When looking at diaper bags, there are many options available with different styles, functionality, and reliability. However, many bags appeal to only one audience: new moms.
Beav Brodie, CEO of Tactical Baby Gear, is on a mission to shake up the baby product industry and give new fathers another option in the world of baby gear.
From custom cars to functional diaper bags
Before deciding to make diaper bags, Brodie built custom cars in his own South Carolina-based shop while his wife worked full-time.
“We were, like, struggling, like super broke, had no money,” said Brodie. “I had this custom car shop, which is great, but there’s not a lot of money to be made in that business, especially where we are.”
When the Brodie family found out they were expecting another little girl, Beav — while excited for a second child — worried about one thing.
“‘Son of a b****. I’ve got to carry that purple bag again,’” Brodie said. “I’m running back and forth to daycare, and I was carrying the bags more often than she was, which is why I just didn’t want to carry this purple bag again that my mother had given to her at the baby shower. I mean, look at me. I’m like, covered in tattoos. I’m like, this is not my style whatsoever. I want something for me.”
Brodie searched the Internet high and low for a dad-friendly bag with no luck until he had an idea. He decided to make his own bag with his car upholstery experience and with the style of a tried-and-true guns-and-gear enthusiast.
“Stylistically, the guns and gear and that kind of stuff obviously were the biggest inspiration behind how it looked,” explained Brodie. “Then obviously it needed to function, right? I’m a very active, involved dad, and I like to be efficient. So it’s like I want to know where things are, right, where I need them. I don’t want to have to be dumping a bag upside down, like my wife’s purse, to find the keys at the bottom. I want to know where everything is. I don’t have time for fussing around with crap.”
Once Brodie’s friends noticed his Instagram posts about his custom bag, they all wanted their own.
“There’s a lot of dads out there that just don’t want to carry their wife’s girly stuff,” said Brodie, “and it’s just for somebody who’s looking for a different style thing; here’s an option for you.” After this revelation, Brodie took to Legal Zoom to handle the minuatae of starting a small business, and the Instagram mentions and notoriety took off.
In 2013, Brodie decided to quit the custom car industry and focus all his energy on Tactical Baby Gear. Today, his small company has a dozen employees and has quite the following with exponential growth in sales and following in the last five years.
Making a difference
While moms may remain the ultimate decision-makers in baby products, that doesn’t mean dads should be excluded.
“It takes two to tango,” explained Brodie. “The dad was just as much a part of creating this child and is responsible for this child physically, financially, all these things where it’s like, there needs to be more products out there in the world.”
Brodie and his dedicated team soon realized that they were making a significant impact on how some fathers involved themselves in day-to-day baby duties.
“By creating this bag, it takes some of them, I don’t want to say stigma, but a little bit of that stigma away from guys being like, oh, the diaper bag,” Brodie said. “It’s a complete mind shift change where we’ve gotten messages from women in tears that are just so happy they found our product because their husband didn’t want anything to do with the baby beforehand.”
Brodie believes that having product options out there for dads from all walks of life allows them to become more involved with parenting. While TBG could easily switch to products geared towards moms, that is not the legacy he wants to leave behind.
“The impact that makes on the world as a whole is unmeasurable because so much of the world’s problems in our society especially stems from the lack of a good father or a father at home,” shared Brodie. “So when there isn’t an active, involved father, it sort of creates this negative impact further down the road. So having more dads involved, especially from day one, where they create a stronger bond, and they have taken more responsibility early on, just simply from a diaper bag to make an impact on the world, later on, it blows my mind. It’s insane to think that we have the ability to make a positive impact possible.”
Supporting the military and local heroes
Brodie and TBG are proud to support the military and their spouses, veterans, and first responders with special discounts.
“You guys are awesome,” said Brodie of the military spouse community. “You’re a spouse, like, you kick a**, you’re awesome. We have a lot of respect for you and those families in the military. So we do what we can to give back and at least show some recognition.”
Contrary to belief, Brodie was never in the military but has family members who are military and first responders he looks up to.
When asked if he had any advice for parents, Bodie commented “I think the most realistic advice for parents or especially new parents, is to be comfortable being uncomfortable. There is no one size fits all formula. There’s no instruction manual on parenting, and you have to just figure it out along the way. And know that it is okay; you’re going to screw up. You’re going to have wins or have losses, highs, lows, all those types of things. And you just have to be okay knowing that you’re going to screw up sometimes, and you’ll figure it out.”
Are you interested in Tactical Baby Gear products? Check out their website and purchase your own diaper bag.
MilSpouseFest is coming to the National Capital Region on April 26th and 28th! Dr. Becky Porter will have an exclusive message for event attendees in honor of Month of the Military Child. Attend in person on either day or virtually on April 28th. To learn more and RSVP, click here.