PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. -- You could say Lugnut Designs a custom-design company that creates car themed baby bodysuits and onsies, runs like a fine-tuned engine.
That's because an automobile theme runs through both the business -- as well as the life -- of Founder Calla Michalski.
The Putnam Valley resident, now a mom of twin boys, met her husband, Sylwester (aka Sly) -- a mechanic -- when she needed new tires on her car and someone forgot a lugnut.
"At our wedding, my sister did her maid of honor speech, mentioned how we met, and ended with 'To me, you will forever be known as Mr. & Mrs. Lugnut,'" she said.
"It's been a running joke ever since," she added, and now, the inspiration for her company.
The graphic designer officially started Lugnut Designs in 2015 when a lot of her friends were pregnant and she noticed a car-themed trend on baby clothes.
She started creating onsies and bodysuits with sayings such as "Built Ford Tough Like Daddy," "My other car seat is in the Ford Focus," "Life is too short to drive slow" and "My daddy's Jeep is cooler than yours." After getting compliments from friends and family, she put some of her designs on Etsy and was surprised when they started selling.
When she found out she was pregnant with twin boys in 2016, it was time to expand the business. Luckily her husband -- being in the car biz -- had some of his own ideas (which she tweaked) to help add to her growing collection. New designs are added weekly and the whole family operates as a team. (Her kids are now her models.)
Custom request orders have also helped move her forward (car pun intended). And coming soon: Toddler and kids t-shirts.
Items are sold online only through Etsy as well as with Booked Parties, a one stop shop for anything party related.
Michalski would love to get into stores, but at this point, she doesn't keep an inventory as each product sold is made to order.
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