Friday Five with Michelle Kohanzo of The Land of Nod
Photo by Heather Talbert

Photo by Heather Talbert

Illinois native Michelle Kohanzo is the Managing Director at The Land of Nod, the one-stop-shop for all things children and baby, where she guides the brand’s development with her visionary ideas. Joining the brand as its 10th employee, she was able to learn all aspects of company, from operations, IT, marketing, and merchandising, and worked her way up to her current role in 2011. Kohanzo has been a part of the e-commerce site launch in 2001, as well as the opening of 11 retail stores, while continuing to foster the brand’s growth through artist collaborations, retail pop-ups, and licensing partnerships. It’s not a surprise that this wife and mom of four children made Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40” list in 2015. In this week’s Friday Five, this creative shares what keeps her happy and inspired.


1. Camp Wandawega
This place brings me back to my childhood in the most magical of ways; the laid back barefoot vibe, the lake and impromptu swims, and always just the best of friends. My happiest of places.


2. State the Label Smocks
I am a huge fan of everything Adrienne Antonson does, she is a force – from her gorgeous clothes to her yummy Secret Catalog, but best of all are her smocks. They are so fun to wear, have ginormous pockets for carrying all your things, and they’re each one of a kind.


3. Stephanie Vovas Photography
Stephanie is an amazing photographer out of LA. Her work transports you back to the 70’s – big hair, big clothes (or none at all), and California cool tones. I was lucky enough to be photographed by Stephanie a few years back with my daughter – some of my most prized pieces. And Stephanie is the sweetest person I’ve ever been lucky enough to meet.


4. Deyrolle Paris
I wish I could live in this incredible taxidermy store in Paris. Every piece is exquisite, I especially love the baby lambs and the flamingo. I was lucky enough to bring home a beautiful beetle and a moth.

Photo by Credit Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

Photo by Credit Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times

5. Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is a unesco heritage site and is often referred to as Shangri La. There couldn’t be a more fitting description – the town is nestled along the banks of the Mekong River. The plant life is amazing – staghorn ferns that are 5 ft tall, magnolia trees and fragrant camellias and everywhere are the most beautiful buddhist temples. The monks, many very young, wear the traditional saffron robes and each morning walk through the city to receive alms. It is the most beautiful, peaceful place I have ever visited and hope to travel there again soon.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.