Yes, women are great, but that’s not what we celebrate on the 8th of March. So, what is International Women’s Day then?
Unfortunately, there are still many areas of life where women struggle for equality – be it salary or discrimination in different professions. Equality is therefore an important topic that discussed during International Women’s Day.
As we are also celebrating our 20th Ergobaby anniversary this year, on International Women’s Day we would like to celebrate not only all the women in our community, but especially the success of our founder, Karin Frost. Karin is a symbol of what women contribute to our society.
Karin was a single mother with limited financial resources, when she founded a company on Maui (Hawaii) that has since made the lives of countless families worldwide more ergonomic and easier. In doing so, Karin Frost revolutionized the way we carry babies today.
We would like to take you a little deeper into the Ergobaby story and let Karin Frost and Petty Rader, Ergobaby’s Chief Growth Officer & Chief Legal Officer tell you a bit more:
Karin, how did Ergobaby come to be founded?
“In 2002 I had just become a mum to a young son and was looking for a practical and comfortable solution to carry my baby on my body for everyday parenting activities such as shopping, housework, breastfeeding or gardening.
I was inspired by indigenous babywearing practices and the Continuum concept. The idea that we need to be treated with great care from birth to achieve optimal wellbeing in our future lives. As I was not 100 percent satisfied with any of the available carriers, I decided to sew my own baby carrier. I had, after all, trained as a clothing designer. It was inspired by the traditional mei tai baby carrier. I placed particular emphasis on ergonomics and comfort – for me and my child. To my surprise, the carrier was well received not only by my son, but also by friends and family. As more and more people around me asked me to sew a carrier for them too, I decided at some point to have the carrier professionally made and built up an online business. You could call it the birth of my second “baby”: Ergobaby.”
What were the biggest challenges when starting out?
“I didn’t have a lot of financial reserves and I didn’t take out a loan. I financed the first production of baby carriers with a little money my parents gave me. The sales then financed the next round of production and so it went on and on. I also didn’t like the international safety standards for baby carriers. So I lobbied hard at ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) to improve the testing guidelines. In 2005, I created a video demonstrating the safety of the Ergobaby baby carrier design and travelled to Philadelphia to present the video to ASTM. It took them four years to finally change the guidelines, but they did. Since then, there’s been a bit of Ergobaby DNA in every baby carrier around the world.”
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Embrace Equity”. Petty Rader explains how Ergobaby promotes diversity and inclusion
“Our vision is a global community that is resilient, empathetic, anti-racist, inclusive and welcoming so our children can live openly and without fear in a safe world. We invest in certifying and building diversity and inclusion experts within the organisation. We lead global best practices for diversity and inclusion. Ergobaby provide all employees with access to diversity and inclusion resources, complex topics such as intersectionality, inclusion and equity, understanding types of bias and learning key strategies to eliminate bias in the workplace. We also recognise that the importance of diversity in our imagery and stories has a positive impact on how we see the world. Ergobaby take into account differences in age, colour, disability, ethnicity, marital or family status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, veteran status and other characteristics that make people unique. The brand also strive to partner with BIPOC nonprofits, brands, thought leaders and influencers.”
What important lesson have you learned on the Ergobaby journey so far?
“That the bonds nurtured in early childhood can foster a life of love and connection. It can change our world and that’s why we do what we do.”
How do Ergobaby products support other women and their families?
“Every Ergobaby product is designed with ergonomics in mind. To keep the caregiver and baby safe, comfortable and happy. Our mission is to empower families to connect, grow and thrive by designing premium baby products with comfort in mind, without compromising on function and quality.”
And what about women at Ergobaby?
Petty Rader, who is also the women’s group lead at Ergobaby states: “We promote women within the company through our employee-led Women’s Leadership Group. In this setting, we always showcase successful women or caregivers and allow them to share ideas and find allies in the workplace. The group provides a safe space for women to talk openly about issues such as their challenges, career progression and concerns of working mothers. The group facilitates support and mentoring with a focus on advocacy for its members.”
Embrace your womanhood and your Successes.
International Women’s Day is only once a year, we encourage you to celebrate your womanhood and your successes on March 8th. Have fun!