What was your inspiration for the Frog Orange Baby Carrier for Water?
I have a true passion and connection with the water and love getting to the beach as often as I can. The idea was originally from my husband Adam. He didn’t trust himself with our new baby in the water and wondered why there wasn’t a structured baby carrier for water with simple buckles. The ones available were mesh slings and they had to be wrapped and tied a certain way.
How did you begin the design process and what influenced the design of the carrier?
My mother was a dressmaker and taught me pattern making skills, I also have a degree in sports science and very familiar with sports equipment, so I put these skills together to start working on the design. Neoprene was my first choice for fabric. It’s soft, stretchy, super strong and looks fantastic.
I love the water, the smell of board wax and wetsuits so I had a clear vision on how I could design a carrier that would appeal to not only Mums but to Dads as well. This vision included the key functional features my husband wanted like the quick release safety buckles. I love the sporty racer back design.
Besides your husband, who else did you collaborate with in the design process?
In the early stages of development, I worked with a baby-wearing consultant in Melbourne who provided some great advice on ergonomic sitting positions as well as design features I should consider.
Our carrier maintains that all-important "M" position of baby's legs recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. This is where your baby's bottom is positioned central in the carrier, is lower than their knees and their hips are spread open.
The overall design is intended to be super simple. It is semi structured so all you have to do to secure it is click a buckle, no wrapping or tying and the racer back feature ensures that the weight of your baby is distributed evenly across your back making it super comfortable. Our carriers are designed so you’re face-to-face with your baby to really connect and have fun with them and always monitor their face.
We also wanted a production partner that could deliver a super safe product, so we carefully selected our German owned manufacturer (based in Thailand) that specialize in deep sea survival suits. I spent six months preparing a prototype for production and a further two and half years working with our manufacturer. It took ten prototypes and two trips to the factory to finish with a brilliant looking carrier that is safety tested to European Standards CEN/TR 16512 (2015) and can be produced in large quantities.
What challenges did you have along the way and how did you overcome them?
I had a clear vision about what I wanted the carrier to look like, but it was a challenge to bring this to life and comply with safety requirements at the same time. That said, we’re really happy with the final product. It’s a beautiful balance between design and safety and we love the bright fun colours.
Transcript from my interview with KidsStyleFile 30 Jan 2017
Love Victoria x