At the top of Jackson Street on East 13th Street in Over-the-Rhine sits a Parisian-esque pink-and-black brick storefront resembling a chic, big-city boutique. Just under its black-and-white striped awning through a glass door, however, is the toy store of every child’s (and parent’s!) dream, Styled by Mama.
Educational, modern, and aesthetically pleasing toys are the focus at Styled by Mama, which (fun fact) is the only children’s toy store in OTR. Ice cream makers, books, and stuffed animals stock the shelves, and Vespa scooter rockers and macaroon-shaped pillows pepper the floor. Our favorite items are the intricate storefront play stands. Founders and mother-and-daughter duo Nancy Hyle and Katie Hyle Bungeroth work with local woodworkers, Ed Nieb and Dave Grause, to custom make the popular “heirloom quality” play stands, which are interchangeable to represent a bakery, ice cream parlor, hardware store, and pet doctor. Most importantly, the play stands “are fun but also educational,” Bungeroth says. “Children can practice motor skills with an element of design.”
In 2016, Bungeroth, a former Radio City Rockette, who has taken several interior design classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and Hyle, a former elementary teacher of 35 years, blended their expertise to launch Styled by Mama, first as a merchant at the Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market at Duke Energy Center. Last August, they took their business to the next level. With the help of local designer Aubrie Welsh, Bungeroth and Hyle renovated the formerly vacant space on East 13th into a vibrant, kid-friendly storefront full of pastel-colored toys. By December, Styled by Mama’s first brick and mortar was open for business. They’ve even converted the building’s top two floors into Airbnb apartments, and we have a feeling they’re just as stylish as the store below.
Styled by Mama offers more than just toys. The store’s layout and backyard provide the perfect setting for birthday parties. Bungeroth and Hyle also eventually plan on hosting craft time, story time, and science-themed classes at the shop. The next scheduled event is their “opening extravaganza” on Saturday, May 4, to officially introduce Styled by Mama to the neighborhood. And don’t be surprised if a 5-year-old “shop assistant” greets you at the door. Olivia, Bungeroth’s oldest daughter and part-time store model, is learning the entrepreneurial spirit by ringing up customers and—against the owners’ wishes—sometimes offering “coupons and discounts.” As if the store wasn’t cute enough!
16 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 293-8110, styledbymama.com