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The Seahorses Story

Seahorses Storefront Portland Oregon

Seahorses is a place for modern dads and their kids. We provide a welcoming space for all families, opportunities to connect and develop community, and an intentional selection of innovative, durable, and fun products that help support engaged and practical parenting.

We started as a baby store, hoping to offer flower-free diaper bags and a place where dads could go with assurance of not be treated as a second-class parent. What we heard was a resounding message that there is a greater need for a space that supports ALL dads with kids of ALL ages. So we keep growing, adding cool products, activities, and events for increasing age ranges, becoming relevant to dads and families from all walks of life.

Our welcoming space on SE Hawthorne offers an enclosed play space with seating, free wifi, and complimentary coffee, tea, hot cocoa and water. And our website offers a limited, but growing, selection of our favorite and most popular inventory.

The Founder of Seahorses

Seahorses owner, Don Hudson, began his parenting journey 25 years ago, at 17, when his first daughter was born. Through the years, he gained experience (for better or worse) as an estranged dad, a part-time dad, and a single dad.

When his son was born in 2011, Don became a stay-at-home dad. At that time, Don was thrust into a world that has traditionally focused on moms. While out shopping, he became frustrated that he was most often addressed as a placeholder, “What did mom send you in for?” or a babysitter, “How nice of you to give mom a break!” He saw a real need in the community for a place where all dads would feel welcome and find cool, practical stuff they needed, without pink floral adornments. Seahorses opened on Father’s Day 2015 to help meet that need.

In addition to being the father of four, ranging in age from one to 25, Don’s other titles in life have included elevator mechanic, chef, medic, musician, and Veteran. Don is a lover of motorcycles, music, cooking and irreverent humor.

The Seahorses Team

Cari Wolverton – Wearing many hats, Cari oversees the day-to-day of the store, including buying and operations. A passionate “dadvocate,” she is committed to helping normalize fathers as competent caregivers. She co-parents four kids ranging in age from 4-14 and believes families come in all sizes and configurations.

Lynse Walls – The director of marketing, Lynse recently came on full time to help grow Seahorses and bring our message and our resources to all dads, everywhere. Also a “dadvocate,” Lynse works to normalize fatherhood and challenge stereotypes. In addition to co-parenting 4 kids, Lynse does side projects in videography, and community work for various social justice causes.

Miguel Gamboa – A Seahorse dad from the very beginning, Miguel earned his spot on the team by hanging out when we were in the baby stages and making himself useful enough that we just had to hire him! He’s at Seahorses most Saturdays chasing his adorable curly-haired minion around the store in between helping guests.

Barry Pike III – The most recent addition to the Seahorses team, Barry can often be found at the store working from his laptop, bringing our creative visions to life while supervising his well-mannered mini-me.

 

The Seahorses Product Philosophy

Seahorses has all manner of things not usually found under one umbrella. Because we are doing something that hasn’t been done, we get to think outside the traditional box, which means we don’t order things just because someone else thinks it’s cool or because other stores carry it. In order to make it onto our shelves, a product has to pass our rigorous vetting and meet specific criteria. We look at how the item adds value to your family, who makes it, where it comes from, and how it works (and holds up) in real life situations for real life parents, like us. We promise, our small army of Seahorse kids give prospective products a very real trial.

To the best of our ability, our products reflect our values. We strive to support local businesses, artists, and authors. We do business with companies that manufacture in the USA or can prove ethical business and manufacturing practices abroad. We carry things that feel relevant to us as parents, products that we personally use and love, as well as the latest in innovation as we pursue the most inventive and practical parenting gear new to the market.

 

The Seahorses Space

We get asked all the time, “Who is a modern dad?” Let’s see… Does someone call you dad? Yes? Congrats, you’re a modern dad. That means we’re here for you and your family.

Ah, you’re not a dad, but you can see how dads are important in the lives of their kids, right? Cool, then around here we call you a ‘Dadvocate.’

If that all sounds too political and you’re just in it for the cool products and the chill, judgement-free place to hang out, you’re still welcome at Seahorses, we love hanging out!

At the end of the day, no matter your skin color, your religion, your politics, your sexuality, or your gender, or who’s in your family, you’re welcome at Seahorses.

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