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Covers
Covers

Made in St. Louis: Infant shopping cart covers

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RACHEL DISTELRATH

Home • Chesterfield

Age • 42

Family • Married to Doug with three children: Rob 13, Katie 10 and Michael 5

What she makes • Rachel, owner of MichaelMoooDesign, makes unique and stylish fabric shopping cart covers and boutique burp cloths for infants and children. You can find her products at michaelmooodesign.etsy.com or visit her Facebook page: MichaelMoooDesign. To reach her, email radistelrath@yahoo.com.

Tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in south St. Louis, moved to Des Peres in 1993 and moved to Chesterfield in 1997. I worked as a physical therapist until my second child was born. When my third child came along, I started my business. I'm currently a stay-at-home mom.

How long have you been making shopping cart covers? I've been making them since 2007. I made my first cover for my youngest son when I was looking for a stylish cover but could not find something that I liked. So with the help of my mom, I made my own. Friends and family encouraged me to make more and to start selling them. My first sale was on eBay. I started selling on Etsy in 2008. Each cover is handmade in my smoke- and pet-free home. I have sold more than 1,500 covers in 50 states, along with shipping to Canada, Italy, Australia and Germany.

Tell us the process of creating a cover. I start with cotton broadcloth and high loft quilt batting. My covers are fully padded for increased softness and comfort (stitched in various areas to prevent bunching during washing). There is a triple layer of batting at the front of the cover, where most forehead bumps occur. I then add 100 percent cotton designer fabrics in all sorts of chic patterns, styles and colors. The cover has reinforced leg holes that are stitched and covered with extra wide bias tape. A large pocket is added up in front for Mom to store her keys or cell phone. It also has fabric loops to hold favorite toys or pacifiers on with rings to keep baby entertained while shopping. There is a side pocket for baby snacks. There are holes to use the seat belt from the cart, or an attached seat belt can be added to the cover. They're machine washable and can be air dried or tossed in the dryer at low heat. Each cover takes about 2 1/2 hours to make from start to finish.

• What are your prices? Shopping cart covers range from $27 to $58 depending on the style. I also make burp cloths, and they start at $12 for a set.

Is this your full-time job? I'm a full-time wife and mother. I spend about 12 to 15 hours sewing shopping cart covers. My days are spent like any other stay-at-home mom with three very active children. I'm chief cook, taxi driver and dinner out with my husband is a rare treat.

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Karen Deer is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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