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Why I Launched a Children's Clothing Brand

Why I Launched a Children's Clothing Brand

What does your child do that really embarrasses you?

When my first child was getting ready to go to kindergarten, he would NOT wear underwear. I was horrified. What would the teacher and the other children think? Would they notice? Are underwear really that important? My mind raced on. 

As it turns out, my son refused to get dressed for a reason. His clothing was irritating his skin because most underwear contained polyester and harmful dyes. No wonder he preferred commando. Rather than stew about my potential embarrassment and the morning get dressed struggles, I set out on a mission to fix the problem.

The perfect pair of underwear did not exist. 

I looked everywhere for the perfect pair of underwear that would ease the morning stress. I tried 100% cotton. I tried 100% organic cotton. I tried different brands. And yet my search yielded very little in the way of positive results - skin still irritated and my son was still unhappy with his undies. So, I did what any mother would do for her baby... I took matters into my own hands and started looking for ways to produce my own underwear for him.  

I found the best fabric for children with eczema. 

Organic cotton is good for children with eczema, but when it comes to the most sensitive skin, TENCEL™ Lyocell is the best! TENCEL™ Lyocell is breathable, gentle on skin, and unfavorable for bacterial growth. It is also incredibly soft and feels cool and dry to the touch. As an added bonus, TENCEL™ Lyocell is better for the environment. It is botanic in origin, biodegradable, and sustainably produced. Once I found the perfect fabric, I could not wait to get started!

I shared my idea and prototypes with friends.

After a routine dusting of my grandmother's 1956 Singer sewing machine and a few quick self-help lessons on how to sew, I cranked out the first Crann Apparel boxer brief samples. I instantly sought feedback. My friends were the first people to try out my new product. Lo and behold they were a hit! Moms loved the softness of the fabric and that the clothing was produced in a sustainable manner. Great fabric. Happy moms and kids. Less environmental impact. That was all it took. Crann Apparel was born!

Before I could officially launch, I needed to make sure my products solved a problem and filled a niche.

Before I officially launched Crann, there were a couple of questions I still needed to address...

1.  Am I solving a problem?

The answer was a resounding "YES". Crann's products are helping children have better mornings by making clothing that does not bother their skin. Happier skin means less stress on mom, dad, and kids in the family. Oh, and Crann fabrics happen to reduce our environmental impact too! Sounds like a win-win to me!

2.  What is our niche?
Sustainably and ethically produced quality clothing for children with sensitive skin (e.g., eczema, sunburn, sensory issues, etc.). What parent hasn't heard their child complain about their tags, the feel of the fabric or the fit? And yet hardly anything that addresses this widespread issue exists in the marketplace. 
So, why did I launch a clothing brand?
Because I saw a problem that I knew how to solve. I knew I wasn't alone in my struggle to get my son dressed and that Crann's products could help other families too. The drive to support children's comfort, reduce negative impacts on the environment, and promote ethical business practices were a call to action. Regardless of what the future holds, I am proud of the trail that Crann has blazed. I am also happy to report that mornings at my house are much more pleasant. They are still rushed and a little chaotic (as is the case with any young family), but everyone is happier. In fact, my son now hardly wears anything but his Crann Apparel. That alone is all the validation I need to know that Crann was a worthwhile endeavor.

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