Continuing our series of baby carrier manufacturer profiles, this week we feature Shirley Phillips, Debbie Phillips, Jennifer Field, and Andrea Phillips of Peapod Creations, makers of the award-winning Cuddly Wrap. Cuddly Wrap was given the PTPA Media (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Seal of Approval and Green Seal of Approval.
First, please tell us a bit about yourselves and your company.
As a company, and as family members working together, we at Peapod Creations believe in the importance of close, nurturing family ties. We are particularly focused on the needs of infants and young children and how parents can best fulfill those needs. Our company is also committed to “protecting the earth for future generations of little ones”. We are showing this commitment through our decision to change to organic cotton as well as using recycled/recyclable packaging.
On a more personal note, Shirley has been working with mothers, babies and young families for over 35 years as a maternity nurse, childbirth educator, board certified lactation consultant and La Leche League Leader. Andrea is an experienced office and accounts manager who works with families on a daily basis at a not-for-profit adoption agency. Jennifer, a licensed Occupational Therapist (OT), is the mother of three children, a daughter 8 years old, a son 6 years old and a son 2 years old. Deb is the mother of 3 boys, ages 6, 8 and 10 and has experience with direct sales and numerous years experience with nonprofit organizations working with mothers, children and their families.
Peapod creations seems to be a family affair. Can you tell us more about this?
Yes, we are definitely a family company. Shirley is mom to Jennifer and Andrea and mom-in-law to Deb. There are also six little ones who have occasionally helped fill CuddlyWrap orders over the past 5 ½ years! We have also enjoyed having our little ones take their turns as live models at trade shows and photo shoots. Many of our parent/baby models are family members, including Shirley’s husband, Deb’s husband, Deb’s sister-in-law and niece as well as Jen and Deb with their children.
What inspired you to become a manufacturer of baby carriers?
Our story begins with Shirley as a young mom making her own mei-tai and always on the lookout for a comfortable baby carrier. Fast-forward to Shirley as a grandmother and still on the hunt for the most comfortable baby carrier, making and giving different styles to Deb and Jen. It wasn’t until we found the wrap-style carrier (Shirley at a conference in the Netherlands) that we truly found comfort and versatility.
Our inspiration to become a manufacturer was given to us by other mothers! Wherever Deb and Jen wore their babies in their wrap-style baby carriers, mothers would stop them to give compliments and ask where they could get one. Peapod Creations was born from the desire to share this wonderful way of carrying your baby combined with the determination to provide the highest quality, eco-friendly fabric and instructions to our customers.
Did you ever have an ah-ha moment when you realized how much a baby carrier really does help?
Jen and Deb: I don’t recall an ah-ha moment so much as frequent moments of a deep sense of gratitude for my CuddlyWrap that allowed me to meet the needs of my baby and other children while Life happened.
Shirley: And my special moment was watching my 81 year old mother dance wearing her youngest great-grandchild in the CuddlyWrap.
Are there unexpected ways that you have seen a baby carrier make your own lives or the lives of your customers easier?
One story that stands out is a letter we received from a new dad who thought he wouldn’t be able to carry his baby because of his severe back pain that required him to use a cane for walking. With the comfort and ergononmics of the CuddlyWrap, he was thrilled to be able to carry his new baby!
And for Jen, it definitely made life easier during and after gall bladder surgery when her husband had to soothe a 6 month old infant at the hospital for 12 hours and then at home for the next couple weeks.