Mookimoo Sleepwear, LLC, a family owned Sequim-based company, recently celebrated its first year in business, having sold hundreds of "Mookis" to parents and caregivers worldwide.
Co-owners Randy and Dana Reid launched the company after their 18-month-old daughter (nicknamed "Mookimoo") began removing her clothing at nap time and bedtime, sometimes creating quite a mess.
"While we knew this was a perfectly normal phase of development and wanted to encourage her creativity, coordination and self-exploration, we worried that loose garments in the crib created a dangerous suffocation and strangulation hazard," said Dana Reid, who is on active Coast Guard duty.
"We also worried that since we avoided bulky blankets and bedding, without her clothing she would be cold and unable to sleep comfortably."
An exhaustive search of the Internet revealed plenty of other families experiencing this frustrating phase of toddler development but turned up no good solutions, so the couple set out to develop one.
After several desperate attempts to keep their daughter in her pajamas, Randy Reid, a retired Coast Guard officer and stay-at-home dad, took a pair of scissors to a traditional one-piece sleeper, hacked off the "footies," cut the neckline and put the makeshift garment on the couple's daughter backwards.
With that action, the original "Mooki" was born.
It worked like a charm and not only addressed the "Houdini factor," but presented a design more convenient and well-suited for toddler diaper changes.
Response was immediate and overwhelming, validating what the couple already knew: They were not alone and their "Mooki" was sorely needed.
Satisfied customers began to create a buzz, blogging and "twittering" away. News quickly spread that a long-awaited solution to a common parenting problem now existed. Requests came pouring in for further product development and expansion of the sleepwear line to include additional colors, sizes, fabrics and styles.
Mookimoo Sleepwear is made in the U.S. from cotton, rib-knit fabric. The line includes three screen-printed designs available in three fabric colors, all in toddler sizes, ranging from 12-36 months.
The company hopes to expand the line this fall. Randy Reid said he couldn't divulge exactly what the new product line would include, but that the company is looking into short sleeves, short legs and different fabrics.
Mookimoo Sleepwear has been featured in Tot Trends weekly magazine, MetroFamily and Hudson's.
The Reids were interviewed by Parents Magazine about six months ago and have been told to expect an exclusive feature in the September 2009 issue.
"We will know more (about the expansion) after that depending on the response we get," Randy Reid said.
For more information on Mookimoo Sleepwear's story and design, go online to www.mookimoo.com.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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