Lil Worker Story
In search of safety
My name is James Flawith and I’m an arborist. The law requires that I wear bright, contrasting high visibility clothing to protect myself from hazards while I’m at work. I’m also the father of three ruckus-making young lads. When I get home from work my sons love to tackle me to the ground, strip off my safety gear and parade around the house in it. As cute as it is, wearing big, baggy adult safety gear actually makes my little men unsafe. Laughing and running quickly turns into crying and sobbing when long shirts trip little legs and small boys go flying….
As a responsible parent, safe worker and fun-loving Dad, I venture out to find my boys some high visibility safety shirts of their own. I want to give my boys what they want, gear to dress up in and pretend to be just like me. After looking doggedly in retail stores and searching online I can’t find anything that replicates what I would wear on the job site. I’ll be honest, I get angry – I am not going to settle for cheap Halloween costumes or toy dress up gear, not for my boys. I want REAL safety gear. I’m not going to let my boys down so I make some gear of my own.
It turns out my boys love the high visibility safety shirts I make and they absolutely refuse to take them off. It’s like Smelly Socks. Ugh.
Because the boys refuse to change out of their new safety gear, it comes trekking with us wherever we go. My wife and I start to notice something. When our crew is out walking the dog or playing at the park, the shirts make it much easier to track and locate the boys. And if their safety shirts make it easier for us to see our boys, it must be easier for everyone else to see them too – including people driving cars.
If you have kids and you’re like us, you worry about cars. Parking lots. Crosswalks. Walking to school. Biking. Field trips. Skiing. The list goes on and on. These are the real danger zones of life. All these thoughts swirl through my head and then I have an, ahem, “vision.”
I see my middle son who loves to bolt off laying in the middle of the road. There’s the car. Here’s the blood. It’s real, but not reality. If there is anything I can do to prevent this accident, anything, I will do it. And it hits me. The hazards I face at work, they are the same that our children face at play. Cars. Struck-by accidents. The primary barrier to preventing these horrible accidents is the same at work or at play – contrasting bright high visibility safety gear. The solution is right on my back.
The beauty of Lil Worker Safety Gear design is that it is great for kids AND parents. Kids love the novelty, they love to dress up and pretend to be just like Daddy, just like Mommy or just like whoever their favorite “high viz hero” is that day. And as parents we love the safety, love the fact that the clothes our kids wear make them easier to find and keep them safe from harm. Two birds, one highly visible stone.
Like most uber professional entrepreneurs, I set up a Facebook page to get feedback from people on what they think of dressing their children in safety gear. The support I receive is overwhelmingly positive. Most people I chat with have, at one point or another, searched for safety gear for their own children, only to come up empty-handed like me.
I conclude that our society needs REAL safety gear for kids because every child’s life is priceless and deserves protection. Starting my own line of children’s safety gear is completely foreign to me but I’m passionate about doing it. I leap. I’m not making cheap, disposable crap. We don’t need more garbage in our landfills. I am making high quality products that keep kids safe.
I’m a father.
And I will do whatever it takes to protect children from careless drivers, from speeding vehicles, from getting lost. I made Lil Worker Safety Gear for you, for your children. Please join me and share this post, we can protect more priceless lives if we work together.
Because a child’s life is priceless.