It seems so obvious: Dads are still dads even when their babies start growing up.
The market of products for dads is growing and we're excited about that fact. But if you look at it, there’s been a huge gap—everything is geared towards dads with babies. Sure, those early years are important. You need diapers and wipes, bottles and pacifiers, extra clothes and creams and changing pads. We love being one of several new companies targeting dads with babies.
But we want to do more than that, too. So many companies stop making things for dads the minute kids get past the toddler phase. Then your options for Christmas presents and Father's Day start getting kind of weird and kitschy--an apron with some cutesy saying about barbecue? A bottle opener from his favorite sports team? A tie with your kids' faces? An engraved flask?
Why aren't there more products that are practical for dads who work and spend time with their kids? That are made to last as kids grow? That do all of the things today's dads do?
Those were the questions co-founder Jonathan Goudeau started asking when his daughters passed the toddler years. He wanted something he could grab when he took the girls out on his own for a few hours, but he felt like his options were limited.
He didn’t want a backpack—it was too big and the kids were too likely to stuff it with things they didn’t need. He could throw things in his wife Jessica’s purse, but that was a black hole and digging for what he needed was frustrating. Besides, he often took the kids out on his own, so he needed something that worked for him. Putting everything in his pockets meant they were constantly overflowing. He tried stuffing his wallet full of what he needed, but nothing fit right.
And frankly, he wasn’t doing a fanny pack.
He just needed a few things: wipes for little mouths and hands after getting ice cream, tweezers to pull out splinters after climbing a tree, hair ties to keep ponytails up for soccer practice, quick snacks to avoid hangry meltdowns, adhesive bandages to make boo-boos better.
Jonathan felt that dads of older kids should have something easy-to-grab they could use to keep everything they needed for old in one place.
So he designed the Dad Wallet.
But it wasn’t an easy process. It took almost ten years of sketching on napkins and in notebooks, of meeting with designers and leather-makers and artisans, of perfecting the shape and scope of each pocket, until he was satisfied.
Over the next few days, we’re going to pull back the curtain and show you the design process that led to what we think is one of the most innovative products to hit the dad-gear market.
Keep an eye on our blog to see how the Dad Wallet product evolved over several prototypes. It has been an exciting journey watching Jonathan’s idea become something real dads now use every day. Over the years, his passion for making practical bags and accessories for dads with kids of all ages, from babies to graduates, has only increased.
After all, the Dad Wallet and all Otter Pass products are really about one basic idea: giving dads everything they need so they can focus on connecting with their kids, no matter how big they get.