Shopping for kid’s clothes can be fun. You take your little ones to Gap Kids, J.Crew, or The Children’s Place and watch them try on cute new outfits; you have a chuckle when they pick a tutu for their school photo or only choose clothing in purple, their new favorite color.
But then three months go by and your kid has outgrown everything. So the whole process starts again. And as this goes on year after year, shopping can become a chore–something you need to add to an already packed to-do list.
Today, a new company called Rockets of Awesome debuts with a shopping model designed to simplify buying clothes for children sizes 2 to 14. A parent creates an account on the Rockets of Awesome website and builds a profile for each child by answering a handful of questions about their kid’s height, weight, and preferences. Then, four times a year, the family receives a highly curated box of outfits. They can keep items they want and return the rest with no shipping charge. The next season, a new box arrives with clothes that will accommodate any growth spurts the child may have had in the intervening months. (There’s no membership fee or commitment to purchase anything in the box.)
Rachel Blumenthal, the founder and CEO of Rockets of Awesome, says that she decided to launch the platform because of her own frustrations while shopping for her children. Before starting this business, she founded the website Cricket’s Circle–a shopping and registry site for new and expecting moms–where she also found that many parents were not happy with the experience of buying children’s clothing. “Shopping for your kids almost becomes a second job,” she says.
“Our entire model is predicated on data,” she adds. “With each interaction, we are gathering data to make the experience increasingly personalized.”
Most articles of clothing in the boxes cost less than $20. “Parents often feel like they have to sacrifice style for value,” Blumenthal says.
To be able to control the pricing and the quality of garments, Rockets of Awesome–which received seed investment of $7 million with participation from Launch, Forerunner Ventures, and General Catalyst Partners–designs and manufactures all of the clothes it sells. This model also means that the company is able to get feedback from customers and immediately use it to tweak garments or styles in the pipeline.But Blumenthal admits that building a vertically integrated business was hard work and took years to establish.
The store’s product development and design teams have created a range of aesthetics, from preppy to trendy to sporty. They also offer an essentials line of monochromatic T-shirts and other basics. Blumenthal says that the team worked hard to make the clothes very wearable. I had a look at several of the garments and found them durable and soft. Several waistbands on the pants are lined with T-shirt material and one crew neck sweater is made of incredibly downy fabric. “We wanted to make sure that we had a selection of clothes that would always be there, so that parents could get their child’s favorite T-shirt or shorts in bigger sizes as they get older,” Blumenthal says.