Swaddle-maker swamped after UK prince`s photo-op

It took 45 seconds, but it was enough. Newborn Prince George, carried from the hospital to the royal car, appeared in a cotton swaddle with the tiny birds on it.

Last Updated: Aug 03, 2013, 23:19 PM IST

London: It took 45 seconds, but it was enough. Newborn Prince George, carried from the hospital to the royal car, appeared in a cotton swaddle with the tiny birds on it. Mums-to-be around the world wanted to know: Who are you wearing?

The answer shows what it is like when a small company gets swept into the maelstrom of attention that comes from touching the golden hem of the House of Windsor.

Once the photos of the swaddle hit the Internet, style bloggers and fashion writers identified the would-be king`s new clothes as being from New York-based aden + anais. Within four hours of George`s appearance, the website crashed.

The next day, the site crashed again. In nine days, the company had 7,000 orders, a 600 per cent increase in sales on that item.

The company never even issued a press release. Anyone who wanted to know the manufacturer simply had to type "royal swaddle" into Google, and up it came.

Raegan Moya-Jones, the chief executive of aden + anais, was about to start a meeting when a colleague brought in the picture. She couldn`t believe it.

"I thought it was photo-shopped," she said.

The company is still digging out from under a pile of orders for the swaddle, part of the Jungle Jam pack of four that in Britain costs 44.95 pounds.

The average daily visits to its site were off the charts: In Britain, they were up 1,960 per cent; in Australia, up 892 per cent; in Japan 791 per cent and in the US, up 458 per cent.

So just be prepared to wait if you want to similarly swaddle your little prince or princess. Jungle Jam is sold out for now in Britain and the United States.

Desperate swaddle searchers can find them on the company`s Australian site if they hurry. Shipping fees are extra.

And there`s a factory run from China of 10,000. So hold on.
People just want to be a part of things says Cele Otnes, a professor of marketing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and co-author of the upcoming book "Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture." She said the rush to buy whatever the royals wear gives admirers a chance to participate in a big, happy event.

"This is history," she said. "If you can`t be there, if you can`t have a royal baby yourself, you can buy the swaddle."

The royals do grant warrants, a mark of recognition of those who supply goods or services to the Royal Household. Fortnum & Mason has one for example, for being a "Grocer & Provision Merchant" to the monarch. But there are no royal adverts.

AP