Have you heard about the new tres fun Charm City Babies clothing line? We love this dadpreneur company that gives us cool, modern baby and toddler apparel that is decidedly charmed, hon — all while giving back! You see, for every piece of clothing sold through their online website, another piece of clothing is donated to a child in need.

Yeah, we totally crush on (cool) parent-preneur philanthropy!

We caught up with Richie Freiman, dad and co-founder of Charm City Babies, to find out more about this mod line of onesies, toddler tees and bibs. Richie grew up in Owings Mills and now lives in Hunt Valley. He and wife Jamie have two adorable kiddos: Maddy and Cole, obvious inspirations for the product line.

Tell us a little bit about Charm City Babies. How did it come to fruition?

It’s always funny talking about how Charm City Babies began because it was a chance encounter, that quickly led to the company being developed. My partner in Charm City Babies, Scott Smith (my wife’s first cousin), just had a his first child, and on the day we were visiting him, I saw his son was wearing a onesie that Scott had made: the graphic was a pair of Aviators hanging from the neck of the shirt. It was cool, and modern and reminded me of shirts I used to make for myself and my daughter. I had been out of the onesie buying phase for a while since my daughter was then three, but it made me think of the other brands out there and I remember never really loving many of the brands.

Then something sparked and I just had an idea I couldn’t wait to get onto paper. I had always wanted to make my own clothing line one day and turns out, now was the time. The whole ride home I was silent because in my head I was thinking of the idea that would become Charm City Babies.

Charm City Babies

We love love love your modern designs. What inspires your ideas?

The rock n’ roll, vintage style of Charm City Babies really comes from our love for music and sense of humor for pop culture. Scott is a very talented guitarist, who has played in many bands over the years. Unlike Scott, I can’t play at all but I have always had a tremendous appreciation for all types of music. I even started a music e-magazine in 2007 called The Pen’s Eye View that I still operate today.

We all have a vintage concert tee or retro inspired outfit that you keep for years and never goes out of style — maybe one with classic imagery of a band, logo or saying. It’s that kind of style we both wanted to express in our designs, for kids.

Why not let our kids have the same cool gear as we did? We are inspired by everything from pop culture, music to the retro style of things we grew up with.

So you started with onesies and moved into toddler tees. What’s next?

We started with toddler tees because our customers and community were asking for them. We had always wanted to do them eventually but the demand came quicker than we had anticipated. Yes, we have a lot of new parents but many customers come to us asking for something for their older kids. So, we started playing around with fabrics and designs and really fell in love with creating cool toddler tees. And all of this has happened with only being open for a few months. We also offer bibs and long sleeve tees too, so we are still growing.

In the end, I see Charm City Babies having much larger selections of each onesie, long sleeve, toddler and bibs (we’ve already doubled our designs since the first day we opened three months ago) but also providing cool outerwear, pants, even shoes. We want to really extend the Charm City Babies brand to fit the lifestyles of every family, at every stage of childhood.

Can you tell us a little bit about a day in the life of the founders of Charm City Babies?

Email, phone calls, designing, repeat. It’s a never-ending cycle that is needed in a creative field like this… and we like it that way! If you’re not constantly trying to improve your brand, then you are wasting your time. We refuse to settle, so we work harder because of that. Plus, we absolutely love what we do. This makes anything that seems like “work” to be fun for us. We did not create Charm City Babies just to have something else to do — we wanted to make a difference and that takes time and effort.

But when we’re not working, we are with our families. Family is first, always. And since Scott and I are family, it’s fun to get the kids together and see them interact. Scott has a son (1 year old) and I have a daughter (4 years old) and a newborn son (5 months), and they are our top priorities. We know that whatever we do with Charm City Babies is ultimately for them, and that’s all the motivation we need. Yet the work doesn’t stop after the kiddies go to bed… We are always texting and emailing one another very late into the night. It’s not uncommon for me to fall asleep with my iPhone in my hand or wake up on my couch at 3AM with my iPad on my chest.

Your Buy One Give One program really strikes a chord with us. Who are you currently partnering with and how many shirts have you given away?

The Buy One Give One program is the very backbone of everything we do at Charm City Babies. We started using a hashtag on Twitter that reads #makeadifference and it’s become our battle cry. We even made a onesie that uses this saying. This is our goal. We did not develop our Buy One, Give One Program to settle for making only a subtle change. We want to do something so totally different that others will follow in our footsteps. Children are born every day without sufficient clothing and we work to fight that issue, not just in Baltimore or Maryland but across the globe.

So far we’ve worked with the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, an orphanage and charity in Africa, and now the Susan G. Komen Foundation (national and Maryland branches). All the purchases through our online store for the month of October will go to benefit Komen. We are honored to be working with them and to do our part in the fight against breast cancer.

Charm City Babies

So maybe this is a bit like asking you which kid is your favorite, but which design is your favorite? Why?

Ah, you’re going to get me in trouble! Well first, I will say that I love ALL of our designs equally… But if I HAD to pick a favorite it’s a toss up between two. One would be the Love Pacifier image, where we take the word LOVE in block form and use a pacifier for the “O”. It was one of my first designs and is a top seller. As well, the #makeadifference onesie is a design that I’m very proud of and I wear in an adult tee all the time. It just sums up what we are about. Plus when I see it – and when I wear it – I know that we are making a difference every day.

Yes or No: Radio on during the work day? If so — what are you listening to?

Yes… and No. Yes, in that music should be played ALL the time throughout the day. Regardless. I like to listen to Pandora though, verse standard radio. I like discovering new artists and Pandora helps. {Editor’s note: Ok, we totally should have asked ‘what’s playing.’ The radio question is a bit outdated. We admit.}

Charm City Babies

Have to ask: your fav kid friendly place in Baltimore? Why?

I enjoy being outdoors, so it try to do things outside with the kids as much as I can. I live in Hunt Valley, right in front of the NCR Trail off Paper Mill Road. I can see the trail from my deck and on any given day the trail is filled with people walking or biking. So, I always enjoy taking my kids for a walk there. It’s a great family area. If I’m going indoors, we like to take our kids to Charm City Kids Club for some classes too. Always fun.

Love the clothes and philosophy? Find out more about Charm City Babies here. Richie is also award winning author and illustrator of  the original children’s picture book series, “Terple” (“Terple – Always Dream Bigger”  2012, and “Terple – The Sky Is Just The Start” 2008). Find out more about the Terple books here. You can follow Richie on twitter, too!