Thank you, Marie Rose Designs, for sponsoring this post, Keeping Warm with our Car Seat Poncho. I was selected for this opportunity by Marie Rose Designs; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Let’s just talk for a few moments about the winter cold and car seats. They honestly do not mix. Thankfully, this momma has blood that belong in Florida so we just keep the cold exposure to a minimum in our home. The midwest can bring ups and downs for a typical wintry season, but this is the first year that we have had to challenge the deep bitter cold with our Ollie in a convertible car seat.
Last year was easy. We bundled up the infant car seat, clicked him in and out of the car seat base, and travelled with ease. We maintain a warm and healthy baby, while still being on-the-go throughout the winter months. This year — well, a new issue arose. Car seat safety and winter coats. For a few weeks, I was the mother picking up my child at daycare without a coat. Why? Because it seemed so silly of me to pick him up (pregnant and all) and struggle to put on the coat to walk ten steps to my car in the daycare parking lot to take it off again. I even had mothers comment to me about where my child’s coat was; however, I bit my tongue when it came to their child’s big puffy coat wedged underneath their harness straps in the car. I know I probably should have educated them a bit, but I was just trying to not judge the judgmental momma in backlash…
Then it happened. I walked into Target one chilly day in November and saw it. A car seat poncho. At first, I thought this mom had it altogether somehow holding two infants in her hands while racing in through the Target parking lot, both children successfully covered with blankets that were not falling off. After proper stalking — I mean, inspection, I realized that they were not blankets at all, but each of her children had on these car seat ponchos.
So I rushed home and found Marie Rose Designs and her car seat poncho, and let me tell you… It is a pure miracle. Not only does it slip on and off with minimal effort, it is hooded, reversible, and made with super warm fleece material. Marie Rose Designs car seat ponchos keep Ollie one warm in the car and can be worn out and about in the cold weather. They are designed to allow you to buckle in your child in their car seat, then place the poncho over them to wear as a blanket/hood in the car, or wear as a regular poncho outside. Owner, Karen, designs them in an array of colors and prints, along with options for ears (like ours), fringe, and arm slits. She customizes them and ships really quickly. Furthermore, and above all else, she is a doll to work with.
Our car seat poncho has been such a huge blessing this year. Not only has it helped us still make our mommy and son Target runs, but it has allowed me to go many places solo with him without the fear of a toddler meltdown in a freezing cold parking lot while pregnant. This alone has kept us from not being cooped up in the house too much during some of the lowest midwest temperature in years. Another great thing is that we will be able to take our poncho with us for winters to come! We ordered the 12-24 months size so that our little runt can sport his car seat poncho this year and next, and then we can gifted it to Lillie the following two seasons!
I am so thankful for our car seat poncho; it has been a lifesaver. It keeps our little boy toasty warm in the chilly Illinois winters, while keeping him safe in his seat by eliminating the need for unsafe puffy coats in the car seat or other after market products that interfere with the seats harness. Not to mention the standard solid grey color matches all wardrobe decisions. Warm, yes. Soft, yes. Safe, yes!
Also, if you have not researched or heard much about car seat safety in the winter months, please, please, please do your research. I saw this Rossen Report on NBC while I was pregnant with baby Ollie and was mortified. Yes, Jeff Rossen can be awfully dramatic in many of these reports, but it is a great example of why you should not ever put your child in danger and interfere with the car seat harnesses with a puffy coat!
Here is a little bit more about Karen, the owner of Marie Rose Designs:
How did you get your shop started?
A few years ago I started making non-slip grip hair bows for my girl’s baby fine hair. Every clip I’d buy for them slipped right out and I needed to find something that would actually stay put – even when they tried to yank it out! My friends began to ask me to make bows for their kids and eventually other accessories (bow ties, headbands, party hats, tutus, hats, scarfs, etc.). My business just expanded that way organically.
This is also how I got the idea to start making ponchos. A friend of mine asked me to make her daughter a car seat poncho and I’d never heard of them before but thought they were so practical and cute! I made up my own pattern for her poncho and I loved making it so much that I decided to make more and put them into my Etsy shop.
Ever since then I’ve been sewing. I’ve watched my Mom sew all my life, but have never done too much sewing until I got hooked making ponchos and working with fleece. I literally taught myself to sew making my friend’s poncho and now here I am making all sorts of things for people across the country. I couldn’t love doing what I do any more!
What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
I’m a Work From Home Mom and often find it challenging to juggle my business, my girl’s schedules (5, 3 and one on the way!), household chores, shopping for my entire household and trying to be a good wife, friend and daughter all at the same time. Wish there was some way that I could excel at all of the above at the same time!
What is one thing unique about you?
While I’ve always been creative, I have a Master’s degree in Microbiology and an MBA and started my working years in a hospital doing clinical research. Working in a hospital never felt like a good fit for me and I always felt like I wasn’t getting to use my creative side enough. After starting my shop I’ve never been happier with my work!
What is the best part of owning a shop?
While it’s also the most challenging part, I love being able to work from home so I can work on my own schedule and be there for my family when they need me. Also, I love having the creative freedom to make new designs when I get inspired to. I love to learn how to do new things.
How did you get your shop name?
Marie and Rose are my daughter’s middle names. I wanted my shop name to have meaning for me, but also easy for customers to remember.
What is one way that you keep organized?
My husband. His friends lovingly call him the “spreadsheet guy.” He keeps track of all my sales, expenses and the rest of the nitty gritty details so I can focus on the creative, marketing and customer service side of my business.
How do you balance family life and work life?
We just moved to Lynchburg, VA (our second new state in 4 years!) for my husband’s job so we take a lot of family time on the weekends to explore our new area with our girls (5 and 3, and one more on the way!). We all particularly enjoy hiking and playing outside so we often drive out to the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.