The coat verses car seat problem has finally been solved!
A few months a ago I shared about a topic that is very important to me, car seat safety. One of the biggest car seat safety mistakes I see on a regular basis is kids wearing puffy jackets in their car seats. I am very happy to say that there is now a safe solution!
This is not a sponsored post. The moment I found out about this product I knew I had to let my fellow mamas know about it.
Welcome to the new ongoing series: Community over Competition. In this series we will be sharing inspiring stories from entrepreneurs, bloggers, small business owners and more. I am beyond excited that our very first installment of the Community over Competition series features Dahlia Rizk, the creator of the game changing Buckle Me Baby Coat.
Daliah please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a mom of 3 great kids. We love to travel together and we’re currently binge watching survivor together. My kids and I all love puzzle games. We discovered escape rooms about a year ago and have become escape room maniacs. We get really competitive about it!
Outside of my kids I run a mental health office I started with my friend ten years ago. I mostly treat PTSD which I love. Its amazing and humbling work to watch people get better and heal from the hurts life has thrown their way.
“I used to have hobbies like reading and stuff but now I mostly make coats.”
What inspired you to create this product?
When my children were younger I struggled with the coat vs car seat dilemma. I would try to take the coat off most of the time but sometimes I couldn’t and the guilt would be crushing! One day, frustrated, I thought if I just move the zipper this wouldn’t be a problem. I took an old coat, cut it up and it worked!
I approached a few well known coat companies but they weren’t interested. In their minds there was no relationship between coats and car seats! I heard NO very often. Eventually I got busy pursuing my Masters and raising my kids but the idea stayed with me, especially when I would see a mom struggling with blankets in the slush or rain or even worse when I would read heartbreaking headlines about children being thrown from the car.
My kids are older and I have more time now. The Internet has also made reaching out to other parents and moms so accessible, so I thought the time has come and here we are!
How did you get started?
I took my cut up coat to a guy in Boston, Roger Hinds, who makes prototypes and described my idea to him. Roger was fantastic! I’ve found that a lot of people in the apparel industry wont make time for a newbie but he was generous with his time and explained the process to me. He also discussed different ideas on how to optimize the usefulness of the coat. The two orange coats in all the pictures where handmade by him.
How does this coat work?
The coat opens along the side and shoulder seams so the panel can be pulled out of the way in one easy step. With the fabric out of the way the straps sit flat and directly against your child’s shoulders and chest. The back of the coat is thinner too. So there is no dangerous puff to stop the harness from working.
How can I be sure this coat is a safe option for my child?
We crash tested the coat at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, where we hoped to outperform traditional puffy coats. To our surprise, our coat actually performed similarly to no coat at all. At the time of the test the insulation in the back was a 2 oz weight which we’ve since adjusted to a 0.5 oz weight so using our coat is almost identical to no coat at all.
Crash testing there was really cool. The dork in me was over the moon! Fun Fact: the sled they used to perform the test is over 80 years old and was previously used to test G-Force for the Military during the space program!
But crash testing alone wasn’t enough for us. We took the coat to local CPSTs (Child passenger safety technicians) for further evaluation. They loved it! They did recommend we remove the hood as parents may let it hang behind their back so our final design will not include a hood at all.
What advice do you have for other moms that have a great idea but don’t quite know how to make it happen?
Do your research. Find local prototype makers that will talk to you and teach you. They are hard to find but they’re out there. Don’t take no for an answer. If someone says something you know in your gut is totally wrong move on to someone else. Trust your gut. Moms know the inside scoop!
How can people get a Buckle Me Baby Coat for their little ones?
We are now taking orders for our September release. Anyone who buys through Kickstarter will get theirs first. Manufacturing has a lag time of 6-8 weeks and we cant predict demand for our first run so if we sell out the next round will come out in November.
If you have questions regarding the Buckle Me Baby Coat be sure to visit their website or Facebook page. You can also email your questions to Daliah directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to thank Daliah for taking the time to share about this awesome product. Be sure to visit the Kickstarter page and order yours today!