As moms, we are all working on raising our families and at the same time following our dreams, whatever they may be. In fact, I think I became more motivated after having kids. Less time, no sleep — yet I was super driven to “get things done.” Before kids, I thought I had all the time in the world — imagine that.
A few months ago, I met Cherlyn Jenkins, a mother of two boys, 1 and 3 (15 months apart), a former teacher, and the creator of the Cozywoggle, the only product that looks and acts as a coat, but is safe to be worn in a car seat. And that’s all I knew. But over a few cups of coffee and play dates, I got to know her story and wanted to share it to inspire others in both their business aspirations as “mompreneurs,” and as parents of our little ones.
Cherlyn’s Journey to Motherhood
Cherlyn got married later in life to Sean at the age of 40 AND became a step-mom to his 3 teenage children from his first marriage. Talk about having her hands full! Soon after getting married, they realized they would not be able to have biological children together and they decided to pursue adoption. Long story short, today Cherlyn and her husband Sean are the proud parents of two boys and have an open relationship with the birth parents. She says, “We truly love their birth families and want them to know our children, and our children to know them, and to know how much they are loved by all. We love sharing milestones and keeping up with each other. I feel so grateful for the chance to raise our boys. It is amazing to watch the relationship between the older kids and the younger kids develop.”
Cherlyn’s Creation: The Cozywoggle
What is it? The Cozywoggle is the only product that looks and functions like a regular coat, but has been modified to be safe in the car seat.
She came up with the idea when she had a newborn and an extremely active 15-month-old. Knowing that it was unsafe to put children in the car seats with coats on, she wondered how in the world she would manage TWO toddlers in the cold the following winter. She designed a coat that would not interfere with the car seat in any way. Most importantly she wanted one item that they could wear in the car seat, and then get out of the car with and wear to preschool or to play in the park. BRILLIANT!
How does it work? The patent-pending Cozywoggle works because the side seams have been replaced with zippers from waist to wrist. When in the car, the zippers open, the back of the coat goes over the back of the car seat, the harness goes under the front of the car seat so that the coat NEVER comes between the child and the car seat at all. It has been crash-tested at an NHTSA-approved facility and the results were the same as the test where the dummy was not wearing the Cozywoggle.
Juggling Kids and Work
Life is a constant balancing act, and it has been the most challenging part of starting her own business. She started with a newborn and a 1-month-old. Now she has a babysitter come 3 days a week while she works. Like many moms (myself included!) she works when the kids nap. However she was working every night after the kids went to bed until about midnight, but has learned that she needs time with her husband, and now limits her late nights.
It’s the ONLY product that looks and acts as a coat, but is safe to be worn in a car seat. Made from heavy-duty wind/water resistant polyester, it is lined with cozy fleece and can be used with any 5-point harness car seat — either forward or rear-facing.
Did you know that young children are often strapped into their car seats while wearing a heavy coat, with the straps loosened for comfort? Leaving the harness loose increases the child’s risk for ejection from the car seat and/or the possibility of injuries during an accident. Comes in sizes 12 months, 18 months, 2T, 3T, 4, 5 and 6. Is stylish (and looks like a “regular” coat), warm and washable.
The Cozywoggle is stylish and keeps our kids warm during the winter months. When ready to be placed in the car seat, instead of wrangling their coats off, you simply unzip the sides, strap them in and the coat goes over the harness keeping them warm. Can be worn in a car seat and all around town. It’s easy-to-use and is a convenient, all-in-one solution for busy parents.
Mom, step-mom, wife and business woman
When Cherlyn learned that young children shouldn’t be placed in car seats while wearing their coats, she had a newborn and a toddler. She needed to find a way to keep her children warm, while also keeping them safe. She couldn’t find any coats or jackets that were proven to be safe in car seats, so she created one herself.
Mama Cherlyn and her big family!
We are all busy mamas, but Cherlyn is a mom and step-mom to 5 kids so she certainly has her hands full! Still, she is driven and working to making her dreams come true and creating a product to keep our children safe.