Many of the best-known baby carriers were created by mothers who still own and run the companies. This week we focus on mother inventors.
Susan Gmeiner first created a sling when she was a first-time mother trying to get things done while keeping her baby close. She preferred the adaptability of a ring sling. When she created her own pattern for a ring sling, she had a hit with neighbors and friends. She’s been making Maya Wrap baby carriers since 1996.
Corrine Mahar-Sylvestre is a mother of two children. She used baby carriers with her babies and promoted babywearing to others. She was still frustrated by what she had available. Since 2002, she’s been creating her own baby carriers. “I became determined to create a better baby sling, something attractive to mainstream parents and easy to use correctly, comfortably, and safely. My pouch-ringsling hybrid fit the bill.”
Beth Leistensnider created her first baby carrier in 2004 when she was planning travel with her 7-month old daughter and she needed a carrier that would be very comfortable and very compact. When she made her own carriers, “people on the street were offering to buy them off my back, so I thought I might be on to something.”
Lynne Banach is a mother of two children. When her daughter was born in 2005, her sister gave her a custom-made silk baby sling. She and her baby fell in love with babywearing. She made a sling for a pregnant friend, and a business was born. Now, her sister is her business partner, and they make gorgeous silk ring slings in a variety of colors.
Audra Meng is mother to two children. Keeping her first child in arms was the only way she found to soothe him, and baby carriers helped her to meet his need for closeness as well as working with her busy lifestyle. She really wanted a carrier that allowed her to carry her baby in the position that felt most natural to her, on the hip, so she applied her engineering experience gained earning her doctorate to babywearing.
Be sure to see our extended profiles of these baby carrier manufacturers:
- Peapod Creations – Shirley Phillips, Debbie Phillips, Jennifer Field, and Andrea Phillips, makers of the award-winning Cuddly Wrap. Peapod Creations is a mother affair. Shirley is mother to Jennifer and Andrea and mother-in-law to Deb.
- Beco – Gabby Caperon, designer of the Beco Baby Carrier, is mother to one son.
- TogetherBe / Peekaru – Melissa Radcliffe founded TogetherBe, which manufactures Peekaru babywearing vest, Peekaru ozone cover, and FreeHand Mei Tai baby carriers. Melissa is mother to three children.
Many baby products are created by mothers who are meeting their own children’s needs. This week we will focus on those mother inventors of byNature.ca products. Monday we covered Mother-made Cloth Diapers.