As traditional gender roles continue to shift, more fathers are stepping in to assume full-time parenting roles outside of their jobs. However, many baby products have not changed their models to accommodate hands-on dads. Frustrated with the limited options, one Black father decided to fill this gap by creating a brand of diaper bags designed just for men.
Kwame White is the founder and CEO of W.S.E.L Bags, a modern diaper bag designed for full-time dads on the go. White came up with the idea after looking for a bag to carry while he was taking care of his son Kobe. That is when he realized that most of the products he saw were designed to appeal to mothers.
“I think it’s great that women have lots of options,” said White in an interview with via email. “But in 2021, it’s past time for fathers to have great options as well. I wanted to create diaper bags for dads to let fathers know that they are valued too.”
The brand currently carries three different styles in their online store—the Kobe Expandable, Jett, and Jaden. White hopes that the brand will help put a spotlight on fathers who play an active role in their children’s lives and upbringing.
“Traditionally, men worked and women stayed home with the children. Those days are long gone. Both fathers and mothers balance work and family life,” he said. “More than ever, fathers are actively involved within every area of their children’s lives. Many fathers choose jobs or start businesses specifically so they can spend more time with their family.”
White says one of the company’s goals is to help change the negative narrative of absentee Black fathers. Another way he is challenging that stereotype is by hosting fatherly strolls which encourages Black men to connect and fellowship while pushing their little ones in the strollers.