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I have a beautiful granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome. She has enough challenges to face in her life and I want to make sure that finding appropriately fitting clothes will not be one of them.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

New reason to head back to the factory

Downs Designs is launching a sister company… NBZ Jeans (no button, no zipper jeans).  We’re hoping to have our new line of jeans in stock by early next year if all goes well.   These new jeans are being designed for men only at this time.  We also have plans for a similar jean for boys later next year.    Research regarding disabilities that affect dressing is overwhelming.  The number of men and boys with a disability that makes manipulating a button and zipper difficult is in the millions. 

With the success of our stretchy men’s jeans without buttons or zippers for people with Down syndrome, I thought why can’t I make typical sizes with the same design in mind?  Women have no problem finding elastic waist jeans with spandex but a similar kind of jean for men is nearly impossible to find.  In the adaptive wear world, what is available in elastic waist jeans for men is not very stylish and are mostly for the elderly.  But with the rise of autism and other disabilities, millions of younger men and boys are faced with challenges in dressing as well.  Downs Designs jeans offer a comfortable, stylish jean that aids in independent dressing but do not fit typical men.  So the need for typical sizes in this type of style is one I hope I can meet.

So I just spent a week in China at the factory, preparing our new line of jeans for men.  I’ve chosen the fabric, pattern, accessories and stitching for 8 sizes of men’s jeans.  I hope to get samples of these jeans made in the next month and try to get them into production before year end.  I hope all goes well.

With the high costs of Downs Designs’ “try-on” service, its overhead is very high.  NBZ will share expenses with Downs Designs which will be a great help to Downs Designs’ bottom line and allow me to continue to give every customer our very special, individualized service.   My goal is to grow Downs Designs but it’s a slow, expensive process.  Having help with overhead expenses will allow me to build it just a little faster.  


  1. I think you should also make these in children's sizes....not small children but kids from ages 8 to teens. I work with many children with autism, Asperger's and sensory issues. Regular clothing can be such a big problem in their lives. It's not just about not being able to manipulate the buttons or zippers, often times it's about how those items feel or make the pants feel. One child won't wear jeans because the protrusion of the jean button/snap rubs against the belly area when they sit and it really bothers them.

    1. This is totally in my plans. I know that this is so needed as well. I am already discussing the boys jeans but will work with the factory to soften the seams and make them a little more about sensory issues as well. The road to development is slow but I'm heading in that direction as well. Karen

  2. Please be careful that you don't fragment your focus, capital and capabilities to the point that both businesses implode..

    I've seen it happen -- sometimes, two great ideas are one too many and your first is too much needed to threaten. Anyone can make standard men's pants, but your firstborn is way too needed a company to jeopardize.

    That said, if you can pull it off, YAY!

    1. Thank you for your valuable comment. I totally understand what you are saying, but Downs Designs needs help if is to continue to give the specialized service I give every customer. So adding this new line is really the way to make sure Downs Designs is able to stay in business. NBZ jeans will share all the overhead expenses and get it into a profitable or break even business. For me, my experience in making jeans of the nature is now second nature and NBZ jeans will require very little work, they will be standard sizes and standard lengths. I can hire someone to manage it so I am able to continue to do what I love the most...my Downs Designs business. It's a long story but I know that NBZ jeans will be a successful business and a profitable one...this will allow me to keep Downs Designs viable. I appreciate your comment. Karen