Way-back machine: shopping cart seats

Baby Shopper - First shopping cart seats

I started out in design in the mid 80’s. My son was 14 months old and there was no such thing as a shopping cart seat. I needed something to bolt the active little guy down, so I designed one and started a small business on my kitchen table. Those days, no one thought twice about germs and the designs arriving on the market about the same time as my Baby Shopper, were all about comfort and containment.

Forward twenty-some years and it’s a whole new world of baby stuff.  I was in Buy Buy Baby a few weeks ago and was stunned by the amount of stuff that no one actually needs for their baby. But…evidently people buy, buy. Do we really need a Clip-n-Go Health and Grooming Ring that clips to a diaper bag? Most babies have little hair or if they do have hair, it typically does its own thing for the first couple of years.  Is there ever a hair combing or nail clipping emergency?

Anyway, my point is that the baby world of design is where I started. I loved designing that seat, sketching ideas, creating patterns and trying out different concepts.  These days I am into accessory design – scarves, jewelry and wrist gloves.  Wrist gloves, aka wrist warmers or fingerless gloves are another creation based on need.  I’m a cold person.  I have looked for years for wrist warmers that were not made to throw a snowball. I didn’t want thick knits, lacy cuffs or those made from pink stripe knee socks.  I just wanted something nice looking – very tailored, to wear to work that covered my wrist pulse points. Wrist warmers (or wrist gloves), along with scarves that cover the neck pulse points, will keep you warmer while leaving your fingers free so you can continue to tweet, text, hold a pen or use a keyboard. I couldn’t find them, so I designed them.


Yoga pants. What’s yoga?

Lucy Yoga Pants

Were yoga pants ever just for yoga?  We all know they are the most comfortable pants ever let loose on the world.   I wear them a lot and have looked everywhere for great yoga pants including:  Lucy, Lululemon, Gap Body, Nike, Adidas, Athleta, Juicy and more. One complaint though; all pants are too long. Although the average American woman is 5’4″ (my height) for some reason they make them all way too long.  Cheaper for them but a real pain for the rest of us. I also like them snug but not too tight in the butt and thighs.  Of course, this is dependent on how big your butt and thighs are.  My favorite:

Lucy: These pants are amazing.  They have the best fit – sleek through the leg but flared at the bottom.  They are a bit pricey but they wear well and pack perfectly.

How to keep warm at the office

Researchers in Canada recently found that mood influences how hot or cold we feel. The study revealed that people who are lonely or socially excluded are more aware of the cold. So, according to this theory, if you want to get warm, get social, get active, get out of the house.

As mentioned elsewhere, I am a cold person. I wear a hoodie to the mall in summer. I wear jackets, scarves and long sleeves to my office. I have begged for space-heater-authorization claiming a genetic lack of warmer-genes.

I am told there are a few other things we cold people women can do to stay warmer in the office (even in the summer):

  • Dress in layers even in the summer. Cover your torso with a thin camisole – long or short sleeves underneath your dress or blouse. Keeping your core warm will keep all of you warmer.
  • Wear longer skirts. This works even in the summer months to keep your legs warmer in the office. In the summer months just wear lighter fabrics and colors.
  • Cover your pulse points that are typically exposed. Those will usually be the radial in your wrist, the brachial on the bicep, and the facial and carotid in your neck. There are also the popliteal behind the knee, the posterior tibial just above the ankle, and the dorsalis pedis on the top of the foot.  You could also go so far as to wear a hat in the office and cover the temporal pulse point  near the eye but that’s going to give you hat-hair and we can’t have that. It is better to look good than feel good particularly if there are better options.
  • Wear boots with warm socks under pants. This works even in the summer since who knows you have boots on? Socks by the way, are a biggie. Choose natural fiber socks. I have loved cushioned Thorlos for ages. They are not pretty for work but then you’re wearing them with boots.
  • Wear scarves like jewelry. They come off at will and offer a number of fashion statements in addition to keeping your neck pulse points covered. The tube type scarf tends to look a lot less wintery and since it doesn’t wrap and dangle it works better in the office and stays out of the way.
  • Personally, I also suggest wrist warmers or fingerless gloves.  I designed the Annies and call them wrist gloves. Wrist gloves or wrist warmers are meant to keep your fingers free and  your pulse points covered while still looking good (not wintery) in the office.  So, put regular gloves over them if you’re going out to throw a snowball.
  • And finally, avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine. Both increase blood flow to the skin stealing warmth from your core and making you feel colder. I think I can avoid alcohol at work (at least most of the time) but caffeine – that’s going to be a problem.

Why are women so cold!?

Why are women so cold!? I can’t think of one man that hasn’t voice this complaint at some point.  Just another incompatibility we must compromise on to get along. Nobody agrees and science apparently hasn’t figured it out or maybe they just don’t care.  One doctor friend said it’s metabolism.  Another said it’s body fat.  One interesting source said it was because women have a higher ratio of surface to volume than men and thus shed heat faster ( i.e. the smaller you are, the lower your heat dissipation ratio, and the colder you are).  A couple of scientists claim that women are better at conserving heat than men; we have a more evenly distributed fat layer and can pull blood back to the core organs leaving our hands and feet cold but not our heart.  Ahhh. That’s nice. Let’s go with that.

The options are few if you’re a man because, well, you just have to go along with it and sweat it out, right? I mean, seriously, you’re not going to fight us on this, are you?

For women you can wear tights, pop on a sweater or scarf, put a heater under your desk (if your  employer will let you) or get an office Snuggie or Slanket!  A while back Fast Company (the business magazine) had some follow-on product suggestions for the Snuggie creator (a man, by the way – obviously sick of hearing his wife complain!). One of my favorites was the Fuel Cell Snuggie.  Evidently, there is enough static electricity generated by the 100% polyester  (that would be plastic!)  to power a small city.  I suggest they attach a cord to the Snuggie so we can run the television! Add some footies and a couple of big pockets for snacks and a soda and we won’t have to leave the couch at all. No more complaining from you cold women!

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