An idea of how to keep little ones toasty in their strollers sat as a sketch in a safe for years until a woman’s date, now husband, popped just the right question – one that had nothing to do with marriage.
by Rebecca Klein
Christina Kosteas’ brainstorm for a thermally insulated, stroller coat shifted from the back burner to the fast lane the night the man she later married turned to her and said, “Tell me something no one knows about you.” While she didn’t have a skeleton in the closet to share, she did have something in a safe – a sketch of what would evolve into Warm as a Lamb, a stroller cover designed to add 20 degrees of warmth to pint-sized passengers.
“If it weren't because my future husband, Terry, believed in my dream, I would have never made it this far,” shares Kosteas. To bring the product to life, she left her information technology management position at a New York City law firm; he gave up his senior vice-president post at a bank. The husband-wife team has sold nearly 2000 covers since the product debuted in 2006. Warm as a Lamb will soon be tested at the flagship Babies “R” Us and buybuy BABY stores in Manhattan.
Warm as a Lamb’s outer fabric is breathable, water-repellant, non-toxic, non-flammable, and glows in the dark. There are side ventilation panels, a detachable built-in blanket that doubles as a diaper changing pad, and a front window that can be unzipped to access the child and adjust the temperature. The stroller can open or close with the cover intact. There’s also in-transit entertainment. With the push of a button, junior can hear the alphabet. “The re-recordable voice module allows parents to teach their child something new everyday,” adds Kosteas.
She became inspired to create the cover after seeing moms struggle to keep their children warm on cold winter days. Kosteas reports seeing little ones who were over-bundled and others covered with plastic rain covers.
My family tried out the cover on a chilly spring day. It slipped right over our stroller. The moment our toddler saw it, he wanted to reclaim his baby sister’s stroller. He spent nearly a half hour hanging out in what he called his cave. Funny thing - Kosteas encourages families to turn the cover into a play tent after outgrowing the stroller. Back to the intended use, we received more reaction from outside than inside the stroller. Just like having a new baby, people couldn’t help themselves from touching the cover. Instead of asking about our infant daughter inside, several people called out, “What kind of stroller is that?”
Warm as a Lamb comes in three sizes: single, twin, and tandem. While at a fundraising gift show for paraplegic children, Kosteas recalls a mother’s amazement that the cover fit her son’s wheelchair. “She says to me, ‘for the last two years, I have not been able to do anything in the winter months because my son is sensitive to light, and he refused to wear a coat.’” Kosteas asked her to accept Warm as a Lamb as a gift. “She gave me a hug and said, ‘You’ve given me my life back.’”
The award winning product, which received an iParenting Media Award, is expecting a warm weather sibling soon. The “Kool as a Kukumber” cover is in the works. That’s all Kosteas will say for now. Stay tuned.
Warm as a Lamb generally retails for $99.99 for a single stroller cover and $119.99 for the twin and tandem models. It comes in baby blue, pastel pink, and black; more options are on the way. Warm as a Lamb fits standard, lightweight, and jogging strollers, including ones with infant carriers. For more information, visit www.warmasalamb.com.