There's no doubt about it. Jeanne Salas is a soccer mom.
For nearly a decade, the Cary mom has spent her weekends on the sidelines, watching her now 11-year-old and 14-year-old play. But before spending all that time at the games, she also spent a lot of time at home helping her kids organize all of their stuff - practice shirts, multiple uniforms, balls and more.
And that's how Salas came to create KitKeepers, a bag designed to organize soccer uniforms. The bag has interior mesh pockets for the uniforms and another pocket for little things like change for the snack bar, phones or hair ties.
It rolls up to fit easily in the sports bags and backpacks that most kids carry around to hold the rest of their gear. So, instead of the home and away uniforms, which both are often required at games or tournaments, floating around in the bottom of the bag, they're all in one place.
The bag even comes with a checklist so kids can make sure they have all that they need: jersey, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, ball, water and snack. The bag is designed to hang on a door knob in a laundry room or in a bedroom so the clothes can go from the dryer to the KitKeeper to the sports bag.
Salas said the bag aims to help parents and kids be organized so they can focus on the game, not whether they brought everything, once they get to the field.
"You should be there to play, enjoy it. To play hard," Salas said. "Take care of the variables that you can take care of beforehand."
Salas, who has worked in graphic design for many years, said KitKeepers is the first product she's developed. It took six months to create. She held the first bag in December 2013. It's sold on her website and through soccer.com. Salas is working on more sales outlets, including retail shops.
Right now, she's been working hard to build visibility for her product and expand to other sports.
"You see the benefit once you have it," she said.
An aside: After preparing my daughter for her first competitive soccer tournament this weekend, I definitely see the benefit of this product. I don't take products like this for free, but I suspect this will be going on birthday and holiday wish list for my daughter very soon!
Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.