If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mom, it’s that kids love to see their creativity in action. Nothing makes my daughter happier than wearing the bead bracelet she painstakingly strung together, or seeing me hang up one of her art projects in our kitchen. She recently got wind of a service that turns kids’ art into real stuffed animals and did a full-on dance of joy when I agreed she could make one.
So you can imagine her response when I told her about Picture This, the company that turns children’s drawings into actual clothing they can wear.
The concept is simple in premise and genius in execution:
Step 1: Pick the correct size, print out a coloring sheet, and let your child draw their little heart out.
Step 2: snap a photo of the finished design and send it to Picture This.
Step 3: (Patiently) wait two weeks, and the outfit will arrive in the mail.
Like magic …
And the company’s founder is equally cool, too: Jaimee Newberry is a mom of two daughters who one day had the brilliant idea to sew a dress for her youngest based on a picture she’d drawn.
As Newberry tells Babble, the dress was a huge hit with both her daughter’s friends and their parents, and Jaimee soon began looking for a way to turn the idea into a business. She enlisted three friends to help get the idea off the ground; each of them contributing a nominal amount of money plus their time and energy. A lot of research led them to the conclusion that making dresses via custom-created patterns and sewing would be cost-prohibitive, but once they hit on the idea of custom-printing a dress based on a standard pattern, they were off and running.
Newberry and her three partners spent about a year fine-tuning the concept — testing fabrics, working with a pattern maker, perfecting the process of going from coloring sheet to printed design — until Picture This was launched last week, with a simple announcement on Twitter.
And let’s just say it went over a little too well: Within hours of her tweet, the website was so flooded with traffic that it momentarily crashed.
It’s pretty obvious that the website — along with every other aspect of the business — is a labor of love. Newberry tells Babble that she personally drives to the printer to check the quality of the printed fabric, and her boyfriend (one of her three business partners) is individually checking every coloring sheet to make sure it translates properly into a design suitable to send off to the printer.
Currently, only dresses are available (with an option to order a matching dress for your 11-inch or 18-inch doll), but Newberry says they definitely plan to offer more items in the future, including things like T-shirts for boys.
“We launched with just the dress for two reasons,” she continues. “First, we wanted to test the market and see if people would actually buy the product! And second, we wanted to make sure the finished piece of clothing that arrives in your mailbox is a great piece of clothing. So our launch was very focused on accomplishing those goals.”
I’d say they’re off to a great start.