One of our favorite parts of The Big Small Show is having the opportunity to meet and build relationships in person with you, our amazing community! Our Events Director, Chantal, had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl Gonzalez at Playtime & Kid’s Hub New York last summer. Cheryl and her fellow entrepreneur, multi-tasker, and mother, Alana Oxfeld, are the creative minds behind the all-in-one studio and curated store for families, State of Kid. With a unique model that seamlessly merges retail and experiences, let’s learn more about State of Kid together in this lovely interview with the founders themselves!


kid's experience store

Alana Oxfeld and Cheryl Gonzalez, founders of State of Kid


Can you please introduce State of Kid?

We opened the first State of Kid location in September 2019. Our concept combines retail with experiential programming. We offer a highly curated collection of clothing, accessories, and gifts in addition to enrichment classes (and parties!) for young children up to age eight. Essentially, State of Kid was built to make parenting easier. While their little ones experience a variety of classes including music, dance, art, science, sensory and more, parents can shop from a selection of coveted brands, mingle with other families and, ultimately, find their tribe.


How did you initially come up with the concept?

After years of working for various startups, we were both looking for our next career move. We had three young children between the two of us and we didn’t want to spend most of our time sitting behind desks in an office. We wanted to find something that we were passionate about, but also something that served our family’s needs. We started talking about all the things that were missing for young families and that’s when the idea for State of Kid was born. We also wanted to build a retail shop that catered to the modern parent looking for stylish items. We wanted to offer a collection of the best brands in a single space.


Why did you open 3 stores in the same city?

Miami is a huge, diverse city and our three locations only scratch the surface of the local communities. We were excited to grow organically, and we were very strategic in launching each new location. In three years, we have rolled out our proven concept to different parts of Miami, and we are looking forward to expanding throughout South Florida and beyond. Parents have the same pain points and needs throughout the country, so we know our concept will work from coast to coast.

kid's activities

Where do you draw inspiration for the classes you host?

We are so lucky to work with the best instructors and experts, from cooking and dance teachers to occupational therapists. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to engage children at all stages of development. As we open new locations throughout Miami—and beyond—we seek out top local talent, as they know the needs of their community best. And while most of our classes are semester-based, we also offer drop-in classes and various mini camps. We wanted to build a business that offered a wide range of enrichment options and incorporated flexible booking.


What has been the process of establishing special relationships with vendors to collaborate on birthday parties and classes?

On the weekends, we host many parties across our three locations. It can certainly be stressful to plan, set up and execute, so we have forged strong vendor relationships with local caterers, character actors, balloon artists, face painters and more. Since we already have a dedicated team of instructors for our enrichment classes, we theme and staff the parties with these specialized teachers—whether it’s a singalong with Jam with Jamie or a cooking and crafts party with Petit Chefs. We love hosting birthday parties at State of Kid and seeing the look of joy on the children’s faces—many of whom are regulars at State of Kid and whom we’ve watched grow up. So, we really feel like we’re celebrating with them, rather than working.

kid's party idea

How would you like to see State of Kid evolve?

In addition to growing our physical footprint across South Florida and the country, we would like to continue to evolve with families. We pivoted so much during the pandemic, to keep families engaged and safe. It was hard, but we feel that we can tackle any challenge that comes our way now. We look forward to growing with our families and offering more support. We want State of Kid to be a 360-degree resource for parenting and kids.


Is there an area of the kid’s market you would like to see State of Kid expand into?

State of Kid is unique in the industry and right now we are focused on our core offerings. We work hard to offer a curated selection of clothes and gifts that are not often found at big box retailers or on Amazon. Our classes are exceptional, and our parties are one-of-a-kind. While there are certainly other areas of the market we can expand into, we want to stay focused and deliver the best experience to the families who walk in our doors.

kid's store

What are you looking for when exploring trade shows?

There are many factors that we take into consideration. Quality and design are at the top of the list, but we also look at where the items are manufactured, and we love a great founder story. Because we are a women-owned business, we also like to support other businesses created by women.


What first drew you to Playtime & Kid’s Hub New York?

What are some of your favorite brands you’ve discovered?

Many of our favorite brands, the brands we love to put on our own children, frequent Playtime & Kid’s Hub. We have been attending this show annually ever since we developed our concept, and we look forward to many more shows in the future.

We’ve come across so many great brands, but three of our favorites are Pepita & Me, La Lovie, and Kiboo Kids.

children's store

Thank you to Alana and Cheryl for sharing their inspirations and aspirations for State of Kid!

Forget about Disney, next time we’re in Florida we’ll be heading to State of Kid for some family fun! This innovative concept goes to show that retailers can incorporate experiences into their stores to not only draw customers in to shop, but to build communities and form organic bonds with the families that shop with them. We can’t wait to see Cheryl and Alana at the winter edition of Playtime & Kid’s Hub New York this February – be sure to get your pass to The Big Small Show to come build and strengthen new friendships with us!


All photos from State of Kid


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Madeline Blankenship
Madeline Blankenship