What do you do when you’re a new breastfeeding mom and can’t find any nursing clothes you like? You create them!
That’s what nursing mom Quinn Reitz did prompted by the frustration she felt when she was trying to breastfeed her then infant son on a blazing hot Florida day. At 3 months, he just wanted to nurse and be held in his baby carrier, strapped to his mom.
“I would walk Bayshore Boulevard to get him to sleep, and we were both so hot. I couldn’t stand to wear anything but a tank top. But all of my nursing tanks were more like pajamas – inappropriate to wear in public,” Reitz said.
She searched local stores and the internet for a nursing tank with more coverage but came up empty handed, unable to find any loose fitting, cotton nursing shirts.
“The clingy, rayon tops were cute with my baby bump, but not so much after giving birth,” Reitz explained. “All I wanted was a nice tank top with built-in padding that I could wear to Target!”
Fed up with the lack of options, Reitz, a former TV reporter, began designing, creating and launching her own nursing clothing line. She and her husband, WTSP Morning Anchor Ian Reitz, put their research skills to work, learning everything they could about the clothing industry and launching a business.
A self-confessed perfectionist, Reitz took two years to finalize her designs. She attended classes at a textile expo in Miami and began ordering samples of fabrics from all over the country to determine which ones could withstand multiple wash and dry cycles. Once she had her fabric, she picked a small manufacturer in Oldsmar with whom she created her first prototypes. She eventually moved the operations to a larger factory in New York City. During the process, she tested her designs on more than a dozen women throughout the Bay area.
The clothing line, Nursing Queen (www.nursingqueen.com), launched in December 2016 with two styles of nursing hoodies, along with a clip-down nursing tank top – designed for both regular and full busts. Reitz is currently working on a t-shirt with a built-in bra and a bathing suit for the summer line.
“If these clothes make one mom’s life a little easier or help her feel better about herself – that would be more gratifying than anything else I’ve ever done,” Reitz said.
Reitz doesn’t have any plans to get back into TV news—she says this opportunity to help other breastfeeding moms is her new passion. Besides, she may be too busy for her old job, filling orders as she keeps up with her now 2-year-old son.