Downs Designs is a business founded on family and based on love. When our owner, Karen, realized that her then 4-year-old granddaughter, Maggie, who was born with Down syndrome, would trip over her pants that were too long and clothing wasn't fitting properly, her daughter challenged her to start a clothing line for people with Down syndrome. Never one to back down from a challenge, Karen researched and soon realized that nothing existed on the market to fit the unique body shape of a person with Down syndrome. Well, Grandma had a fix for that! A light bulb went off, and fueled by her little blue-eyed inspiration, she set herself out on a mission. That mission? To make sure that Maggie would never worry about finding clothing that fit properly, and that she would have styles available to her as she grew that helped her to thrive, be confident in herself, dress independently and feel her best.
After much hard work, ingenuity and bringing a designer on board, Downs Designs was born in 2009. We now have 20 styles to accommodate different body shapes. Our jeans are made of soft, stretchy denim, an elastic waist, and no buttons or zippers to aid in independent dressing.
A grandma's dream started with just a pair of jeans, and with your help, we will be able to grow and create the clothing line that our Downs Designs family, and Maggie, needs and deserves. You can be part of this mission, and our lifelong passion, to improve the lives of our loved ones with Down syndrome.
Now that Downs Designs has got the basics down with over 4 years of experience in making jeans, we need your help to offer much-needed and never-before-designed styles for Maggie and those in the special needs community. It takes a lot of teamwork and funds to make this dream a reality, and with your support, we can make it happen!
Our goal is to create clothing that gives those with Down syndrome more independence, more confidence, and more options to live fuller, happier lives! We plan to accomplish this with our stretch goals below.
Help Downs Designs Grow!
***UPDATE!! Additional funding will allow us to reach our stretch goals for shorts and black dress pants. We can't do this without you!***
Hooray!! Our news to enhance the lives of those with special needs has been featured in Apostrophe Magazine's Advocacy Blog here. Thank you, Apostrophe Magazine!
Wow! The Kidd Kraddick Radio Show in Dallas, Texas featured Karen on their radio show and we received such an amazing response! Did you miss the show? Listen to it here.
First stretch goal: Cargo shorts for boys and men, and bright, cheerful, colored shorts for girls and women. We're so excited to expand our clothing line! Our shorts provide casual, yet in-fashion style options that otherwise don't exist in the market today for a person with Down syndrome. Perfect for play dates with friends, school, summers off, and vacation! The shorts will be made of soft cotton, and feature our hallmark elastic waist and no button or zipper for easy on and off. Help us offer a full size range of shorts for all ages!
We will also unlock special voting at this stretch goal! We will send our backers a special survey to vote on your favorite colors of shorts. We want you to be a part of this wonderful experience to create something beautiful together!
Second stretch goal: Black dress pants. So many people with Down syndrome are in need of a dressy option for pants - such options don't exist. We want to give them black dress pants for the special parts of their lives: their school concert, church, work, prom, a family wedding. Our black dress pants will offer the same elastic waist and pull-on style, while tapering appropriately and accommodating various body shapes. Please help us give those with Down syndrome the same feeling you would have when dressing up for a special occasion, or showing up at a job interview to knock it out of the park!
Third stretch goal: Completely new jean styles and washes. At this stretch goal, we will offer completely new styles of jeans in new washes.
Additional stretch goals TBA! Donate to unlock more of our BIG plans!
What makes Downs Designs so important to a person with Down syndrome?
1) Downs Designs clothing empowers those with Down syndrome to dress independently, while instilling them with confidence.
People born with Down syndrome may have trouble with fine motor skills, making manipulating buttons and zippers difficult. Our belt loops and soft, stretchy denim make for easy on and off. We love the feeling we get when we receive a note from a parent who is ecstatic because their child is able to dress themselves for school without help! When a child realizes what they're able to accomplish independently, this helps them grow into confident, happy kids and adults. We want to create more of that feeling!
2) Downs Designs clothing creates a flattering fit that tapers appropriately to each body shape.
Did you know? People with Down syndrome typically have a shorter thigh bone and upper arm bone, which makes typical pants and sleeves too long. This causes typical pants and shirt sleeves to taper incorrectly at the knee and elbow. Downs Designs jeans taper appropriately at the knee, creating a flattering fit that we've seen our Downs Designs family excited to show off (just check out those smiles!)! Each pair of jeans are custom hemmed to order.
3) Our soft elastic waist and 20 styles offer comfort and accommodate unique body shapes.
People with Down syndrome often develop larger "tummies" because of lower muscle tone. Many also do not like anything around the waist and often push their pants under their tummies. For this reason, 60% of our orders are for our popular "Dip Down" styles. Our 20 styles cover the most common shapes we see in our over 4 years of working with families with Down syndrome. Our goals will allow us to provide brand new, exciting styles to our Downs Designs family and your loved ones.
Get Your Custom Downs Designs T-shirt Voted on by our Facebook Family!
You've done it! Our Downs Designs family voted on Facebook for their choice of favorite custom t-shirt, and we have a winner! Our custom-designed t-shirt will be available for all reward levels $25 and above. Get your t-shirt and support Downs Designs at the same time!
Did you know? If you would like to help by donating, you may "Pay it Forward" with your reward! At the end of our campaign, all donors will be sent a survey. On the survey, you may choose "donate" as your option, and provide us with an individual or organization's contact information that you would like to donate your reward to.
At the $110 level and above, you may choose from your choice of Downs Designs jeans OR NBZ Jeans.
Levels $300, $500 and $950 are great for groups and organizations! You may split your multiple jean rewards up between individuals within a group. You may also choose between Downs Designs jeans or NBZ Jeans within your group. Read more about NBZ Jeans below!
Downs Designs jeans feature an elastic waist and no button or zipper and are made to fit the body shape of a person with Down syndrome.
How to Measure
Our unique Downs Designs Try-On service ensures you get the perfect fit! We will send out 2 styles to you unhemmed, return shipping label included, and custom hem your desired pair for you. To get the correct size for your Downs Designs jeans, we need 2 things:
1) A hip measurement. Visit our "How to Measure" page here to see how to take a hip measurement for your Downs Designs Jeans. The measurement should be taken around the widest part of the hip area. We explain more about this in our FAQ section below. If you have any questions, please be sure to let us know!
2) Would you prefer a style that dips below the belly (our popular "Dip Down" style), or a higher rise that comes up above the belly? We have styles to accommodate both.
We will be communicating with all of our backers about rewards during this whole process, and we are confident in our ability to match you to the right style for you!
NBZ Jeans: Introducing jeans for men that give confidence, independence and pride in their sense of style!
NBZ Jeans is the sister company of Downs Designs. NBZ Jeans for men are a typical jean that come in standard sizes, and feature an elastic waist and no button or zipper. Our stretchy denim and elastic waist make our jeans a new favorite! They are the perfect option for a comfortable jean that moves with you, doesn't dig into the waist, and allows flexibility of movement with easy on and off. Those with arthritis, autism or recovering from surgery have sung our praises. We've found many men who want extreme comfort love our jeans and won't go back to wearing anything else. We have received an overwhelming response to NBZ Jeans and know you will love them too!
How to Measure:
NBZ jeans come in standard sizes. For the best fit, follow our NBZ size chart. NBZ Jeans come in standard lengths and sizes. Please note that our lengths run slightly shorter, so please order accordingly.
We are truly thankful for the support of our customers we consider family, our community, and those who have rallied behind us over the last 4 (almost 5!) years. We need your help to expand beyond jeans into a clothing line so that we can offer our Downs Designs family, and Maggie, the clothing they deserve to lead full, happy lives.
Please donate and help Downs Designs grow!
Don't forget to spread the word to be part of this wonderful mission. Let's create something beautiful together!
Risks and challenges
1) It is possible that the time it takes to receive our samples may push production back. We have kept this in mind with our timeline, and will be updating you every step of the way!
2) Because of the overwhelming support we have received from you, it is possible that we will have trouble keeping up with the demand in order to turn into a clothing line in the timeline that we have set. We will be keeping our backer family posted with updates if any of these challenges do arise and we thank you for your support and for making this possible!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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