Swaddle Designs knows what a baby wants and needs when it comes time to snuggle, which is why so many parents love their products. Some of their products include swaddle blankets, stroller blankets, bibs and burp clothes, and baby apparel. Lynette Damir, RN, CEO and Creative Director, founded SwaddleDesigns in 2002. Lynette used her medical background and design education from the Art Institute of Seattle to develop the Ultimate Swaddling Blanket – large and square with swaddling instructions sewn to the edge of the blanket, so parents have an effective swaddling technique at their fingertips.
1. What inspires you to create your collections and all of the fun prints?
I am very lucky that I am filled with ideas that inspire me…many more than I can put into production in a season. Things that I see in nature inspire me, beautiful objects and my children inspire me. I keep my sketches in a library that I can pull from when we are ready to introduce something new. My mod circle pattern has become our signature look and interestingly, the inspiration for the design concept came from the shape of the baby’s head in our logo!
My little daughter loves to share her ideas with me. She was just 8 when she suggested it would be fun to create a Peace, Love and Swaddle pattern. We spent the summer working on the icons together, then the pattern, the repeat of the design and the color palette. It was a great opportunity to teach her about design process and we had a great time creating this design together. She was so excited to see the first strike off, and now the blankets are in production.
Recently, I designed products using Angry Birds! We are so fortunate to have been chosen by Rovio as their official licensee to create baby products based on the cute characters of their phenomenally popular game. The leaders at Rovio chose SwaddleDesigns because of our quality. For the Angry Birds designs, I used only the happy faced characters – the faces of the birds as they look with eager anticipation at the eggs in their nest! I am delighted to say, Angry Birds have found happiness on SwaddleDesigns products!
2. What is your favorite collection from Swaddle designs?
Oh my, that is very hard to choose. Since I have hand sketched most of the designs myself, they are a bit like my children. I do love the Mod Circles. I think their shape is very soothing, modern and appealing to women. I love the color palettes for the Mod Circles as well.
I really enjoyed creating our new Jewel Tone collection. The colors are bright and optimistic and fun! The Little Chickies pattern is sweet. I think the collection instills a feeling of cheerfulness and delight that most of us are looking for, and need, during these tough economic times.
We have new collections, that I absolutely love, that we are introducing this Spring. Taupe Gray is one of these new collections. It’s so pretty. It is inspired by a French color palette, and is soothing and elegant with Pastel Pink and Pastel Blue trimmed in Taupe Gray. It’s actually on our website now.
3. With such a busy schedule, how do you balance work, family, and me time?
It is not easy to get the work/life balance thing in perfect harmony when the business is growing so fast. Honestly, I would say that I have not had a well balanced life during the last very busy year! Work, family, and “me” time are not even slices of pie, but I don’t know any mother that feels she has much “me” time! I always make time for my children. They are in grade school now, so I have time to work while they are in school and in the evenings when they are asleep. They know they are my priority, and they understand when I need to work on a business project after their school work is attended to in the evening. They also see how I manage my time and prioritize, which are good lessons for them. I have seen my children use good prioritization skills and design process with their projects for school. And, if a friend or family member is in need, I will drop everything to make sure I am there for them.
4. What advice would you have for other women inventors just trying to start their own dream company?
Do your research, especially, if your idea has to do with baby or children’s products. You must be informed about safety standards. I feel that my medical knowledge as a nurse and my understanding of infant physiology has been very helpful to me with my baby product business. Also, my design education and knowledge of textiles is helpful. I would also add to be prepared to work very hard, use what you know and be eager to learn more, and be sure you have a supportive partner, husband and/or support system.
5. Do you have any future plans you would like to share, maybe new collections or products?
I have many new and exciting projects we are working on at SwaddleDesigns. The Angry Birds Collection just launched and the response has been outstanding! The Angry Bird apparel turned out darling! There are many new, exciting Angry Birds announcements just around the corner, so stay tuned and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get updates!
I’m also excited to share, that prior to the Angry Birds announcement, Disney contacted us. Yes, Disney! The Disney team really liked our quality and designs. They told me I could use any designs such as Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Bambi and much more. However, I wanted to use Disney’s classic sketches of Mickey and Minnie, and they said, yes! I absolutely love the three fabric patterns I created for Disney Classic Baby products for our Ultimate Receiving Blanket®, Marquisette Swaddling Blanket®, Baby Burpies® and Baby Lovies®. The designs are delightful and fun, and the color palettes are beautiful and stylish!
The Disney team was very pleased with my Classic Disney designs and they invited us to create Disney’s It’s A Small World products using Mary Blair’s famous icons from the It’s A Small World ride at Disneyland! We have a fabric pattern called, Hello!, which features several languages of the world, a sweet Sun and Lamb pattern and a wonderful pattern called, Peace, Joy, Hope, featuring Children of the World in traditional dress. The color palette is beautiful Jewel Tones – again, a very optimistic and happy color palette.