develops motor skills. With heightened awareness about toxic chemicals in cheap plastic toys, parents realize that not only are they dangerous, they are also expensive and don’t serve a lasting purpose. Wooden toys, for example, are so tactile and natural. There’s something special, almost noble, about holding one.

When asked about her take on good quality and natural toys, Jackie says, “Well-made toys tend to have a longer lifespan and can be enjoyed by many children. After they’ve been outgrown, these pre-loved toys can be passed down to younger siblings. Or even shared with those who are less fortunate. They can also be repurposed as displayed mementos because of the sentimental value they hold.” Jackie also reminds us to reduce, reuse, and recycle these toys to help preserve and care for the environment.

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Chibi Momo and the Filipino family

Jackie beams with pride as she talks about the way Chibi Momo has played its part in Filipino children’s lives since it opened its doors. “We have made so many items available in the local market that would otherwise be difficult to get. The responses I have received from clients who hail from all parts of the country have been overwhelming. I didn’t realize how in demand well-crafted toys were and how much parents and children appreciated it,” explains Jackie.

As the whole world moves towards a more conscious approach to everything, children are the biggest factors to be considered. Lovingly curated items that make wonderful gifts for children and parents-to-be have gained popularity due to this movement. Chibi Momo makes it easier for their clientele to get their hands on stuff that are hard to come by. Their current inventory of wooden and plush toys, room decor, books, and accessories are not only adorable but very functional. Surprisingly, it is also very affordable.

“The boutique doesn’t carry any baby gear or essentials as we have a few vendors in town who do a great job of providing us with those options. We’ve also moved away from apparel and footwear to give more focus on toys and gift items. While most of our items are imported, I am proud to say that we also have a selection of wonderfully made local items because we should always support our own,” says Jackie.

Where to find them

Chibi Momo will remain a single branch housed in Century City Mall, Makati. Jackie believes that part of what gives the store its unique charm is the fact that there is only one. Don’t fret. Something peachy is about to happen as Jackie and team are building Chibi Momo’s e-commerce site. It will carry a similar product mix to what they have in the store, plus some online exclusives. This is definitely great news for customers who live outside Metro Manila. As well as those who live in the city can avail of the online shopping convenience to avoid traffic. These are definitely exciting times ahead for Chibi Momo.