Two busy Texas moms have turned a three-year dream into a reality with the launch of Tumtee Close Knits, a T-shirt company whose mission is to promote engagement and bonding between mothers and babies.
Tumtee T-shirts are meant for moms to wear but for babies to experience, in particular during the all-important tummy time, which helps counteract flat-head syndrome in infants. The shirts are not only colorful but also tactile, so they attract a baby’s attention and keep him or her engaged with mom.
The endeavor is a true collaboration between Kristen Gibbins, who handles public relations for the Nasher Sculpture Center and NorthPark Center, and Lindsey Croley, the graphic designer for the Nasher. They worked closely together on the designs and the messaging — while juggling kids, work and family life — right up until the official launch of the website on November 26.
Croley also has a background in textile design, so when Gibbins first pitched the idea, Croley knew it would be a good fit for her skills and passions. The two bounced ideas around during nights and weekends — whenever their schedules would allow (or, as was often the case, when their kids went to bed).
Gibbins says Tumtee fills an important niche in land of baby products, such as car seats, which often disengage infants from their mothers.
“This is something that we need, something that would make a difference in mothers’ lives,” Gibbins says. “We want to remind people that it’s about holding your child. Mothers are really looking for ways to engage with their baby.”
The knits are U.S.-made, starting with American Apparel T-shirts, and the designs — currently peekaboo, love and owl — are applied domestically, too. An original nursery rhyme, written by Gibbins and designed by Croley, accompanies each T-shirt.
Gibbins expects to release three more designs in the coming weeks but says “there are about 50 in our heads.” Each Tumtee T-shirt is priced at $38, and you can buy online or at the Nasher holiday pop-up shop at NorthPark Center.