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MARCH 07
WHAT A MOM WANTS
THE FAMILY GROOVE TALKS SAFETY, SUBSTANCE, STYLE AND SHOP-PING WITH KIM LEFKO,
VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING FOR GRACO


THE FAMILY GROOVE: What does today's parent want from her baby gear?
Kim Lefko: A mother wants her baby gear to provide her with the ultimate in safety, convenience and style. 

Alex and MommyTFG:In the past five years, there has been a marked democratization of fashion. 
How has Graco responded to today’s moms’ call for fashion-forward products?

KL: That’s an excellent question. The focus of our products is safety and quality.
The idea that a mom wants to protect and nurture her children is the core essence
of the Graco way. We talk to moms—moms are our inspiration for all of our products and fashions—and we realize that no two moms are the same. Every mom’s taste, style and self-expression are different, but overall we find that fashion is playing a very important role in baby gear.

TFG:  Do you find that moms and dads have different priorities when it comes to baby gear?
KL: We have found that moms play a primary role in the decision making process when it comes to baby gear. As I mentioned, more and more moms want products that are not only going to keep their baby safe, but fit their lifestyle and fashion tastes. We watch soon-to-be dads at baby fairs and at expectant parent product seminars and it’s obvious that they trust and respect their wives’ opinions and selections. Dads get more involved in the stroller and car seat purchases, as well as in technical equipment such as baby monitors.

TFG: How is Graco working to keep up with the needs and wants of the modern day parent?
KL: Graco is passionate about understanding parents’ needs, including their unmet needs. We spend a lot of time speaking to and observing experienced parents and first-time expectants. It‘s interesting to observe how needs have evolved over the years—what was important to our parents verses the current generation of parents is very different. Convenience and style are more important today than they were twenty-plus years ago. This is why we have Moms Night of Fashion, an annual event held at our headquarters in Exton, PA. Moms are invited to come and pick out new fashions and design their ideal baby gear. Input from the event influences our new products each year.

TFG:  How do you stay trendy but still ensure safety and practicality?

If you walk into a store that sells baby gear products, you will see that the selection of prints, patterns and colors is quite diverse. We use the materials as the best way to offer various fashions and patterns to meet multiple lifestyles, but we never compromise safety for style. We remain dedicated to developing safe, high-quality products and style is just the icing on the cake.

seeing doubleTFG: You recently partnered with Cynthia Rowley on a fabulous limited edition stroller. Tell us about it.

KL: Cynthia Rowley is a whimsical and innovative designer who, as a mother of two, has a genuine understanding of what moms want in baby gear fashion.

TFG:  How does Graco give back?
KL: We also partner with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (EGPAF) on Fashioning the Future, a benefit that launched the limited edition stroller designed by Cynthia Rowley. All of the net proceeds from the stroller went to EGPAF. It’s a great cause that parallels the passion of Graco, which is to protect and nurture children. Fashioning the Future was an exciting event and partnership for Graco. Anytime you can give back and help others, it’s a rallying cry heard by the whole organization. Graco is an active member in the philanthropic community, ensuring better lives for children through product and monetary donations to various organizations.

TFG: What other high fashion partnerships are in the works?
KL: Keep looking for great fashions from Graco. We are continuously launching new fashions with all of our retail partners. You can see the latest at www.gracobaby.com

TFG: What should all parents know about baby gear?

KL: Baby Gear doesn’t have to be boring. Graco infuses great style and fashion so the woman inside every mother can reflect her taste. At the same time, Graco offers the ultimate in safety and convenience, which cannot be compromised when making this very important purchase for the little miracles in our lives.



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