Princess Awesome Redefines What It Means to Be “Girly”
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In April 2013, Melsky realized that something was missing in the stores. Her then 2-year-old daughter wanted to wear exclusively dresses every day, but Melsky shopped in both girls and boys departments for her pajamas.
“One day I was at a big store and I picked up my motley assortment of pajamas and I thought, ‘I wish they made a dress that has a space ship or a robot on it because my daughter would wear that,’” said Melsky. Then she realized—she could do it. So she partnered with her close friend Eva St. Clair, and the two began brainstorming.
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Finding an Untapped Market
First, they had to determine if others would even want this clothing for their daughters. They made a few samples by hand, and sold them at St. Clair’s church’s Christmas bazaar. Their inventory sold out almost immediately, and they knew they’d hit on something special.
“The market is there, it’s just kind of untapped,” says St. Clair.
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Their Seriously Successful Kickstarter
Their Kickstarter has significantly sped up their five-year-plan. In fact, it took less than 4 days to fund their original goal of $35,000—specifically 3 days, 12 hours, and 40 minutes. With more than 2,000 backers pledging over $120,000, they continued to hit all of their subsequent goals.
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Their Biggest Challenge
The unique fabrics have proven to be the biggest obstacle in production. Since they design their own patterns (while most companies use pre-made fabrics), it’s an incredibly expensive process.
“We realized that if we want to find fabric that is adorable and made for children's play clothes and nontraditional for girls, we were going to have to make it ourselves,” said Melsky. The Kickstarter campaign has helped fund this part of the process, making these out-of-the-box designs a reality.
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Their Next Major Goal
While the adventure patterns have been popular—like ninjas and dinosaurs—both Melsky and St. Clair have been encouraged by how excited young girls and parents have been about the STEM themes—including a pi symbol pattern and colorful atomic shells.
Right now, their new goal is $165,000, so they can begin immediate production on their “Busy Dress”—a design that features airplanes, cars, and trains. Want to learn more, or back the project? Visit their Kickstarter here.
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