It’s no secret that children’s stores and baby stores are marketed mostly to women and moms. For dad, they are often left on the wayside and incorrectly dubbed “babysitters” versus parents. Don Hudson a father of four never liked being called a “babysitter,” so he decided to open Seahorses, a father-focused store to show dads that they are so much more.
Seahorses is based in Portland and is a father-friendly store with children’s clothes, diaper bags, baby carriers, toys, and strollers. Hudson hosts dad workshops at Seahorses, as well as preschool kid cooking lessons, baby sign language classes and parenting playdates.
“The back half of the place, that’s where I’ve got my enclosed kids’ area with the countertops where dads ― or moms ― can sit around and use the Wi-Fi and have a cup of coffee, let the kids play for a minute, take a break from parenting for five minutes and breathe,” Hudson told HuffPost.
Portland was a little hesitant about a dad-focused store, but it quickly moved past that hesitance and has fallen in love with the place.
“Over time it’s been recognized in the community as a legitimate kids’ store where you can get these really cool products in a very comfortable environment that appeals to not just dads, but the LGBTQ community and moms as well,” Hudson said. “It seems to appeal to everybody.”
Hudson is proud of his store and the new space it has provided for fathers in his community, something he hopes can be inspirational to other communities and dads nationwide.
“We’ve successfully conveyed the message that dads are competent parents. We’re not a bunch of bumbling idiots like the media portrays,” Hudson said. “If you leave the kid alone with dad, he’s not going to be home stuck to the wall. Not everyone puts sharpie marker on their kids’ eyebrows just to get a good picture out of it. We’re in the trenches, too.”
If you’re ever in the Portland area, be sure to check this place out and show dads that you support them and all that they do as parents.