“Backpack, backpack / I’m the backpack loaded up with things and knickknacks too / Anything that you might need I’ve got inside for you.” – Dora the Explorer
In January 2018, Emily Parfitt was looking for the right size backpack to hold a few diapers and a change of clothes for her little one. “I was sending my daughter to ABA therapy with a backpack that was just too big, falling apart, and not the cutest print,” she explained. “Everything I found was just too big and bulky for her. I decided to make her one. So, I let her choose which print she wanted from the store and started sewing. She loved it when I gave it to her and of course my son wanted one too. I thought there was a huge gap in the market for something that kids and moms would love.” Necessity is the mother of invention.
From those humble beginnings, Babes & Bubs was born. The shop focuses on custom (and machine washable!) toddler-size backpacks for little backs. “The first backpack I made took me three hours and it was rough,” Parfitt recalled. “Since then, I’ve significantly reduced production time. I’ve changed the design, the materials I use, the way I market, and even made my own stand alone website. I feel like this first year has been a year for fine-tuning and now I’m ready to just get the brand out there and really expand.” Little known fact: Parfitt handcrafts each pack without a pattern. “I get asked all the time where the pattern came from,” she said.
The backpacks come in a variety of colors and fabric prints, like the popular galaxy, buffalo plaid and Baby Shark designs. “I have an obsession with fabric shopping. It’s a serious problem,” Parfitt joked. “I have so many prints that no one has even seen yet.” Her personal favorite is the Southwestern pack. “I’ve always been drawn to that style even as a kid.” Parfitt can typically turn orders out within two weeks of purchase. “I love working with mamas to find the perfect print for their little one,” she said. “A rival to that is the last step when making the packs. I love turning them and seeing how the print works up into a backpack.”
What’s next for Babes & Bubs? “I’m so excited to start offering feeding backpacks for little ones that rely on feeding tubes,” Parfitt shared. “Right now, there are limited options for these brave kiddos. I can’t wait to offer custom bags to make them feel special!”
All of the current styles and designs are available on the Babes & Bubs’ website here and Parfitt’s Etsy shop. Check out the Babes & Bubs Facebook page for more information on upcoming drops and use the code “SMALLSHOPDROP” for 10% off your next purchase. Thanks Emily!
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