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Bad Dads Are Rad – Meet Cody DeBacker of The Bad Dads Club


image of a dad and his boys getting ready for a road trip

The Bad Dads Club hits the road. (This dad is wearing the Send It! t-shirt)

Take a look at the typical dad on TV or in the movies and chances are you’ll see a kind of goofy idiot. The bumbling but harmless dodo who means well but needs help when it comes to family stuff. As a dad of two little kids myself, I know there are definitely days that I can barely navigate the deep waters of parenthood. But there are many more days when I feel like a rock star.

That’s why it’s so awesome to see a store like The Bad Dads Club. Founded by Cody DeBacker to celebrate rad families and cool dads, The Bad Dads Club sells smart, cool and funny clothes for dads, moms and kids. And it takes an ugly old phrase and flips it on it’s head.

We interviewed Cody and spoke about why he started the business, what goes into making it a success, and why being a bad dad is actually really good.

So tell us about The Bad Dads Club. What is it and who are your customers?

The Bad Dads Club Clothing Is For Loving Moms, Dads & Kids.

I am the founder and our customers are families who love parenthood deeply and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

What made you decide to start the business?

I grew up in the fashion industry and as I am getting older and seeing my friends get married and start families I wanted to create a brand that they could wear and cherish everyday! I have BASIC clothing design knowledge and a background in marketing & sales so I pieced the two together and created The Bad Dads Club. I am definitely learning as I go!

They say that to be successful you have to be passionate; why do you love what you do?

I love waking up everyday and seeing the ear to ear smiles from my beautiful wife and child. They drive me to do what I do everyday and create the love and passion for The Bad Dads Club. Fatherhood is COOL! Let’s embrace being loving Dads.

Has it been smooth sailing or have you overcome adversity to get where you are?

Running a brand is HARD. I have always been the driver in the sales and marketing seats but never on the design side. It takes a lot of work but you can do it. Believe in yourself and take risks.

image of the road trip tank by The Bad Dads Club

Road trip essentials. Coffee and the Are We There Yet? t-shirt.

We all know that crazy happens. What’s the wildest thing that’s happened on the job?

The name can be misconstrued so I have had people on social media call us out for promoting “bad parents” even though the culture we promote is loving families who are hip and cool. They obviously didn’t look through our page. The name is meant to evoke a feeling of “bad” being good. It’s on my team to promote the right voice for the brand and end bad parenting (or make it even “badder”).

What do you do with your time off? Are you familiar with that concept?

I don’t know what that means 🙂

This is the age of the social network. How important is social media to your business and how do you make it work?

Social media drives our sales. We are creating a club aspect that people want to be a part of it.

Why did you realize that you were going to embrace ecommerce?

The customer is at the center! I wanted to be an entrepreneur that embraced that concept.

How are you involved in your community?

We donate a portion of our proceeds to charities such as single mother housing groups.

image of a bad dad at Disney

Bad Dads do Disney. (Bad Dad’s Club logo hat shown.)

What does supporting local mean to you?

We love local businesses. We work with local businesses for our promotional products and even our printing and embroidery.

What does the future look like for you and The Bad Dads Club?

We want to grow globally (we are well on our way) and create the largest and most well known club of cool parents ever assembled.Do you have any advice for aspiring business owners just starting out?

You have to live your business. What does that mean? You have to wake up everyday and be prepared to invest your everything into the success of your company. With today’s social media age that we live in, people can see your every move if you let them. Make sure they see the “best” you.