It's good that Alex Rodgers is so soft-spoken. It means he can better overhear people’s reactions when they see the quirky designs he makes for Lil’ Burritos, the children’s clothing and decor line he runs with his wife, Stephanie. “We have a note list on our phones of things we hear from people as they walk by at shows,” he says. Founded in 2010, the line includes onesies and tees (newborn to 4T), and art prints with illustrations of anthropomorphic avocados and tacos, and “Pooperhero,” a take on the poop emoji sporting a toilet paper cape. It’s a side job for Alex, an American Greetings greeting card illustrator, and Stephanie, an elementary school teacher. “It’s a combination of our two career paths, since I make whimsical artwork and she loves teaching kids,” he says.
Picture Perfect: Every design begins with one of Rodgers’ hand-drawn pictures. “Once I get that, then I scan that into the computer and I work with it in Photoshop.” Once the design is final, it gets screen-printed onto tees.
Burrito Branding: The company name came from the couple’s fav cuisine, and a bit of wordplay. “Whenever we see a little baby swaddled, we would always call it a ‘little burrito,’ ” says Rodgers. “And Steph and I love Mexican food. Always have, always will.”
That’s a Wrap: Each onesie or tee comes wrapped up in foil like a burrito. “We had this eureka moment where we were like, We can just wrap these up in foil and package them that way,” he says. “People love giving them as a gift because it’s a unique way to give somebody a onesie.”
Edible Inspiration: The inspiration for many of his designs is a simple one: food. Think pierogies, peaches, s’mores and more. “Over the past few years the designs have started to slowly revolve around food,” he says. “So people started calling me the ‘cute food dude’ since I make a bunch of cute food characters.”
Calling Card: While many cultivate side hustles as an escape from their routine, Rodgers’ day job serves as inspiration. “Working as a greeting card designer, I’m surrounded by pun culture,” he explains. “What I always try to do in my own work for Lil’ Burritos is to try to make other people laugh or smile.”