Melissa Wardy, creator of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies thinks so! Melissa is a mom and entrepreneur who was fed up with the limitations and stereotypes found in children’s clothing. The designs and messages on her products and apparel show children that they can be strong, be adventurous, be heroes…be FULL OF AWESOME!
Inspiration first hit Melissa during a playdate she was at with her daughter.
I was sitting on the floor talking with other moms, and they were razzing me a little bit about why my infant daughter was never in Disney Princess clothes. I answered that I wasn’t going to raise her to wish on a star and wait for a prince, but rather I wanted her to know how to build a rocket ship so she could get to that star by herself. I quipped something about not being able to find my idea on a t-shirt anywhere. I scooped up Baby Amelia, raced home, and three years later I have a successful online boutique featuring empowering children’s apparel.
Pigtail Pals was born in May 2009 with the mission to “Redefine Girly”. Melissa believes that girls need to see messages in early childhood that show females being smart, daring, and adventurous.
I’m not anti-pink. I’m not anti-princess. I’m not anti-girly. I’m ANTI-LIMITATION. I want my daughter to be bold. I want her to be unafraid to be intelligent. I want her to be respected for her accomplishments. I want her to know that she can be an astronaut, a doctor, a pilot, a carpenter, a firefighter. She will not be raised to think that the world belongs only to boys and that she is merely a pretty thing in it. I think our girls deserve more. I think they deserve better. It’s time to REDEFINE GIRLY.
Melissa recently expanded Pigtail Pals to include apparel for boys as well as girls, turning Pigtail Pals into Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies.
I knew the time was right to branch out to boys, both with product and advocacy work around gender stereotypes and sexualization. I have some special designs and products just for boys, but really the intention is to create a company that is full of awesome for both boys and girls. I want to get away from the pink/blue version of childhood that is being marketed today and just focus on bright, beautiful childhoods with boys and girls playing together.
Melissa has been featured on CNN and Fox News, and she is currently working on her first book. She discovered that parents everywhere feel the same way about marketing and sexualization affecting childhood. Through workshops, social media, and blog posts, Melissa educates thousands of parents about the need to preserve childhood through media literacy and creative play. Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies has become a leader in advocating for kids, especially for girls.
It makes my heart swell to know that people are raising full of awesome kiddos everywhere and that I played a part in that.
I think Melissa is pretty “full of awesome” herself, and I’m very proud to call her my friend.