Why we love: Near North

Stats: 2 bed, 2 bath apartment

Wife to Steve, mother to Theodore, and founder of Babies4Babies, Kate Marie has her hands full--in the best way possible. We met Kate Marie at her Near North home, where much of the Babies4Babies magic happens. For Kate Marie, the magic is in positively impacting the world with a for-profit business in which every purchase of her baby products helps save newborn lives. 

But, the story doesn't end there. For Kate Marie, it wasn't enough to save lives with her products. She also wanted to ensure that the lives of the people making her products were enriched by the work. As a result, she keeps things local, working with a fair wage facility in Chicago for manufacturing and a local printer for packaging. More information on Babies4Babies here


How long have you lived in your home?
We've lived in the building for three years--actually we were here just as the building was opening. But, we've moved around to three different apartments within our building, upgrading from a one to two bed and then to a larger two bed. 

Why did you originally move here?
My husband, Steve, got a job offer in Chicago while we were on our honeymoon, so after living with my in-laws for a few weeks, we found the building and it was an easy plug in. 

How long do you plan to live here?
Our lease is up this fall, but we're unsure of what's to come. We're taking it a month at a time. 

What is your favorite part of your home?
Three months out of the year I love our outdoor space. We spend a lot of time out there. In the colder months I love Theodore's nursery and our floor-to-ceiling windows. The building's amenities are also great, especially the pool and our doormen! They've watched Theodore grow and are so sweet. 

What is your least favorite part of your home?
The black appliances and countertops. 

What is your favorite part of your neighborhood?
We love Kingsbury Street, walking along the water behind the Whole Foods. Theodore loves watching the ducks and kayaks. 

What is your least favorite part of your neighborhood?
I would love to see more boutique development. We have tons of shopping, but most of it is big box stores. Plus, everything is so new in our area, that everything lacks a bit of character. 

What are you favorite local stores?
Kingsbury Cafe: It's family owned and wonderful
Baby park: We have a great baby park at Halsted and Wisconsin--everything is smaller and contained and Theodore loves it! 
Whole Foods: Perfect for healthy meals when we don't have time to cook. Plus, they have the best cold brew coffee I've ever tasted!

How do you get to work?
I usually work from home, but Steve takes the Red Line to the Willis Tower.

Where do you grocery shop?
Whole Foods. 

Where do you plan to move next?
We're not sure, and are open to all parts of the city. We sometimes think about the West Loop.

Are you friends with your neighbors?
Yes! Just next door is another entrepreneur, who also has kids. 

Does your neighborhood feel safe?

What is the general vibe of your neighborhood?
Bustling with new development. We've seen it become more and more vibrant over the past few years, which has been exciting.