So she designed the Mulier Cozy Joey coat, a “three-season coat for three phases of mom” that allows for a better baby-wearing experience.
While living in Forest Hills, Martin and her husband had their first child. As a new mom, she quickly realized that it’s a lot easier to accomplish daily tasks, such as going grocery shopping or visiting the dry cleaner, when you’re hands-free.
It wasn’t until she had her second child, a daughter, that Martin began putting her idea for the coat in motion.
“I couldn’t hang out at home, not with baby number two, I had to be out with him and with her,” said Martin. “There’s all these really great add-ons you can buy for the stroller to keep a child warm, but there isn’t that same set of options for baby-wearing.
“I started kind of obsessing over this, especially because my daughter would have to be out during the majority of winter, so I was wearing my husband’s oversized coats, fleeces and make-shifting appropriate coverage for me and her.”
Although Martin didn’t have any background in fashion or design, she started working with a pattern maker and seamstress to create the coat.
“Throughout the first year of my daughter’s life, this gentleman would come to my apartment during the different stages of bringing this coat to life,” she said. “He was great, he’d put up a mockup with my daughter on and with the baby carrier as she was growing.”
For the initial production, Martin and her husband made the financial investment. Later on, she started a Kickstarter campaign just over two years ago once the final prototype was created.
The $197.99 trench coat-styled Cozy Joey can be worn during the maternity phase and later for baby-wearing, as well as simply being worn by the mother alone.
The outer shell of the coat consists of a water-resistant and lightweight fabric that works for both spring and fall weather. During the winter, there is the option to add a button-on, double-sided quilted liner to keep both mom and baby warm.
“Through my focus groups, I was really thinking of the weight of the insert because there’s a lot of heat generated between your body and the baby’s body,” Martin said. “We tried to be sensitive in terms of what you can wear with your own layered clothing that will prevent overheating.”
As a parenting coach and owner and founder of Self Balanced Solutions, she’s in the mindset of “making things work for you rather than against you.” She consulted with other parents regarding challenges they might have faced and to get different perspectives on baby-wearing.
“I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt like this frumpy mom,” Martin said. “You don’t want to feel that way as your baby-wearing.”
Martin and the Cozy Joey coat recently made an appearance on Harry Connick Jr.’s daytime television show in a segment about mom entrepreneurs.
Joy Mangano, creator of the self-wringing Miracle Mop, gave Martin advice on the show regarding the coat as a product for the masses.
“She was incredible, super down to earth, and a warm and inspiring woman,” Martin said. “It was a great experience.”
In the past, the coat was also featured on the “Today” show as a part of a fall outerwear segment.
“Moms are some of the most entrepreneurial if we step into that light,” Martin said. “There’s so much in becoming a parent that opens up perspective, world view, and even the microcosm of our own worlds and what it means to be a parent.
“A lot of ideas get generated and a lot of problem-solving thoughts occur,” she added. “We can go anywhere. it’s just all about confidence and support to launch an idea and make it happen.”
The Mulier Cozy Joey coat is available at www.muliernyc.com.