Posted by Co-Creator & Producer, Jessica Cribbs

My daughter joined Girl Scouts about a year ago. Girl Scouts is great..she’s graduated from a Daisy to a Brownie and Girl Scouts is great…no, really. I adore this organization.

Ok, except for maybe the patch thing.

She started earning patches left and right and I was ironing them all on….because I think all patches should be IRON ON….so I was making it work.

One of the scout leaders commented to me… “They may fall off eventually…you’ll have to sew them.”

“Oh no I wont”, I would think, as I nodded in agreement with them. Oh No I Wont…..willing those patches never to move, or so help me I’d iron them back on with a round of heat nothing would survive.

But when the patches started peeling off one at a time, the brand new sewing machine I had purchased at Target seven years ago…started screaming at me. From the closet, I could hear it.

I had bought it on sale nearly a decade ago. It had been sitting unopened in a box for SEVEN years, for one very good reason…I had no clue how to use it. So, I finally sucked it up and asked one of my dear friends who sews to come show me how to use a sewing machine. We stayed up until midnight sewing on that machine, and I loved every minute of it. Of course I went sewing crazy for the next month and made pillowcases and bags…sewed on my daughters friends Girl Scout patches…and then I was over it.

So, imagine my absolute delight when I was in New York this summer at BlogHer and came face to face with a product for my children that solely consist of patches. And they are NOT sew on. Actually, they aren’t even iron on.
They use velcro. The kind of velcro that doesn’t budge…unless you really want it to.
I was sold. It was attractive, the patches were super fun and creative and as a mom, I did not have to get that machine out of my closet…where it should stay pending an emergency case of hemming.

My babes decked out in Gutzy Gear on the first day of school.

The product is called Gutzy Gear. And I’m in love. Handing out sample products to BlogHer attendees this past summer (Which are now proudly sported on both my sons’ and daughters’ backpacks) was Lauren Bass, one of the creators of Gutzy Gear and her mother.

Lauren doesn’t even look old enough to have kids! She’s young, energetic and an obvious go-getter. I’d say they are having great success as Lauren and her partner in this product, Wendy Koolik, are watching Gutzy Gear take off. I was seriously impressed and my kids loved the Gutzy Gear patches I came home with.

I emailed Gutzy Gear when getting ready for this Expressing Motherhood show, which opens tomorrow night in Burbank. I asked them if they would be interested in sharing their product with our theatre goers. It took them no time at all to oblige and I’m happy to say that every ticket holder tomorrow night, opening night, will receive a full set of Gutzy Gear!

Gear at my house ready for our opening night patrons!

The best part of this business, I think, are the creators behind it. Isn’t that always the case? Lauren Bass and Wendy Koolik are cousins who developed Gutzy Gear after discovering their grandmother’s old golf sweater full of patches. Every patch represented a golf course she had visited in her life.

I had the chance to chat with these two lovely ladies this morning and I am thoroughly impressed with their work ethic. Wendy and Lauren knew they wanted to start a business together and literally “took a walk until they figured it out.”

They are both mothers and made sure they did everything “on their own time….when kids were in school and before they woke up”
Lauren says, “when the baby goes to bed, I go to work.” “We couldn’t have imagined what has happened to us.” she continued.

They have been creating Gutzy Gear since 2008 and even Wendy says “I’m in shock we did this.” She went on to share with me that there were “100 times when we wanted to give up, but having a partner was key. She keeps me accountable” and ultimately, they “had a desire to keep it going.”

Co-creators of Gutzy Gear, Wendy Koolik (Left) and Lauren Bass (Right)

These creative moms started Gutzy Gear to help kids express themselves and spruce up their personal belongings with patches…..that DO NOT NEED TO BE IRONED ON! Seriously, can you hear my excitement over that….hey Girl Scouts..did you hear that?!

The thought never crossed their minds that they would be labeled a “Back To School” brand, but that seems to be the unexpected case. Wendy and Lauren are developing a lifestyle brand with Gutzy Gear and you can expect to see more than just backpack straps very soon. 

The fun thing about these patches is that you can change them out any time and kids can trade them. Their product was picked up in national stores in August of 2011 and the sky is the limit, really.

I am so happy to be able to share this product with you. My kids are loving them and I have no doubt yours will too.

Never underestimate what women can do….especially family.

Opening night is just about sold out…if not already sold out. But we have 7 more shows after that and we have great things to giveaway to our audience at every show. Gutzy Gear isn’t the only business sharing their love with our audience over the next two weekends. You can see here, what we’ve got scheduled! Included in your ticket price is a raffle ticket to win any of these items listed below, depending on the night you choose to attend!

Hope to see you in the next two weekends!

Friday, September 28th
$100 Gift Certificate to Unique Vintage
$40 Gift Certificate to MindfulNest
Gutzy Gear product for every ticket holder

Saturday, September 29th
Facial donated by Skincare By Andrea..value of $120
Copy of Healing Hearts by former EM cast member, Dr. Kathy E. Magliato

Sunday, September 30th, 2:30pm Matinee
Gift Certificate from LaLaLand Indoor PlayLand in Burbank
Sleep Sack donated by Baby Dee Dee
Copy of Healing Hearts by former EM cast member, Dr. Kathy E. Magliato

Sunday, September 30th, 7pm Show
Rose Run Gift Basket
Quizno’s Coupons
Sleep Sack donated by Baby Dee Dee
Copy of Healing Hearts by former EM cast member, Dr. Kathy E. Magliato

Friday, October 5th
Porto’s Night – Every ticket holder will enjoy food from Porto’s!

Saturday, October 6th
$50 Gift Certificate to Bellies, Babies & Bosoms
Signed copy of “On My Way To The Bath” by Sarah Maizes (former EM Castmember)

Sunday, October 7th 2:30pm Matinee & 7pm Show
Chocolate Tastings provided by Johnnie Kent of Dove Specialties
Including..chocolate martinis, fondue, truffle fudge brownies & more!
She will also be raffling off a home chocolate party!