In the swag
By Deb Silverthorn
For moms Rachel Cohen and Staci Rubin, Camp Swag is in session year-round.
The two friends and business partners have joined forces to create a line of clothing and accessories for kids and adults to cheer on their favorite camps and more. They are alumnae of camps Champions and Sabra for Cohen and the JCC’s Camp Chai and Camp Champions for Rubin, and both report that camp swag wasn’t on their radar as girls. Today the women have eight children between them at Sabra and Walden, and swag is in full blossom.
“Two years ago, one of our kids came home from camp and said some of their friends had cooler camp stuff than they did,” said Rubin. “I didn’t at first imagine a business, certainly not what has grown from that idea, but it jump-started a wonderful opportunity.”
For campers, college students and adults of all ages, Camp Swag’s clothing line includes tanks and T-shirts, sweatpants and sweatshirts, shorts and more. Sleep swag includes fuzzy shorts and pants, onesies, robes and spa wraps as well as blankets, pillow cases and even sleep masks.
The accessory line includes a variety of slippers, hat choices, headwear and jewelry. Banners, stationery and address books, dry-erase boards and masks of many designs all fill out the company’s offerings.
“We’ve sold over 2,000 masks and many drive-by celebration welcoming banners in the last 10 months,” said Cohen. “That was never something we could have imagined, but it has been the biggest part of our business with camp not happening last year. We’re so glad, for so many reasons, that camps are planning for summer 2021, but we know that masks are now part of everyone’s list and it’s fun to add the color in these tough times.”
Cohen and Rubin plan shopping appointments with their customers, either in-person and socially distanced, via Zoom or on the phone. Their clientele around the country seem as close as some of their neighbors as pandemic shopping takes place.
The next generation of Cohen and Rubin entrepreneurs have helped their mothers maneuver through social media and even TikTok postings.
Rubin and Cohen enjoy creating designs and finding new products to add to the line. Many of the items can be personalized.
Born in Dallas and raised in Plano, Rubin is the daughter of Florence and Howard Shapiro and a graduate of Plano Senior High School and the University of Texas. Previously a clinical social worker, she is married to Dr. Paul Rubin and is the mother of Brody, Eli, Natalie, Sam and Sophie. The family belongs to Congregation Anshai Torah.
Cohen, a native of San Antonio and daughter of Roberta of blessed memory, and David Greenberg, graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and the University of Kansas. The former Ann and Nate Levine Academy teacher, who also worked at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, is married to Greg and is the mother of Blair, Gabe and Reese.
The swaggy entrepreneurs met when Cohen was sweetheart to the BBYO chapter for which Paul Rubin was advisor. Years later, the two reconnected in Dallas, and Cohen and Rubin’s wife became dear friends, now co-owners.
“It’s a lot of fun to meet with our clients, no matter how it is, because getting ready for camp or school is fun and people are excited and in such a good mood,” said Rubin. “Even if it’s ‘just’ for everyday use, or shopping for gifts, this is fun stuff and I couldn’t have a more wonderful partner to work with and with whom to bring fun to our families.”
Colorful, washable and memory-making — it’s all wrapped up in Camp Swag.
For more information or to place orders, visit buycampswag.com.