40 Under 40 Class of 2009

Kate Glynn

Kate Glynn

Age 27: Owner, A Child’s Garden and Impish

Whether she’s in Washington lobbying for change, selling a baby sling to a new mom, or planning educational classes, Kate Glynn’s heart is with and for children.

The owner of two Northampton stores, Glynn’s mission is to reduce risk in every arena a child enters, and coax parents back to natural practices such as breastfeeding. The graduate of Smith College spent seven summers and about 18 months working with New York preschoolers with emotional and behavioral special needs before settling in Western Mass.

She took over A Child’s Garden about two and a half years ago and opened her second Northampton store, Impish, last fall. “I’ve always been drawn to education, kids, and families,” she said. “I am so blessed to have had a very good education. I was taught to think critically at The Windsor School in Boston and learned to ask ‘why?’”

It’s helped her make a difference on the home front as well as become an advocate for small-business owners and manufacturers across the nation.

Two years ago, Glynn sat on a steering committee at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton whose aim was to bring midwives into the hospital to attend births. “The first baby was born last June at the Cooley Dickinson Center for Midwifery Care,” she said.

Glynn is a founding member of Northampton Area Young Professionals, belongs to the city’s Chamber of Commerce, and recently returned from Washington, D.C. She was there as a member of the board of the Hand-Made Toy Alliance Group, petitioning Congress to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and provide provisions for natural toys.

Glynn sells only toys made from natural products, and she cites statistics that prove babies do better intellectually and socially if they are carried close to the heart in slings. “Children want to be where the action is,” she said.

And that’s exactly where Glynn has positioned herself.

—Kathy Mitchell