Originally conceived for new moms, the Bombshell is an easy, stylish eco-friendly cover-up for anyone wanting to dress for the mess.
About this project
The Bombshell is our modern and stylish take on the the housedress. As mothers we know the struggles that parents face trying to juggle work (inside and outside the home), nurturing kids, sustaining relationships, and remembering to fill our own buckets. We also believe there may be nothing more important than hugging and loving your kids. We created the Bombshell to help you feel confident – to know that you can give those hugs without restraint and you can be free from worry about stains and smudges. Sewn up right in Los Angeles and made of uber-eco-friendly soft hemp and organic cotton, the Bombshell has been thoughtfully designed with deep pockets, easy snaps and a tie at the waist to fit perfectly over your clothes or on its own. By backing our project on Kickstarter, you will become part of our extended family of supporters and help us produce our second round of a product that was 40 years in the making.
The Bombshell is a great go-to gift idea for your next baby shower, birthday or Mother’s Day. Just ask Lesley T. who posted on our Facebook page,
“Love my bombshell and want to order two more. When will more be available? Thanks to Jill H.for the gift card and introduction to this great product!!”
And while our original idea has always been to create a stylish cover-up for new moms, we have also learned that all sorts of women appreciate The Bombshell–whether to get the newspaper from the sidewalk, walk the dog, or spend the afternoon baking cookies with the grandkids. The Bombshell is a great cover-up whenever you need to dress for the mess!
Fabric sourcing was one of our biggest challenges. We wanted to find a USA grown and milled organic fabric, fairly produced that would suit our needs. Unfortunately we found that wasn’t possible for a small business with a very small budget who had a very small order! So Christiana & Liz attended fabric trade shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the hunt for the next-best fabric.
After trying out a few different options we landed on our awesome hemp/organic cotton jersey from a fabulous company out of Canada. Within four months of planting, hemp grows 10 to 20 feet tall and it is ready for harvesting. It requires no herbicides or pesticides and produces more fiber yield per acre than any other source. Hemp is also one of the strongest, most durable natural textile fibers and holds its shape better than most! We love how soft the Bombshell is, and with just the right amount of stretch it is perfect for any mom-on-the-go.
But the good eco-news doesn’t stop there, the fabric we selected is also GOTS certified – aka Global Organic Textile Standard – the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. Our Canadian supplier visits the partner factory in China at least once a year recognizing their responsibility to minimize the impact of the fabrics they buy; to ensure that people are being paid a fair living wage and have healthy working conditions. The factory is working on anti-pollution strategies including wind-power and recovery and safe-disposal of non-recyclable materials.
We are proud to say that our design, development and production all takes place locally, in the heart of the fashion district in Los Angeles. We partnered with a wonderful design consultant who helped us through every step in our journey to production! We are excited to work with a production house with a solid track record and stellar working conditions.
Forty years ago, when daughters (Christiana & Liz) were wee ones, Bobbie had the spark that led to the development of Tolutina, and the Bombshell. Not wanting to say “no!” to her toddlers’ sticky-handed hugs after she was dressed for work, she was sure there had to be a solution. She made a few simple prototypes thinking someday she would release it into the world to make life less stressful and more loving for moms everywhere. She was so excited when her daughters, now also mothers themselves, wanted to bring the idea back to life.
In the prototypes Bobbie had sewn up many years ago, Liz and Christiana loved the concept but found much to be desired. The Velcro closure felt cheap and wore out quickly, the fabric was too thin and the style of the “smock” made us feel frumpy. But the more we concentrated on the intent, to protect moms from the mess of having small kids while helping her feel confident and ready to tackle the world, we started to envision the product more clearly. How could we improve the style and design without any background in fashion? How could we create something that would make women feel confident when they wore it? How could we take this great seed of an idea that our mom had planted and help it grow? Through this process we tried ties, snaps, buttons, and even magnets before settling on the current design. We LOVE how the Bombshell turned out and we hope you do too – is quick, easy, and you’ll look awesome in it!
Our company name, Tolutina, is a loose translation from Fijian meaning three mothers, as we are exactly that. We picked this name because co-founder Bobbie and her husband Ted were Peace Corps volunteers in Fiji in the 70s, teaching young children English. Fiji holds a special place in our hearts because the whole family visited the tiny islands years later and the land and its people are an inspiration. We send our warm thoughts for speedy recovery to those in the island nation effected by the recent cyclones.
Share our project on your favorite social media resource or the good old fashion way! Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, email, snail mail, around the water cooler or at playgroups, on playdates or playgrounds – word of mouth means so much and we need your help in reaching our funding goal! Thanks a million! #mamaneedsthebombshell #dressforthemess
Tolutina is a company that was created by a mom and her daughters. So it’s only natural that the topic of families would come up. We hope to create a welcoming platform to raise awareness for open adoption, recognizing that family is created in all sorts of ways. It is a cause close to our hearts. Co-founder Christiana and her husband Matt were blessed with their son Callan thanks to the incredible gift of open adoption. They have an ongoing relationship with Callan’s birthparents and consider open adoption “one big love fest.” When Christiana first considered developing her mom’s idea for the “mommy smock,” she was so thrilled that it wasn’t specifically a pregnancy product.
The Bombshell can be used by all moms – – whether your child grew in your stomach or your heart!
Designer Consulting Co-Op – CEO/Designer/Mom Jacqueline Dadon Snyder and her associate Jamie Provencio provided vital fashion, design, production and manufacturing expertise since we had slim to none. We loved working with these smart, savvy women in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
My Story Inc. – Thanks to Director/Mom Tasha Oldham for coaxing the awesome out of us for the video! Shout outs to Jae and Mario too!
Magnolia Public Relations – Thanks to Adrienne Dorsey, word on the Bombshell started spreading like wildfire!
Urban Milan – So honored to be selected for their 2016 Mother’s Day Gift Guide!
Christopher Celeste – Our first coach who gave us a boost of confidence to believe that we could really do this thing!
Angel Investors – Christopher Celeste, Ted Celeste, Matt Simpson, Barb and Fred Woodruff, and John Woodruff
Jay Yoo – A veteran Kickstarter success story times two! He gave us some early advice and guidance that helped us avoid common pitfalls.
Carey Melton and G&L Legal – – Our legal eagles
Happy Bombshell Brand Ambassadors – Karis, Maureen, Ellen, Katherine, Barb D., Barb W., Charlotte, Laura, Shannon, Zoey, Jennie, Jill, Gretchen, Christie, Ann, Karen, Natalie, Kathy, Katie, Kelly, and Aimee
Happy Bombshell Kiddos – Cambria, Oliver, Zadie, Izzy, Sydney, Josie, Blake, CC, Elizabeth, Caroline, Vivian, Callan, Arlo and Milo
and thank YOU for learning about our project, 40 years in the making.
Risks and challenges
While none of us had a fashion background before starting our business, we are confident we can deliver a quality product because we’ve gone through the whole production process with the Bombshell already once before when we made our first 50 dresses. We hope we have already faced the many hiccups that we can face so that we are well-prepared moving forward, but we recognize there are always challenges when you go into production. For example we have already been in touch with our fabric vendor about our needs for our next run of the Bombshell, but there is always the potential of fabric to be on backorder when placing our order after our project is fully funded.
Perhaps our biggest challenge is that two of us are moms with young children! We have busy lives and of course as life events unfold, our families will always come first. That said, we pledge to fulfill our project commitments when our Kickstarter campaign is fully funded. We are determined to grow our women-owned family business into a flourishing brand–and create jobs in Los Angeles along the way!