Singer and actor Matthew Morrison and photographer and travel expert Zach McDuffie are on a mission to break the stereotype of the frumpy dad. Their new line, Sherpapa Supply Co., aims to bring the modern family man a line of high-quality products like locally grown organic cotton shirts, “manly” diaper bags that last for every season of fatherhood, hats, bandanas, field kits and more.
As the proud father of a little girl, McDuffie understands the inconveniences that arise during fatherhood and the opening in the market for great dad products. Sure, men can carry a diaper bag or backpack when on baby-duty, “But the thing is, you have to carry all of your wife’s gear because they don’t make anything cool for dads,” says McDuffie. “Guys should have something of their own to be proud of.”
M4 Diaper Bags, the anchor products to the Sherpapa Supply Co. brand, make everyday father duty and family adventures more feasible. “It’s really the basis for our whole brand,” says McDuffie. “We just want that lovely classic look for the modern American family man. It’s something that’s meant to last as an heirloom piece as opposed to something that you just use once and then pass it on.”
The essential canvas bag comes with eight gusseted side pockets, easy to travel pouches, a leather changing pad and reusable containers, making it much easier to stay organized. The utilitarian bag functions as an overnight hospital bag for when the baby comes, a heavy duty diaper bag, and later (during the toddler years) an activity bag to fill with f coloring books and snacks.
Even moms appreciate the variety of colors and patterns available. “Women appreciate a good bag,” says Morrison, “it’s the bag that everyone wants because it’s more functional.”
McDuffie explains the meaning of Sherpapa in a press release as “a strong family leader, guide, and protector of our children’s future. It is also is a term of endearment for a beloved father or grandfather. It is a combination of the words sherpa (expert guide or mentor) and papa (universal term for father), but also a reference to cher papa, which in French means ‘dearest papa.’” The term papa, Morrison adds, has an acronym the company supports: Protect Aid Prepare and Advise.
Sherpapa Supply Co. has collaborated with Gilt.com to expand their reach to the Gilt audience. “Gilt has a really good channel for the storytelling aspect, so it’s not just launching a brand with cool bags and cool apparel,” says McDuffie. “We’re really trying to tell a story of what a sherpapa is, and that’s a modern family leader.” Officially launching on June 1st, favorite Sherpapa items along with Father’s Day gifts (hand painted baseball bats and canoe paddles) and exclusive products curated specifically for the partnership will be sold on Gilt.com.
“Being a dad is the best job in the world and there’s a lot of great dads that are really proud of being dads,” says McDuffie. “But there’s not a lifestyle brand that really supports that, until now.”