What Customers Say About Extra Warm Car Seat Poncho

What Customers Say About Extra Warm Car Seat Poncho

I’ve been selling fleece car seat ponchos in my Etsy shop  since 2015.  The first year that I sold ponchos, I offered only one style of car seat poncho.  My regular car seat poncho was and still is made of two layers of anti-pill fleece.  Here in Pennsylvania, my grandchildren have found them to be cozy and warm.
Car Seat Poncho

Extra Warm Poncho

But what about those kiddos in extremely cold climates?  Would two layers of fleece be warm enough for a child in Minnesota or Wisconsin or Canada?  I wasn’t sure it would be.  That’s why, in my second year of poncho making and selling, I offered the option of choosing a layer of cotton quilt batting that I added between the two layers of anti-pill fleece.

Last year, one third of my poncho orders were for extra warm ponchos.  Most of those extra warm ponchos made their way north to colder states and to Canada.

This fall I asked some of those customers whose children used the extra warm ponchos last year to take a short survey.  The results were overwhelmingly positive, and every one who responded said that she would make the same choice to purchase the extra warm poncho again.

Survey Results

1.  In what state or province do you live? 

The women who answered my survey were from Nebraska, Michigan, New Jersey, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and New York.

2.  Did the extra warm poncho provide adequate warmth? 

Everyone agreed that the extra warm poncho provided adequate warmth.  One mom said that on the coldest days in Michigan, she would layer the poncho over a fleece jacket.

3.  Where there times when the poncho was too warm? 

Some responded that the poncho was too warm for fall and spring weather.  Another mom added that if the temperature were forty degrees or warmer, the poncho was not a good choice.  The others assured me that the poncho was not too warm in their winter climates.

4.  How would you describe the weight and feel of the extra warm poncho? 

I wanted to get some opinions on the feel and weight of the extra warm poncho since I’m often trying to describe it to potential customers.  My survey-takers described the extra warm poncho as a thicker fleece, not too heavy or thick, warm and cozy, substantial without feeling stiff or cumbersome.  One mom was concerned that the extra layer would make the poncho stiff, but it did not.

5.  If you were to purchase another poncho, would you choose the extra warm style? 

All of the survey participants agreed that if they purchased another poncho, they would, without hesitation, purchase the extra warm poncho again.

There was that one mom who said that since she already had an extra warm poncho, she might choose a regular poncho to use in spring and fall weather.  I like this idea!  Everyone should buy two ponchos:  a regular and an extra warm one.

Contact Me About a Poncho:

If  you’re interested in ordering a regular or extra warm car seat poncho, please contact me.  You can use the contact form here on this site, contact me in my Etsy shop, or visit my business page on Facebook.  I’d be happy to work with you to create a poncho for that special child in your life!

 

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Selling Licensed Fabrics

Selling Licensed Fabrics

Licensed fabrics that have favorite TV and movie characters on them are quite popular especially with children.  I often receive requests to make ponchos or bibs using licensed fabrics from Disney, John Deere, NFL teams and other companies.

The Facts About Licensed Fabrics:

If you’ve ever bought licensed fabric, you may have noticed that the selvage (edge) of the fabric is usually printed with these words:  “For home use only. Not intended for commercial use”.

That warning means just what it says.  Those characters, phrases, and even color combinations may have been copyrighted by the original owner.  Using those for business gain is not legal.  Some small business owners believe that a multi-million dollar corporation is not going to concern themselves with a small business’s infringement of their intellectual property.

The truth is that Disney, Marvel, and other companies HAVE filed suits against small business owners who have used their images, color combinations, and copyrighted phrases without first purchasing a license to do so.  

My Policy:

I have chosen not to sell items made from licensed fabrics.  It is so tempting to bend the rules to make a poncho with Ana and Elsa, Minions, or Minnie Mouse fabric.  But the bottom line is that I am not willing to jeopardize my standing with Etsy by infringing on the rights of other businesses.

It is perfectly legal to make gifts, donations, and personal items with licensed fabrics.  It is also legal to make items from licensed fabrics if my customer purchases the fabric and delivers it to me.  In that case, I’m performing a service, not selling a product.

Just this morning, I made this Paw Patrol bib for my sister’s granddaughter.  While I was happy to indulge little Brinley’s obsession with Paw Patrol characters, I can guarantee that you will never see licensed fabrics in my Etsy shop or in my Facebook group.  I’m playing it safe with my business!

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What’s So Great About Bibs?

What’s So Great About Bibs?

Bibs.  Either you like them or you don’t.  Allow me to share three good reasons why I think kids should wear bibs for all messy activities.

No bib kidToddler BibBibs save you time. 

Foods like peaches, apples, and chocolate can permanently stain fabrics.  The best way to prevent these and other foods from landing on your kid’s clothing is to use a bib that covers all or most of his shirt.  Granted, it can take a few seconds to tie a bib on your hungry little one, but it can take minutes to treat stains before laundering clothing.  It can take hours to work long enough to buy new clothes to replace the ones that are ruined by food stains.

Bibs keep your kids comfortable. 

Soggy clothing is not comfortable!  Would you want to spend the afternoon wearing a wet, sticky shirt?  I know I wouldn’t want to, but I’ve seen plenty of kids walking around with shirts that are soaked with drool or milk or juice or food.  Yuck!

Save your kid the aggravation of a soggy shirt by tying a bib on her before she starts to eat or drink.

Bibs are cute!

Bibs come in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of pictures and cute sayings on them.  Some bibs, like the ones I sell in my Etsy shop, are cute enough to be considered clothing.

If you’ve got young children or grandchildren, I urge you to make a habit of tying on a bib at mealtimes.  You’ll be surprised how much better your child will look and feel with clothes that are clean and dry!  You’ll feel better, too!

What’s your opinion on bibs and kids?

 

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What’s in a Name?

Logo-WEB

What’s in a name?  If the extent of my agonizing over whether or not to change my online business name is any gauge, then a name is pretty darn important!

Last month, I made a big change in my online business.  I made the decision to re-brand my business using my own name, and I hired a graphic designer to make a logo that suited my business.  I’m very pleased with the work my designer did for me, and I’m pleased that my business name is consistent locally and online.

 

 

I have three main reasons for changing my business name, and here they are:

 Number One:

My official business name, the one that I use on my tax return and on any official paperwork is “Elaine Searer, Sewing & Alterations”.  I chose that name, not because it’s cute or catchy, but because it’s free.  In Pennsylvania, I do not have to pay a fee to use my own name as my business name.  If I choose a fictitious name (like My Grandma Sews), then I have to pay to file that fictitious name with my state.

Number Two:

Because I never paid to use the name My Grandma Sews, it wasn’t really mine.  I had no legal claim to it, and if another businessperson wanted to go into business using that name, I would have no recourse to stop them or to protect my use of that name.  I considered it highly unlikely that I would ever get into a business fight with anyone wanting to use that name, but just the same, the possibility was there that I could work to build a brand and then have it snatched from me. Some people might ask why I didn’t just register that name.  I could have done that, but I’m already operating a successful local sewing and alterations business under a different name…you guessed it!  Elaine Searer Sewing & Alterations.  What are the chances that my local customers would ever begin to refer to my business by a fictitious name?  Slim to none.

Number Three: 

The last reason is just that the word “grandma” was not the image I wanted to portray to my online customers.  I like being a grandma, but I was concerned that the using the word “grandma” would make potential customers think “old-fashioned”.  While I do consider my choice of patterns and projects to be classics, I do not consider them old-fashioned!

My other concern is that while the word “grandma” seemed cute to use for a business that makes children’s items, it would not suit me if I decided to list items in my shop that are not for children.With the help of my graphic designer, I made the decision to brand myself with the business name that I already own and use:  Elaine Searer Sewing & Alterations.

Some people have mentioned that they miss My Grandma Sews, and I miss that name a bit myself.  I am, however, convinced that I made the right decision for me and my growing business.

If you’d like to see the rest of my new graphics, please visit me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/elainesearersewing and www.facebook.com/groups/elainesearer  and my Etsy shop at www.elainesearer.etsy.com .

Car Seat Ponchos Available Now

Now that you know that a car seat poncho could help to keep your child warm and safe this winter, I want to share some details about the fleece car seat ponchos hand-crafted by me, Elaine Searer.fleece car seat ponchoFirst of all, the name “car seat poncho” doesn’t tell the whole story.  These ponchos are great for traveling, but they are also warm, comfy, and easy to wear for other cold weather activities.  The ponchos are made from two layers of anti-pill fleece, making them a soft, warm alternative to a winter coat.  They can be layered over sweatshirts or sweaters or other jackets.  These ponchos are especially convenient for those kids who don’t like to wear coats.
car seat ponchoA car seat poncho is perfect for children of all ages who travel in car seats.  You can see in the photo above that the snap-front poncho is just right for this eight-month-old.  car seat poncho with chest harnessThe poncho goes over the car seat buckles so nothing interferes with the child’s safety.  Hand slits make it possible for children to hold a book, snack, or toy in the car, too. car seat poncho with hand slitsMy handcrafted car seat ponchos are not just for girls.  The style is gender neutral, and the fabric choices allow for customization to anyone’s preferences.  Here’s a snap front infant sized poncho in a print that would be suitable for boys or girls. The snap front ponchos close with color coordinated plastic snaps from KAMsnaps.  car seat poncho with snap frontThe fleece ponchos that I make are great for those moms who like to carry  or wear their babies close to them.  The poncho does not interfere with the carrier, but still provides warmth for the baby. baby wearing ponchoMy ponchos are carefully handcrafted using only anti-pill fleece, and the generous size range can allow you to purchase one poncho that can be worn for two or more years by your favorite little one.

The zipper front ponchos are made with a sturdy nylon coil or molded plastic two-way jacket zipper and include a zipper tab cover at the top to prevent the zipper from rubbing sensitive chins. zipper with tab cover

The ponchos come in a wide range of sizes and are priced according to size.  Please visit my Etsy shop for more information at www.elainesearer.etsy.com.

I also invite you to join my Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/elainesearer  where I post lots of pictures, news about fabrics and sales, and other fun stuff.

Keep your little one warm and safe this winter with a hand-crafted fleece poncho.  All of my children’s items meet CPSC safety requirements.  

 

 

 

Car Seat Ponchos for Safety and Warmth

Here in Pennsylvania, we’re still enjoying summer weather with temperatures in the high 80s, but these warm summer days will soon be a memory.  When the temperatures start to fall, how can you keep your little ones warm and safe for fall and winter traveling?

You may need to swap out that heavy winter coat for a cozy car seat poncho.
Car Seat Poncho

Until a few years ago, I had no idea that buckling an infant or child into a car seat while he is wearing a winter coat is not safe.  A puffy winter coat will prevent the car seat straps from fastening tightly enough to keep a little one safe.  Here’s an article from Consumer Reports that explains exactly what can happen when a child is buckled into his car seat while wearing his winter coat.  (Consumer Reports article) 

Car Seat ponchoA car seat poncho can be worn on a child over the car seat buckles rather than under them.  The poncho drapes over the back of the car seat, and the front of the poncho covers the child keeping him or her warm and cozy while in the car.
car seat ponchoLast winter when I found this pattern designed by Stitch Upon a Time, I knew I needed to make one for my granddaughter Aaliyah.  Her parents were already putting safety first and buckling her into her car seat without her coat.  They used a common technique which was to remove her jacket when she got in the car and then cover her over with it.  The problem with that was that the coat would often slip off onto the floor.

I made her a car seat poncho, and she and her parents loved it!  I used two layers of anti-pill fleece for comfort and warmth.  The poncho zips up the front and includes a hood.  I added hand slits so that Aaliyah can hold a book or toy.  She liked it so much that I decided to offer these for sale on my Facebook page and in my Etsy shop this fall.

car seat ponchoI’ve got lots of beautiful fleece fabric, and I’ll be listing the ponchos on Facebook and Etsy in the next couple of weeks.  The ponchos that I’m making range in size from 3-6 months to size 8, and they aren’t just for traveling in the car.  They are perfect for other fall and winter activities.  If you’d like more information on prices and fabrics and how to place an order, please “like” my Facebook page so you won’t miss their debut.

The ponchos meet CPCS safety requirements for children.

I want to send a special thank you to my grandchildren, Aaliyah and Jayden who modeled the ponchos last Sunday when it was ninety degrees here in Pennsylvania.  Don’t worry, we didn’t keep them on them for more than a few minutes!

Enjoy the rest of summer because Old Man Winter’s on his way! 

 

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