Lauren Hood, owner of Progeny, a children's toy and clothing store on Bickett Blvd. in Raleigh.

Lauren Hood, owner of Progeny, a children’s toy and clothing store on Bickett Blvd. in Raleigh

“What I put in the store is what I would want to put on my own children.”

– Lauren Hood, owner, Progeny

by Mimi Montgomery

photograph by Travis Long

When Lauren Hood became a mother, she discovered it wasn’t easy in Raleigh to find anything but straightforwardly traditional children’s clothes for her daughter Lila. A trip to to New York sparked an idea: To bring the fashion-forward children’s clothing she could find there back to North Carolina. Three months later, in March 2014, Hood opened Progeny in Five Points.

The bright, open space is filled with chic children’s clothes, accessories, and furniture. “My stuff’s just a little bit different,” says Hood. “I love smocked dresses and bows just as much as everybody else, but I wanted it to be a little edgier.” She makes a point to carry brands that are eco-friendly, organic, and well-made, ensuring a piece that will last the wear and tear of a child’s life. Always, she has Lila in mind.“She’s like my little muse,” Hood says with a laugh. “She’s way better dressed than I am.”

Soon after Hood opened her business, customers began asking if she could help them design their children’s nurseries, bedrooms, and playrooms. Half of her business now comes from children’s interiors. “It is exciting because there’s nobody doing children’s design work” in Raleigh, she says. “I love that, and it’s super fun.” She recently began sharing her store with Rider Hall Interiors, an interior design company owned by Caroline Kadis and Heather Watkins. The space now offers a wider range of art and home goods and accessories, making it a stop for parents as well as their children.

“I feel like this has been good for Raleigh, just to have something a little bit different,” Hood says. “From ten years ago until now, things have changed dramatically. I think this store has truly helped a lot of people branch out.”

209 Bickett Blvd.;