Lori Lane got the idea for The Infantry while she was busy working at Cartoon Network.
"I was in charge of special projects, and for the last two years I was recruiting artists for special projects," says Lane. "At work, I watched everyone else draw and I got interested. My friends were artists, and they encouraged me to come draw with them."
At the same time, Lane was blowing off steam playing video games. Well, one video game, really.
"I play a lot of first person shooting games, but at that time I was playing a lot of Battlefield 2 on Xbox online," says Lane. "I was playing with and against a lot of people in the military."
Then, Lane was invited to a baby shower by one of her male friends. It was a co-ed shower for the couple who knew they were having a baby girl.
"I was looking around at this sea of gifts that were pastel pink, and I felt so bad for my friend," says Lane. "I was thinking about him carrying around a pink diaper bag with pink ponies, and I wanted him to have something that wasn't so... pink."
Lane got the idea for the M.R.E. baby bottles, which is military lingo for "Meal Ready to Eat," and the rest of The Infantry line fell into place from there.
Lane kept the look of the main line based around the military, especially the stencils they use on the sides of crates and bags. In addition, Lane included several more up-to-date pieces in the collection, while maintaining a simplistic art style.
The Infantry is Lane's first licensed property, and last year she attended the show as an observer. She took every seminar and met as many people as she could. This year she will be back in her own booth, ready to bring The Infantry to the masses.
In addition, Lane's Infantry line has products for the whole family, including a line of dog tag artwork that features phrases such as "Recruit," "Cadet," "Grunt," "Chief Blanket Folder," "Gunny" and "First Shirt." These phrases are also available on t-shirts for brothers, sisters and parents.
She would like to expand her brand to include anything and everything dealing with babies, and has gotten feedback that there's a demand for a teen line, which is in the works.
"The gender neutral color scheme is easy to coordinate, without being boring," says Lane. "Our main color scheme remains a traditional olive and black, but we have several other palettes to choose from. Most of our colors mix and match well with other pieces. With so many pieces of art and captioning to choose from, clients should able to find several combinations to target their consumers."