As a mother of four, Andrea Misch knows all too well when little ones want to play outside in the winter, it can be an effort to get them ready. So, the artist and creator based in Whitehall came up with a convenient all-in-one snowsuit for kids called the SnowOtter StowSuit.
The multifaceted coat stows the attached mittens and snow pants so they’re easily accessible and won’t get lost. A zipper in the pants makes them easy to remove for washing and the mittens can be separated at the cuffs and stored in the sleeves. In addition, the pants extend up to 2 inches to accommodate growth and zip into the back of the coat with magnets and snaps to hold them in place.
Though this was not her first business venture, Misch was ready to try something new. “I love ‘Shark Tank’ and I like to invent things,” she says. “My kids struggled to get ready to go outside and it was such a pain. Now they get themselves ready with minimal help.”
While the snowsuit launched late last year in the middle of a pandemic, the timing might be in her favor. “People are staying home and doing a lot of outdoor activities,” says Misch who has a 9-year-old, two 7- year-olds, including one who was adopted from China, and a 1-year-old.
So far, she says the feedback has been positive. “People say it’s helped them get their kids ready. Even with our 1-year-old, it’s so easy to get her ready and keep her warm,” Misch says. “It comes with instructions, but we keep in constant contact with our customers and walk them through it if they have questions. There’s also a how-to video on our Facebook page.”
Currently, the snowsuits are available on snowotterco.com and Amazon, and will soon be sold through the online site Zulily. The suits can also be found at select retailers on the west side of the state in locations like Grand Haven and Grand Rapids. The snowsuits retail for $179.99, but special offers may be available (the hats are sold separately).
Misch, who began designing and perfecting the patented snowsuits a few years back, has also been making life-like dolls for 15 years, including a one-of-a-kind Oprah doll made from photos of her as a child that was featured in O, the Oprah Magazine.
Chicago resident Annie Bailey first connected with Misch after purchasing her doll kits. Now her 4-year-old daughter, Piper, who is autistic, loves the adaptable jacket she got for her. “She’s worn it every time she’s gone out and played in the snow. It’s so easy because everything is attached. Even my older kids can’t keep their mittens,” quips Bailey, who has five kids ranging in age from 4 to 23. “It’s extremely versatile and perfect for us. We’re a busy household and all the kids are at home right now.”
For other budding entrepreneurs out there, Misch says to think outside of the box and stick with your plan. “See if the product is already out there and make sure there’s a need for something.” Lastly, she adds: “Plan ahead and be original.”