This week, two different national publications published stories about companies making products for dads: the first was in the Wall Street Journal and the second was in Slate. Both of the articles talk about the new market of bags and accessories designed for hands-on dads. As Ruth Graham wrote for Slate, "We live in a world in which dads are often said to be 'babysitting' their own children, and headlines and advertisements default to addressing 'moms' on kid-related topics. The default aesthetic for baby care still tilts toward pastels and florals." As Corinne Ramey notes, the fact that baby care still skews predominantly toward women is leading to "an untapped market—men. New men. Modern men. Men who wipe babies’ butts. Men who definitely don’t want floral prints."
This is why we believe firmly in our vision for Otter Pass. We're excited to be making great accessories for dads. The dads we know are not babysitters, they are equal partners in parenting their children. They've known how to change a diaper and soothe a fussy baby since day one. They researched ethical adoption and are conversant on attachment therapy strategies. They care about their kids' educations, after-school activities, friend drama, and emotional development. They're teaching their kids how to ride a bike and handling science fair projects, making dinner and doing dishes, giving baths and reading books.
In short, they are equal parents. And national news organizations are catching on to this truth.
There are other indicators that the conversation is tilting away from moms to include dads: The online magazine Fatherly, which launched in 2015, has quickly become a staple for dads invested in their kids' lives, bringing in a revenue of $5.2 million in their first year alone. The New York Times changed the name of their popular parenting blog from "Motherlode" to "Well Family" in 2016 to be more inclusive of dads. As they explained it, "Over the past few years, our vision of what it means to be a family has changed, and it has also become clear that the name Motherlode is more than a little at odds with the larger conversation." Even just a quick glance at other major news organizations' parenting sections, like the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, and Huffington Post, shows they are featuring more and more articles geared toward dads. The editor of Buzzfeed's parenting column is a father who wrote a book on parenting toddlers.
Men who are equal partners and equal parents are slowly becoming a normal part of the national audience.
Though Otter Pass has a different vibe than the hypermasculine trend of some of the baby gear featured in the Wall Street Journal and Slate this week, we're still cheering these other companies on. We think there's plenty of room for a variety of companies geared toward giving dads the tools they need to do their job well. After all, we all share the same goal--to help dads connect well with their kids.
Otter Pass is happy to be leading the market of products for dads who have older kids as well as babies, who want bags they can use at work and at home, and who want to stay organized and ready for whatever life brings for years to come.
We're very glad to see several publications realizing the truth: dads are capable, equal parents who are intentional, thoughtful, and engaged.
At Otter Pass, that's something we've known for awhile. That's why we started our company, and why we remain excited about this growing market. At Otter Pass, good dads are always in style.