Please help us give a warm welcome to an amazing Platinum sponsor...
The Wrapsody team has been a fantastic BOND partner so far, and we can't wait for you to get to know them better! Kristi Hayes-Devlin, Founder and CEM, is joining us today for a beautiful piece on Wrapsody's product line and their partnership with BOND....
Babywearing and Connected Parenting Can Change the World
At Wrapsody, we believe that well-connected families have the freedom to form strong, healthy attachments that are the foundation of strong, healthy adults. Babywearing is often a cornerstone of the parenting styles shown to have the greatest positive outcomes for children, families, and communities.
My vision when I started this company was to share the joy of babywearing with every family, everywhere. If my company can empower more families to use babywearing to stay connected with not only their babies, but themselves and their communities, I truly believe the effects will ripple outward.
Well-connected families are strong bricks in the foundation of a connected, cooperative, society. It sounds lofty, but I truly believe that babywearing and that educators who teach families about connected parenting can change the world.
Wrapsody Baby Carriers
When Wrapsody was a kitchen table business and still called “Gypsy Mama” in celebration of my great grandmother’s heritage, gauze wraps were the staple product.
These custom-dyed, appliqued creations would evolve and become our Breeze wraps after I connected with a Balinese artisan, a single mother who owned a small batik and sewing operation. At the time, there were few options for prints in the woven wrap industry – mostly stripes and a few small patterns in the Didymos line.
The market for stretch wraps was similarly straightforward. The wraps available were in solid colors, and they were quite narrow and fairly stretchy. I set out to design a different kind of stretchy wrap, and I introduced our Hybrid line – wide and supportive enough to carry toddlers on the back, and yet light enough to be comfortable even in hot weather. Even better? They were drop dead gorgeous, unlike anything else on the market at the time.
Additionally, in my personal quest for a daily shower, I had sought and found the ideal fabric for the first “Water Wrap” on the market, now called the “WrapDuO.” I was excited to stumble into a high-tech, recycled sports-knit that made a supportive, fast-drying and very comfortable baby wrap that felt like a high quality bathing suit. Bonus? It’s dressy and gorgeous and slinky in appearance and makes a very glamorous stretchy wrap even out of water!
We tried several other products, long retired now – wool wraps, microfleece, hemp-silk, towel pouches, and even special babywearing coats and ponchos, but until recently, our lineup did not change much after 2006.
Now, we’ve worked with Jan at Sleeping Baby Productions to create what we think is an amazing ring sling. It’s a soft, lightweight, yet cushy cotton-linen fabric blend, batiked in signature Wrapsody style. Jan’s special pleated shoulder creates amazing “comfort channels” that make this sling ideal for new babywearers and works with nearly every body type. The engineering in her shoulder design is magnificent. She was a brilliant pioneer and I’m honored she’s let us license her design.
We’ll be displaying all of these products in the BOND Museum-style boutique with special pricing for on-site educators.
Integrating Personal Values With Company Ethics
I’ve always loved learning and regretted, a bit, that I didn’t go into a research field. I was quite young when I started Wrapsody – 25 – and not long out of college, where I graduated with a degree in education. Teaching and learning are my greatest passions.
With each product we introduce, I apply this passion, testing fabrics for comfort and breathability – sometimes hundreds of swatches – to choose the ones that act in the way I want them to.
Research and education in the babywearing field have come a long way since 2004. I’ve always kept my finger on the pulse of information in order to ensure my teaching and products are in line with evidence-based practice. It was exhausting trying to chase this information down as an individual, and when CPSIA legislation was passed, it was only because my babywearing mentors were paying close attention that I knew about it.
I began working to form a trade organization so all companies could benefit from better understanding of laws, research, and regulations and speak with one voice, whether those were the voices of educators, of manufacturers, of retail stores, or of manufacturers of coats or sling rings. In June 2010, at 37 weeks pregnant, I began forming the first board of what would become the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance. The BCIA has made it much easier for those in our industry to share information, research, and knowledge, and Wrapsody is one of the many companies and organizations that have benefitted from this!
Why Wrapsody Wanted to Sponsor the BOND Conference
The Center for Babywearing Studies is another such company. Joanna has done a beautiful job of collaborating with colleagues both in the babywearing field and also other related fields to bring together information in carefully tailored classes.
By creating the BOND Conference, the CBWS team will be able to bring components of their work to people in a much larger category than “babywearing educator/manufacturer/retailer,” and I could not be more pleased!
BOND, to me, embodies our mission of connecting people and families, and really lives their own principle of “one family at a time” by reaching out to those who work with families. Everyone who leaves this conference will surely be better able to help parents and families understand the need for healthy, strong attachments – and as I said in the beginning, I really do believe that strong, healthy attachments in infancy leads naturally to strong, healthy adults, who become important members in a connected, cooperative, and compassionate society.
I am honored that Wrapsody can sponsor BOND and excited to come as an individual to learn and bring that learning back to our website and my individual work with families and educators, and also, to our product design. Joanna has a special gift of shining a new light on each piece of information she presents, then tying seemingly disparate pieces of information together. I leave each interaction with her carrying a new perspective, and I am confident that this conference will bring tremendous value not only to Wrapsody and those of us attending, but that each attendee will touch many others. One family at a time, we are making a tremendous impact on one another and on humanity in general.
Thank you, Kristi, for this beautiful blog on your company, and to the whole team at Wrapsody for their support of the BOND Conference!