When a friend announced that he was about to become a father for the first time, Seth Movsovitz slapped him on the back and said, “Welcome to the fraternity.”
It was a small joke between friends – one already a dad, the other a dad-to-be.
But the Ponte Vedra resident wanted to do more than offer a congratulatory comment. He wanted to get his friend a gift, something that would help commemorate the moment. There were gifts for new moms. There were even gifts for newborns.
What Movsovitz discovered, however, was that there wasn’t much for new dads.
“There are the bubble gum cigars,” he said. “Well, that’s great. And I love those bubble gum cigars – don’t get me wrong. But they only last about two minutes.”
Movsovitz thought about his “fraternity” comment and remembered his own days in college when he belonged to one. He realized that three Greek letters could be used to signify a kind of unofficial fraternity for fathers.
“I wrote it out on a napkin: Delta Alpha Delta,” he said, “and thought, hey, that’s kind of cool.”
He trademarked the Delta Alpha Delta name in the early 2000s and had it printed on some T-shirts to sell in hospital gift shops.
But Movsovitz, owner of Ponte Vedra Home Care and a couple of other businesses, was busy with his career, and the idea faded into the background. He admitted that he hadn’t marketed it properly. And the Greek letters didn’t always communicate the idea well.
“If you can’t see something and know what it means or stands for in a matter of a blink of an eye, it doesn’t have much value,” he said.
Still, Movsovitz never really gave up on his idea of creating a gift for new dads. Knowing that he would one day return to it, he trademarked another name in 2015, one that had been in his mind all along: DadFrat.
Then, a couple of things happened that made the idea viable again: the advent of social media and, strangely enough, COVID-19. The pandemic forced Movsovitz to put a couple of his regular businesses on the back burner, which allowed him time to focus on relaunching DadFrat.
Now, Movsovitz, his wife Kaki and their daughters and sons sell DadFrat T-shirts and one-size-fits-all baseball caps online. These items bear the DadFrat logo, which incorporates a shield or a badge and a promise: “I pledge to love, listen, and lead.”
It’s a message that Movsovitz believes essential in today’s world.
“It is needed in our society, especially at a time where everything is so divisive and there’s so much negativity,” he said. “Every day, that’s all we see in the media. DadFrat’s a breath of fresh air. This is positive. This is celebrating these great fathers, great dads engaging with their children.”
So far, the business is a family operation, but Movsovitz said he’s open to retail sales and taking on investors.
And its focus has grown beyond gifts for new dads to gifts for any dad on any occasion.
“The brand itself is for everybody, for all dads,” Movsovitz said. “It doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter what your religion is or your socio-economic background or anything. If you are a father, if you are a dad, then you are a potential member of DadFrat.”
Movsovitz said he wants to explore cross-marketing ideas for the brand, including a DadFrat card or app that would offer discounts at partner businesses, a DadFrat theme at a restaurant – even a DadFrat TV show.
He’s already made arrangements for a DadFrat night in July at a Jacksonville cigar bar, which he and the partner business will cross-promote.
To learn more, go to DadFrat.com.
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