Gateway: News

Family business is cozy at Big Feet Pajama Company

Tammy and John Fitzpatrick of Big Feet Pajamas hold up pajamas in their warehouse in Gig Harbor on Friday. Big Feet Pajamas makes pajamas for people of all ages. The couple started making footie pajamas for adults before expanding.
Tammy and John Fitzpatrick of Big Feet Pajamas hold up pajamas in their warehouse in Gig Harbor on Friday. Big Feet Pajamas makes pajamas for people of all ages. The couple started making footie pajamas for adults before expanding. jbessex@gateline.com

Cozy and comfortable, pajamas are often the first thing in mind when returning home from a long day, especially with temperatures growing colder.

In fact, in recent years pajamas have taken on a certain fashion flair and style, with goofy designs and comfortable fabrics combining to offer a wide selection of comfort wear.

Big Feet Pajama Company raises the bar on comfort and cozy pajamas by offering customers “onesie” pajamas for all ages in a wide variety of styles, fabrics and designs.

Founded in 2005 by Valerie Johnson, the idea for the pajama company came to Johnson during a party when adults talked at length how cozy the hosts child looked in their onesie pajamas and expressed interest in similar pajamas themselves.

John and Tammy Fitzpatrick acquired the Gig Harbor-based company in 2012 and continue to expand the company’s pajama line.

“Every year we’ve added at least two new items,” Tammy said.

We have pajamas in various styles. All of the adult pajamas are available with our without the ‘drop seat.’

John Fitzpatrick, owner of Big Feet Pajama Company

Owning a family business is a common practice for the Fitzpatricks in order to balance work with family time and their lifestyle. John started in finance and collections in Southern California, but as his business grew it began to dominate his time and take away from his three children.

“We built a very large business,” he said. “It got to the point where it was very much consuming my life.”

Looking for a better environment for their children, the couple purchased a resort in Northern Minnesota, where they raised their family.

But the lure of the West Coast remained and, after 17 years running their Minnesota resort, Tammy and John decided to look for a new business opportunity.

“We started looking again for a business that would fit our lifestyle,” John said.

They decided on the Seattle area and soon found Big Feet Pajama Company, which they now run with one of their children, Bryan, who is the manager of operations. Having their family together and being able to work together is something John cites as being one of the best parts of owning Big Feet Pajama Company.

“Plus, he gets to work with me,” Tammy added with a laugh. “We only have to own one car.”

A large part of this time of year is matching pajamas for the whole family. They can all get the fabric they want and still be matching for Christmas.

Fitzpatrick

Big Feet Pajama Company offers a wide range of pajamas for all ages and most sizes, its biggest size is an adult XL, which fits a person up to 6-foot-4 and up to 240 pounds.

“We have pajamas in various styles,” John said. “All of the adult pajamas are available with our without the ‘drop seat.’”

By far, the company’s most popular feature, the “drop seat” not only provides a humorous feature to the pajamas but also a measure of convenience when using the bathroom in onesie pajamas.

With four different fabric types — fleece, flannel, velvet plush and jersey knit — customers can customize the coziness of their pajamas along with their color or design choice.

“A large part of this time of year is matching pajamas for the whole family,” John said. “They can all get the fabric they want and still be matching for Christmas.”

“The dog, too,” Tammy added, bringing up the company’s newest line: dog pajamas.

Also new this year are children’s two-piece footed pajamas and tongue-in-cheek graphics on the drop seat of the union suits, which were popular during the Tacoma Holiday Food and Gift Festival Oct. 20 to 23, where the company had a booth.

Big Feet Pajama Company also accepts special orders, either for personal events such as bachelorette or birthday parties or for larger customers, the most recent being Netflix, which asked for specialty “Orange is the New Black” onesies for their television series newest release.

‘Saturday Night Live’ uses our pajamas for a lot of their skits.

Fitzpatrick

Celebrities have also been fans of the pajamas, with the company participating in different events and awards shows, including the 2007 and 2009 Academy Awards.

“‘Saturday Night Live’ uses our pajamas for a lot of their skits,” John said, adding that the company continues to receive invitations to participate in different awards shows.

Big Feet Pajamas are sold from retailers throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany, as well as online through retailers such as Wal-Mart, Sears, Ebay and, of course, Amazon.

“The playing field is changing,” John said. “(Amazon) used to be the frosting on the cake and now they’re the cake.”

Customers can also purchase pajamas directly from the Big Feet Pajama Company website, where its full line of pajama options are available.

With both colder weather and Christmas quickly approaching, business is beginning to pick up for Big Feet Pajama Company.

“It gets fairly busy,” John said. “We have some long days coming up.”

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

Big Feet Pajama Company

Local shoppers can use promo code “TACOMA” online for free shipping on pajamas or can call the company to pick up in Gig Harbor.

The company can be reached by phone either at 253-509-0936 or 888-682-3338 or through its website at bigfeetpjs.com.

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