The past year has allowed parents and their children to spend more time than ever at home. Evaluating how we use our spaces and being more mindful about our purchases has been transformed into a wellness trend. Today, as consumers, we want to make purchases that are not only fashionable, but also do more. We want added functionality, and when it comes to our children, exceptional safety features as well.
For years, the press and parents were obsessed with the latest styles from Suri Cruise and Blue Ivy. We wanted to see their designer duds and what this mini-fashion set was wearing to school. Heated conversations focused on whether or not heeled shoes were appropriate for little ones, and if so, how high. But today, that’s changed. By spending more time at home, we have a new appreciation for family time and, in turn, different kinds of purchases. Even though it can often feel stressful, we want to hold on to more moments together, not just things. We are putting more thought into what our purchase does and are demanding that it looks great, too.
Looking for BPA-free plastic water bottles and paraben-free bath products has become second nature. We have grown accustomed to looking for organic cotton and fair-trade garments. With the yearly warnings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics about how dangerous traditional puffy coats are in the car, it is now time for parents to carefully examine our children’s outerwear as if it is a matter of life and death — because it is.
Style & Safety Drive Success
Children’s outerwear should be cute, warm and functional. Combining style and safety is essential. Buckle Me Baby Coats are designed with a front panel as part of the garment that pulls to the side. The shoulder seam is actually setback in the jacket so the car seat straps sit directly and safely on the chest and shoulders. Parents get the convenience of putting the coat on at home and keeping the coat on in the car, while kids get the same level of safety as if they are not wearing a coat at all.
Back with Data & Testing
Talking about function and safety is obvious, and it’s also important to back these statements with credible data. Buckle Me Baby Coats have been crash tested at an independent university crash test facility, where the coats not only outperformed traditional puffy coats, but also tested similarly to no coat at all. Buckle Me Baby Coats has collaborated with local New Hampshire Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs), firemen and first responders who physically examined the coat and found it to be a safer option to the puffy winter coat and agreed it is similar to no coat. Since our start, our coats have been evaluated in person by many CPSTs across the country, and you can read many of their reviews on our website. As a company, we don’t just talk about the safety features of our coats — we prove it.
Focus on Design Trends
There are so many exciting kids’ fashion trends for kids in the winter. Emphasis is often placed on creating a complete look, and with kids having their favorite color palette, designers have to make both the child and the parents happy!
Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media outlets have trained us to appreciate aesthetics. We want our children to look stylish from head-to-toe, and kids often like to have a say in what they are wearing. So, in addition to creating a childrenswear product that enhances safety, we know it’s essential to look great, too. Our designs include trendy colors and limited-edition graphic lining, as well as features like sleeve lengths that grow with a child and removable hoods. This year, we are embracing old-school classic primary colors like blue, red and orange that are a mix of the nostalgic and the modern. There are also fresh looks, like pink and gray, to inspire mini-fashion fans. We love these bright colors in saturating hues, as they are a nod to the brighter days ahead.
Maintain Your Mission
Ultimately, successful childrenswear brands will make their mark by offering something that is different and unexpected. The idea for Buckle Me Baby Coats was born more than two decades ago, and the idea was brought to dozens of coat manufacturers. No one thought that winter coat safety in the car seat was an issue, but the more parents that I spoke with, the more I realized how wrong those manufacturers were. It became a mission of mine to keep children safely buckled, secure, warm and happy while making parents’ lives a whole lot easier.
Whether it’s a new safety feature or an exciting functionality, parents and gift-givers are thinking carefully about what they purchase. The new normal includes responsibly sourced materials, great style and safety. By maintaining your brand’s mission, each passing month will have a new set of shoppers learning and believing in your product.
Dahlia Rizk is the founder and inventor of Buckle Me Baby Coats, a coat designed to be used safely in the car seat. Buckle Me Baby Coats was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank. Find out more information at bucklemecoats.com.