The best ideas are born out of necessity. For Miranda Vesey’s cute new babywear line, it came at about 35,000 feet in the air, while changing her then 4-month-old Vivian in the bathroom of a flight to her native Georgia. Vesey still remembers the culprit: a snap-footed onesie with pink, purple and castles. The diaper duty turned into a wardrobe malfunction; she couldn’t get the onesie back on, and she and her little lady ended up in tears. “I will never forget opening the door and feeling like everyone on the plane was looking at me,” recalls the McLean-based mother of two (daughters Viv, now 3, and Elizabeth, 9). “I was a mess.”
Enter Rabbit Skip Road, her smart revamp of the classic onesie. “I had all these ideas to make the onesie better,” says Vesey, who named her brand after her family’s farm in Eatonton, Georgia. “It merely started with getting rid of the snaps.” Hers combines a two-way zipper with convertible foot cuffs, organic fabric and no itchy tags, punchy prints (doughnuts, ducks, retro cassettes) and affordability ($28). Husband, Andy, was on board from the start—and so were her local mom friends. In fact, they were the test market for prototypes (one of her pals and her trio of boys under 3 were perfect for the job). “Every time the manufacturer sent a sample, I made the rounds for a baby play date and jumper-fitting—multitasking at its finest. I will forever be grateful to those moms.”
It paid off: Since the fall launch, the label has gone Up and Away (the moniker for Vesey’s favorite jumper, with its colorful hot air balloons). RSR sold 1,200 jumpers in 12 days. “Our minivan runneth over, literally,” she quips. The next collection of 3,000, with expanded sizes to 2T and 3T, hits the sewing room floor in January, with eight new spring prints. They’re designed by a watercolorist and mom in Alaska whose playful patterns are exclusive to RSR. “She paints each element, then we digitize them and create a seamless print. Our sessions are hilarious: Things like, ‘Can you paint a watercolor dinosaur?’”
The little ones weigh in too. “I call Elizabeth our creative director. She gives me the thumbs up or thumbs down. I want them to be involved so they see and remember Mommy building RSR. It sets an important example. Girls can do anything.”
So, did Vesey ever dream she’d be a designer—for babies? Not really. She earned her degree in journalism but was passionate about politics, eventually working on campaigns on Capitol Hill. She later shifted to trade associations, where she developed their nonprofit advocacy organizations. Yet this Southern belle has long loved fashion: While on the Hill, she lived in a group house with at least six women, and her room was like a free Rent the Runway for her housemates. “I could never let anyone go to an event or on a date unless they were properly accessorized.”
It should come as no surprise then that when her sister asked if she was going to sell RSR at weekend markets, Vesey’s answer was no. She has her sights set on Nordstrom and is chatting with NoVA boutiques. The quality of the fabric is reason enough. Each piece is made of GOTS-certified organic cotton. A Charleston, South Carolina TV news anchor even called them the “lululemon of babywear.”
“We want to do this one thing really well,” says Vesey. “The market is flooded with baby products. Many of them are superfluous, in my opinion. After your first child, you look around and you really only get your money out of half the things you bought.”
Her new eye as a designer has influenced how she shops for her young ones, preferring Two the Moon in Arlington for toys, The Purple Goose in Del Ray for special occasions and Child’s Play, which she calls a “lifesaver” for birthday party gifts.
It takes one to know one—and Vesey’s on track to zip up the onesie competition.