October 01, 2014
Superman has one. Batman has one. And we have one, too.
It started back in April of 2013. I stopped in a big chain store because my daughter, E, then almost three, needed new pajamas. And I did what I always did when buying her pajamas. First I went to the girls section and picked out a few sets that had some assortment of cute, pastel colors with ice cream cones, hearts, and butterflies. Then I walked to the other side of the store and bought her a few pairs from the boys section - red ones with dinosaurs, dark blue ones with rocket ships and planets, and an orange and blue set with construction equipment.
As I walked out past the girls section again I glanced through the dresses. My daughter, then and now, will only wear dresses. She loves to twirl and spin and doesn’t mind tying up the ends of her dress when climbing at the park or showing off her underwear when doing a somersault. We can sometimes convince her to wear a skirt, and on a rare occasion, she’ll wear pants or shorts without something twirly over it, but mostly she just loves dresses. And, to be totally honest, I love buying them for her.
But the thing I started thinking about that day as I walked to the register with my motley collection of packaged pajamas is that E also loves wearing her robot jammies and the ones with the dogs (the ones you know aren’t meant for girls because the dogs aren’t wearing lipstick or pearls or a hat with a flower). It’s too bad, I thought, that there are no dresses with robots on them, because she would totally wear that. Or a dress with a truck. Or a dinosaur. Or an airplane. Or a pirate. Or an alien. Or a train.
I couldn’t shut my brain off. Even with a six week old baby, I couldn’t fall asleep that night. Someone should make dresses like this! I should make dresses like this! But I can’t sew. Should I learn to sew? Should I just call Old Navy and complain? Should I call Old Navy and try to sell my idea? Can you even do that? I should learn to sew. How should I do that? Who do I know that sews? Eva! She’s a great seamstress! Maybe she’ll want to teach me how to sew. Oh wait…. Even better! Maybe she’ll want to do this with me! And on and on my brain went.
A couple of weeks later, I threw myself a little birthday picnic out in Rock Creek Park, and Eva and family joined us. As soon as we had a slightly quiet moment, I pulled Eva aside.
“Eva,” I said, “I want to start a company that makes girls clothes - like for girls, dresses and skirts and things - with things on them that are usually only on boys clothes - like trucks and dinosaurs and stuff. Do you want to do it with me? Be partners? Start a business together?”
I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I do remember that she answered immediately, without a moment’s pause and with a look of seriousness and excitement on her face. Serious excitement. Excited seriousness. And then she said, “Can you come over this week for a business meeting? We can start to plan.”
And that was it. Princess Awesome was born.