You’ve probably heard of Kid & Coe – holiday properties that put kids first – but now it’s time to meet its enthusiastic founder, Zoie. She created the company so that she and all the rest of us traveling with kids in tow had another option apart from the standard hotel room and resulting “Shhhhhhh” from check-in on. She’s now got a solid collection of kid-friendly rentals around the world, plus insight from local parents about how to get the best out of your stay.
And today, she’s taking us around one of her favorite properties of all: her own! Welcome, Zoie! So glad you’re here.
Hi, everyone! I’m Zoie, momma to three: Luca who has just turned nine but is going on 13, India Rose who is five, and our brand new bebe, Ivy Love, who is straight from heaven and came at just the right moment in our lives. We are a very close-knit family who love spending time together, chasing adventures, and being as silly as possible.
My husband is a touring DJ/music producer and I am the founder of Kid & Coe, which features carefully chosen holiday family accommodation.
We live in Ibiza, which is somewhere my husband and I were visiting for the past 20 years. Long story short, we had kids and fell in love with the multi-faceted island even more.
After years of renting a villa every summer, we dreamt of owning our own little holiday flat here. We found the perfect place and thought we would just use it over the summers, but we have decided to call it home and settle for a while.
Sometimes things just fall into place.
We moved from NYC to LA, and now Ibiza. A lot of change!
We had been wanting a break from NYC for some time. All of the things we loved about the city grew to feel oppressive, and the frenetic energy slowly became something we needed to change.
We chose Los Angeles as it was something we had talked about as a potential opportunity for my husband’s career. It was a hard jump, as my two sisters and my mother, and many dear friends live in NYC. LA was lovely, but it just didn’t feel like home to us. I can see why people fall in love with it, but my husband is from Europe, I consider myself a New Yorker, and LA just felt too big of a departure from our two centers.
Ibiza was always somewhere we thought could be a lovely and calm place to raise children while they are young. We realized that they were growing up pretty fast, as they do, and we might miss the opportunity if we let it slip us by.
When I became pregnant with Ivy, it was the motivation of now or never, and we took the plunge.
In terms of contrast to each other, they’re all amazing places to bring up kids and vastly different. We of course miss the culture and opportunity that NYC and LA provide, but we’re very close to London, where we have also lived in the past, and New York isn’t so far away when we need a dose of city.
I don’t usually have any resistance to changing homes and cities, other than missing that which I will leave behind, like friends and family.
But I feel the world is smaller now, more connected, and my relationships are solid. And it means we get to explore new destinations together, and experience new adventures.
My husband and I are both free-spirited at heart. We love routine and calmness while we are at home, but we are always eager for a new adventure and usually tend to agree on travel and where we should go next.
I love the quote ‘Fortune favors the bold.’ I want to live life to the fullest and experience as much as possible, and in my opinion, if you have butterflies it’s usually a good sign to make the leap outside of your comfort zone.
Ibiza has a certain magical quality that makes people fall in love and keep coming back. It has definitely changed through the years in a more upmarket direction, but I think that’s most noticeable in the summers.
In the winter, it is a sleepy charming Spanish village that might not have every world-class restaurant open, but it’s cozy and local and we love it thus far.
The cost of living is great compared to NYC and LA, and it has an old-fashioned aspect to it in the sense of that it feels safe: the children can play together in the square without pesky parents helicoptering over them. It is international also we which we dig; lots of Germans, Italians, English.
And last but not least, I love that my children are learning Spanish and that I’m forced to get better at it, too. Well, trying hard, at least. We are excited to explore more of Europe with the kids also, as so much is a short airplane ride away.
My best advice for finding friends in new cities? Fake it till you make it.
Sometimes it helps to be outgoing and friendly even if you’re feeling shy. Everyone is the new kid once.
Organized sport is also a great way for kids to acclimate. Luca does football and India ballet. It’s all in Spanish but ballet and football are an universal language.
My aesthetic has changed since moving into a smaller home than we previously owned. In the smaller space, I’m drawn to a more calm and neutral design, where as before I was always been a fan of color and print. Maybe it’s just my mental move towards a more peaceful existence over all, but both my husband and I have made a conscious decision towards living with less.
We are cherry picking what makes it into our home because there is limited space and thinking about the value of our possessions: Do we love it? Is it sentimental?
It’s overall a more calm environment for our family. There are no heaving closets stuffed full of stuff and projects that I will get to one day. I think it’s a lesson traveling has taught us: you pick your few favorites and take them with you. I want to live like that.
So I’m a fan of ruthless organization, using every inch of space, baskets, shelves, and consistent editing.
To tell you the truth, I am struggling in our small home with book storage. I’m very digitally inclined but I love being surrounded by books, so in the new year will need to get creative with bookshelves!
Kid & Coe has been running since October 2013, but this idea did take some time in the making. Wind it back a few years, and my husband, our baby, and I were traveling the world and realizing that it took a lot of effort to find properties that were truly child-friendly and suitable. Over time, that list was requested more and more by my friends, and so the idea was born. I drew together a team, and began to work with concepts and ideas to bring it together.
I am really proud of the way our team’s culture has grown into one that embraces flexibility, working remote, and traveling to visit our properties all whilst kids in tow! As a mother, it feels good to be building a company that is shaped around working parents.
It’s been an incredible amount of work – anyone who works in a start up would second that – but it’s great to see it in action and hear from families who we have helped, including my own.
You learn so much from the school of experience, such as how to manage a team remotely whilst still trying to cultivate an internal culture and sense of togetherness, or how to craft a killer marketing plan on a shoestring budget. All challenges, lots of setbacks, but at Kid & Coe we always take the viewpoint that without mistakes and risks there is no opportunity and growth.
Right now it feels like I’m covering a lot of developmental stages: newborn, kindergartener, and big kid going on preteen! I would say I’m surprised at how fast it all goes, and how hard it is to remember things one would think would be remembered.
As they say, the days are long, but the years are short. Due to the momma wisdom I’ve earned from the first two, I’m definitely more present right now with Ivy Love as I know more how fleeting it all is.
If my kids could remember just one memory from this childhood home, I hope they remember that it was a home full of music, laughter, joy, adventure. I hope they remember that when they called me in their rooms at night to tickle their backs, I was there, reminding them “you’re the super special one and only you.”
I wish I had known sooner that your children will teach you as much as you will teach them. Let go of the ego and the need to be right. You give them the foundation, and then they go out and build it on their own.
Thank you, Zoie! Okay, tell the truth: How many of you Googled “Homes for sale in Ibiza?” I think it was Zoie’s description of it. “In the winter, it is a sleepy charming Spanish village that might not have every world-class restaurant open, but it’s cozy and local and we love it thus far. The cost of living is great compared to NYC and LA, and it has an old-fashioned aspect to it in the sense of that it feels safe: the children can play together in the square without pesky parents helicoptering over them.” Probably not the best Google search when many of us are feeling the January blahs, right?
Question: How do you travel with your kids? Do you have a trick to making it work smoothly, or have you simply postponed all travels until everyone can entertain themselves on a flight? I’d love to hear your stories; they’re always a little gift to me when I get to read about your own parenting experiences!
P.S. – Are you living with your own kids in a unique way? Are you interested in sharing your home and experiences with us? Let me know! We love to be inspired! And it’s a lot of fun…I promise! I should also mention, I have a goal to bring more diverse points of view to Design Mom this year. So if you don’t see yourself or your community reflected here, let’s make it happen — send in your details, or recommend a friend! Take a peek at all the homes in my Living With Kids series here.