Robbin Schettini Nolan, 38 of Wesley Chapel, began Mitten Hugs in 2012. She came up with the innovative design while living in NYC and needed to find a way to keep her daughters mittens on. After sending her design to a local North Carolina manufacturer and sharing her sample, Robbin created a website and began selling the now patent pending Mitten Hugs.
Q. How did Mitten Hugs get started?
A. I was living in NYC along the Hudson river. When I ran with my daughter in a jogging stroller, her mittens were always falling off and her hands would freeze. I was determined to come up with an idea. When we moved to North Carolina I had more time and I began sewing a sample myself. I am a terrible sewing though so I had a local manufacturer make a proper sample. I showed samples to friends and took feedback. I created a website and started selling.
Q. How do they work?
A. Mittenhugs wrap around any mitten or gloves to keep cold air and snow out. They wrap around the palm and natural wrist to secure mittens in place. They work very different from clips or strings that only keep you from losing a mitten. They adjust to fit toddlers and big kids too.
Q. Do you make the Mitten Hugs?
A. They are manufactured in North Carolina and retail for $14.99 a pair.
Q. Can we find them anywhere locally?
A. They are currently available through my website. Ski instructors have began buying them to give to their students.
Q. How many different styles do you offer?
A. We currently have four patterns. We love hearing from moms and dads about what prints they love. We add new patterns all the time.
Q. What are the benefits of wearing a Mitten Hug?
A. When children play outside or in the snow, it can be impossible to keep their mittens on. Mittenhugs can keep cold air and snow out all day. Ski instructors have began buying them to give to their students so they can focus on learning how to ski instead of reapplying mittens all day. Some had told me they resort to duck taping mittens on. Mittenhugs are fun and fashionable way to keep mittens on.
Mittenhugs protect hands while skiing or sledding. If a mitten falls off the hands are exposed to possible injury. Mittenhugs keep hands protected. When children ride in a stroller, mittens fall off and can be lost. These keep the mitten on AND keep you from losing them. I have worked with stroller exercise program directors. This program lets mom's and dad's exercise with babies in a stroller. Keeping their hands warm and safe makes working out better for everyone.
Q. How were you able to launch a new company while being a stay at home mom?
A. It is tricky juggling my day. I have learned to become organized and set deadlines for myself. If something needs to get done, I schedule a meeting with myself. I commit to what I will do and when it will get done. I hold myself accountable for these deadlines. It is very easy to let things slip when you do not have someone to answer to. My family comes first and I do not want to miss out on anything. If I set goals and adhere to them, when it is family time, I can relax and focus. My husband has been very supportive. We sat down and decided together what areas he could take on with the house and my daughter. Setting expectations is key.
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