Boutique Baby Products Gifted to Military Moms-To-Be
"There's no reason A-listers should have all the cool stuff, right?" Resa Troyer asks while we're talking about the motivation behind her thriving business, Resa Design.
Defined by clean lines and solid colors, Resa's dream of providing moms with baby and toddler stuff that qualified as "cool gear I wasn't embarrassed to carry around," is a reality.
Resa Design officially launched more than 3 years ago, but was in the mind and hands of mom, Resa Troyer long before that. "I have been sewing since I was five and always been an entrepreneur of sorts."
Before she officially started her business, Resa had begun to make baby blankets and give them away as gifts. She'd had a hard time finding gifts she felt matched her mom-friend's sense of style and that difficulty continued as she searched for baby items during her own pregnancy, "I couldn't figure out why everything was geared towards a baby that could care less what color his diaper bag was or what print was on his blankets. What I did find available was expensive and therefore not available to me." So, Resa started searching for great fabrics. It wasn't long before the requests started coming in and Resa began to sell her creations.
In addition to the fancy, soft fabrics, Resa has taken the 'practical' into account. She explains, "Our accessories were all designed out of needs I had as a new mom: a changing pad that actually covered the gross bathroom stall changing table, a burp cloth that was cute, absorbent and didn't have farm animals on it, or a bib that didn't hang to baby's knees and still not soak up the gallons of drool." And she aims to keep her items affordable, but that definitely doesn't mean cheap! Resa says with a smile, "More important to me than price is quality. I am a bit of a perfectionist and will have a product redone as much as I can to make sure it meets my high standards."
A business that once allowed her to set certain days during the week as 'work days' now requires attention every day. A tough balance for this mom of two little ones, but she manages. "What started as a hobby is now a full time job."
Resa's hard work, attention to detail and eye for beautiful designs now benefits another very special category of moms.
In addition to being an entrepreneur, Resa has also always been a giver, "it is part of my DNA. It is a huge part of the values we instill in our children and part of our mission as a family." So, joining forces with Operation Shower - an organization that provides a 'baby shower in a box' to military wives - was a natural fit.
"I love the idea behind Operation Shower. I can only imagine what the moment looks like when the giant brown Operation Shower box arrives at an expecting mother's door. She opens it up, and dozens of adorable baby items are neatly packaged and ready for her baby. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall at that moment?"
First learning about Operation Shower on a blog, Resa fell in love with the idea of getting involved. Finding out OS's main offices were in her own city, and then leaning that they loved the idea of gifting boutique-style goods to deserving moms made them a 'match at first sight'.
Resa began by making a few 'quiet' product donations for boxes being sent out, but has since established an online registry for Operation Shower. As you purchase a burp cloth for yourself, you can easily add a burp cloth for a military-mom-to-be. All the products on the registry are sold at 'cost' - so about half-price and they are shipped free of charge on your behalf. Resa explains, "For as little as $4, you can send a Resa Design product to a military mom-to-be. That's like skipping ice-cream at the grocery store for a week. It is totally doable."
Resa specifically chooses to do this kind of 'mom-it-forward' gifting, instead of celebrity gifting, since she would rather, "our gifts be a real, true blessing to someone, and not just another baby gift".
Three other companies have joined Resa's efforts, Julian and Co, Little Allouette, and Wet Happened. In April and May, Resa did a Mother's Day drive, donated 20% in goods to Operation Shower for every $50 purchase and was able to cover over 25 gifted items. These items were given as part of Operation Shower's Mother's Day event at Ft. Hood and Scott Air Force Base.
About the Author: Danielle Smith is a mommy to two smart and sassy small people, as well as the founder and primary author of ExtraordinaryMommy.com. You can catch her hosting a brand new live show, The Spin Cycle, on MomTV.com every Wednesday at 9pmEST. She also hosts a show on Blog Talk Radio and contributes to WhyMomsMatter. Danielle is thrilled to be contributing to MomItForward - as ‘giving back’ has always been an important part of who she is and what she hopes to teach her children