Childrens’ products that go beyond color/gender stereotypes rake in the green.
By Rieva Lesonsky
I am not a pink person—never have been. My favorite color for as long as I can remember has been blue. According to a fascinating article in The Atlantic, the notion that girls love pink while boys embrace blue didn’t emerge until the 1940s.
The article highlights several small businesses that have confronted the color/gender stereotype, such as Princess Awesome, which was started by a mom who couldn’t find dresses featuring some of her then-2-year-old daughter’s favorite things, like trains. Another woman was inspired to start two companies, Free to Be Kids and Jessy & Jack, when she was frustrated by the clothes available for her son and daughter.
There’s also a market for clothes that show the sky is the limit—almost literally. buddingSTEM, for instance, makes clothes with science and technology themes. As cofounder Malorie Catchpole told The Atlantic, “Wanting to wear tutus does not mean you can’t grow up and be a rocket scientist.”
This is a perfect time to get into this industry. Even some big companies, such as Target, are acknowledging the shift. The mega-retailer announced last year it was going to stop separating kids’ toys and bedding into girls’ and boys’ sections. The birth rate is likely to hit 4 million again this year (the number for an “official” baby boom year) so this market is bound to get bigger—for many years to come.
Featured photo courtesy: Jessy & Jack