Bibs for feeding, rattles for shaking, books for reading, lovies for napping … many parents will agree that caring for a tiny human takes not only a village but also a mountain of stuff.
Ashley Hertz is one of these parents. Hertz is an owned brands commercialization manager at Walgreens, which means she creates seasonal products you can’t buy anywhere else. But the birth of her son, Sammy, in January 2018 had her stepping into a different role: Mom. She navigated the early days as any new parent does – quickly learning what Sammy needed (mostly swaddles and snuggles) and what she needed (more sleep and warmer coffee). Maternity leave was over in the blink of an eye, and she brought a ton of inspiration and baby pictures with her back to the office.
“I had just returned to work, and we were beginning to think through our next gifting line,” says Hertz. “We had tested a few baby items before and had really strong results. So we started with plush, and soon it grew to be a full line of baby toys, accessories, gifts, stuffed animals and nursery décor.”
And just like that, Moon and Stars was born.
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Walgreens newest baby brand features products in gender-neutral colors and soft, huggable fabrics – like the sleepy white bunny holding the mint green, satin-trimmed blanket (Sammy’s favorite). Other items include trendy gift sets and décor, such as the letterboard for baby’s monthly milestone photos, hooded shark towel and spa slipper set, and nightlights that nod to the name of the line – a moon, star and cloud.
“We put a lot of thought into the design elements and qualities of Moon and Stars,” says Hertz. “The soft rattles have a loop handle that’s easy for babies to hold, the socks have anti-slip grips for little ones on the go, and other items have fabrics and textures that encourage multi-sensory play. Customers can feel really good about buying the products, too, with non-toxic, lead-free and phthalate-free called out on the packaging.
“We’re making gifting easy,” she continues. “Some items, like the bib and bootie set, even come wrapped, with a white ribbon tied in a bow. This is especially helpful if you’re short on time and running to meet a friend’s newborn, or you’re on your way to a baby shower.”
Twice the joy
Seeing this line launch is extra special for Hertz. She’s expecting her second child, a baby girl, in February.
“I thought that by the time Moon and Stars was in stores, Sammy would be a little old for it,” she says. “But now I can walk into my daughter’s nursery and see the products I developed on her shelf.”
We couldn’t introduce Moon and Stars without an official stamp of approval, so we called in the world’s cutest critics: babies and toddlers – in this case those of Walgreens team members. The verdict: indecipherable, but we’ll assume two tiny thumbs up.