Gavin Lodge definitely has his hands full as a Broadway star, father-of-two, and now an emerging designer! With no prior business skills, he set out to design the stylish yet highly functional Ellison Diaper Bag that has already made its way to Barneys. “I thought, way dumber people than me have figured this out, and I don’t have any business experience, but I don’t think this is rocket science,” says Lodge. He’s made it possible for fathers to feel pride in their role while still adhering to dad’s stylish needs. He expresses, “I want to convey that I’m thrilled to be a dad and still have a sense of style despite looking really tired on the playground.”
His inspiration for the bag came from the limited options he faced when selecting a diaper bag for himself: “There were certain companies that made gender neutral ones, but I didn’t feel that they reflected my style or sensibility, and so without naming names I got a bag that was for dudes,” says Lodge. Being underwhelmed with the bag selection and ultimately getting stuck with a “slumpy bag,” he wasn’t going settle. Lodge eagerly began to make sketches, buy fabric, and started getting samples going.
Lodge has managed to merge into the fashion and business world with his Ellison Diaper Bag not really knowing what to expect. He says, “I assumed that there would be a ton of obstacles in the fashion world of people looking down on me, thinking, you have no idea what you are doing, or you are getting way over your head, or who do you think you are.” He continues to add, “Nothing could be further from the truth because everybody in the fashion industry that I have networked with have been bending over backwards and inspiring.” As he’s learned to navigate the business world, Lodge expresses, “I’ve just gone on my gut and I’m not afraid to ask for help and that’s been at the front of networking.”
His unparalleled dedication and intentional design has created a diaper bag like none other. Lodge expresses, “That’s what frankly justifies the admittedly not-so-low price, they are very intricate bags. They are a ton of work to put together, but I approach it from my own perspective thinking this is what I wish I would have had.” Alongside the design, it was important for Lodge to create something for a dad that takes on that active role in their children’s lives.
Aside from a dad and designer, he also juggles being an actor. As an actor for several years, Lodge has had experience in theater, film, TV, and Broadway. You can catch him right now at the Hudson Theatre where he plays as a standby for the Broadway, “Head Over Heels.”
Juggling these roles he notes that he’s just not a “nine-to-fiver” and has an unconventional schedule. In addition, he is an avid blogger about his life as a dad. “I started to blog in conjunction of the bag because I needed to vent about how it is to stay home with two kids under the age of 3,” Lodge says. From there he formed a community with so many fathers who all appreciate him being real and upfront with the obstacles of parenting. Through this community of fathers, he’s been able to call attention to the “dumb dad” stereotype that discredits dads and illustrates them as only being the babysitter. Lodge states, “If mom has got her night off to go out with girls or whatever, it’s like, crazy things are going to happen because dad doesn’t really know what he’s doing.” And that stereotype doesn’t sit well with this community of fathers. This diaper bag is not just to carry the necessities, it is an empowering gesture that gives fathers a sense of pride in their parenting.
Lodge’s roles as an actor, blogger, and designer all come together to make him an even better father every day. Lodge expresses, “I would hope there could be a market for all sorts of styles and personalities that could help make fatherhood even more fun and more enriching for the dad, the kid, and the family.”
To learn more about Gavin Lodge, visit gavinlodge.com.