Ryan Flaim, a Duxbury mother of two, is turning grief into good. Last year, the budding entrepreneur launched Orange Lining, a children’s blanket and accessories line inspired by her late nephew Ryder Gordon Brown, who passed away at 3 years old after a sudden illness.
“The idea of ‘finding the orange lining’ in life came to me after Ryder passed away,’” says Flaim whose late nephew loved the color orange. “To me, it means that in order to move forward, you need to find brightness no matter how dark the situation.”
Following Ryder’s death in 2015, Flaim began to conceptualize the idea of starting a company called Orange Lining in honor of the little boy. “I wanted to develop a product that inspired children, and encouraged adventure and outdoor play. I wanted something that could grow with them, too,” says Flaim. Inspired by her nephew’s love of flying kites, planting flowers and watching sunsets, she imagined designing a child’s cape. Flaim took sewing classes and created protoypes. She also partnered with a local seamstress and Fall River-based manufacturer, so everything from concept to construction could be produced close to home.
Orange Lining now has three distinct collections: Cozy, Quilted and Newbie. In the Cozy collection, the Be Brave HERO blanket showcases a playful dinosaur print on one side and quilted minklike lining in vibrant orange when reversed. Flaim’s patent-pending HERO blanket was designed with Velcro enclosures to allow the fabric to function as a cape, stroller cover, nursing cover and play mat. To further spark imaginative play, Flaim created a matching fabric crown.
“I incorporated a variety of textures and patterns that are inspirational and bold. I used anchors to inspire children to be captains and embark on journeys,” says Flaim, whose Quilted collection bears a fearless nautical pattern perfect for maiden voyages. For the Newbie collection, Flaim designed a smaller, age-appropriate HERO blanket that babies could use as a cape later in life. “Ryder is always in my heart reminding me what I am doing has important meaning,” says Flaim. “His spirit pushes me to continue my work.”