It was frustration with neverending children's pastels that drove Sheila Schroeder to found her Bats! Meow line of children's and baby's gothic clothing in 2001.
Shelia Schroeder shows off some of the entries in her Bats! Meow line of children's clothing.
"We were having an awful time finding anything that wasn't PINK! And I looked ANYWHERE. So I started sewing for her, and then continued to look online, and I thought, 'If I can't find it, no one else can either! And while I'm making it for myself, maybe I should just go a little extra and help out the other moms who are looking for the same things I am.'"
Goth clothing, gone multigenerational: "I have four children, they're all very much like me, they've got the beginnings of a goth attitude to them, and when they see a picture of a bat, they get really happy!"
Schroeder's been doing most of her marketing through word of mouth and the Internet, selling her product across the country.
"I see what kids wear, what they're comfortable in, and then just put a little twist to it," Schroeder said. "Make the T-shirts with a bat instead of a puppy, or a bowling shirt that has spiderwebs on it. I've got a Wednesday Addams dress for little girls, knowing that that's really popular for the mommies, too."
In addition to the dresses and shirts (my favorite: an attitudinal baby saying "I BITE"), she's adding such various items as baby bibs, christening gowns, baby bedding (purple and black velvet!) and little boy's vampire-esque frock coats. And in the end, her best critics and idea sources are her own kids.
"They absolutely love it. That's a good part of the direction that we take for what we want to design: The boys will see what daddy wears when he's going out to Fusion and say, 'Hey, I want a shirt like that!'"
For more information check out www.batsmeow.com.