Four years ago I had my second baby and I needed to find an awesomely comfortable, yet cute and versatile carrier to sling her in.  Then I ran into the company, BabyHawk …and I just knew I had to land an interview with the founder.  So I contacted her, and liked her right away.  She told me her entire story of how she began her babywearing business.

Just so you know, this interview took place in 2009– so although a few of her family details have changed since then I’m sure, her business has only grown stronger.  Enjoy the interview!

************************************************************************************

ME:  Can you tell me where you live, a bit about your family, and what a typical day in your life is like?

Robyn: We live in Oceanside, CA. We moved here 5 years ago from Chicago. We initially just came out to visit family and fell in love with the area. My husband is Case. He is an elevator mechanic  and we have been together for over 11 years. We have 3 children:  Kayli (10 yo), Talen  (4 yo) & Kirin (1 yo).  Kayli is physically and developmentally disabled. She was born with gastroschisis, a birth defect that causes her stomach, appendices and intestines to be on the outside of her abdomen. We knew ahead of time and were prepared for her to be in the hospital while they repaired that but when she was 2 weeks old she contracted group b strep sepsis and meningitis, which left her severally brain damaged. She currently is developmentally around 18 months old and severely visually impaired. She is in the 5th grade and is doing great! Talen is your average 4 year old, he is in montessori school and also is taking Taekwondo. He was also born with a severe birth defect that fortunately was repaired and hopefully will not be an issue for him when he is older. Kirin is our baby, and he was born healthy with no problems at all!  We originally were not going to have any more children after Talen since his birth and what followed was so traumatic for us, especially after having Kayli go through what she did when she was born.  But Kirin turned out to be a wonderful close to that part of our life with no issues at birth and we were able to have a normal birthing and baby experience. He is a little red head, that everyone asks where he came from (both of our mom’s have red hair).

Also my mom lives with us, she works at BabyHawk full time and also helps me tremendously at home with Kayli and the boys.

A typical day is busy, we get the kids up around 6:30 and get them ready for school/day care. Kayli and Talen go to school and I drop Kirin off at a home day care. I then go to work at BabyHawk for the day. I usually take off around 3-3:30 to collect the kids and go home and start dinner. Casey and I are avid exercisers, we usually go to boot camp 3 nights a week at a local park after dinner. We bring the boys to play while we sweat! And the other two weeknights I take a Spin and Yoga class and Casey goes to Kung Fu. The kids stay busy either at the park with us or playing with Grandma until bed time at 8.

ME: What inspired you to start your company?

Robyn: When Talen was born I realized that I needed a carrier so that I could tend to him while also taking care of Kayli.  I looked around and didn’t really find a carrier that met my style as well as needs and realized quickly that I could probably make a carrier that would do both.  That’s when the first BabyHawk was born.  After wearing mine for awhile, I had friends ask for a carrier and then someone said I could sell them.  I started selling them when Talen was only a few months old on Ebay and by the time he was 6 months old I had a website with a full shopping cart.  People always ask where I got the name from and its because when Talen came out he had a little baby mohawk, so the name was just born from that.

ME:  How have you found balance between your professional and home life?

Robyn: When I first started BabyHawk I was literally sewing them on my kitchen table in our tiny apartment and I would be up all hours of the night and weekend.  As the company grew I was able to hire a few seamstresses and some of them have been with me for years now. Having trusted employees has made it easy for me to be able to manage BabyHawk while also leaving myself some leeway to be with my family.  Our warehouse is very family oriented and all of my kids spend time there on a weekly basis.  I also make sure there is time for the things that are important to us including days with the kids and dates with my husband.

ME:  Can you tell me more about your baby wearing journey?  How did the idea of wearing your baby transform into a reality in your life?

Robyn: My babywearing journey was born out of need as I mentioned above- I needed a carrier so that I could also care for Kayli.  I truly believe its what helped us get through many difficult times with Talen (and even having Talen in a carrier helped me get through many difficult times with Kayli as well).

ME:  What makes BabyHawk slings stand out from the rest?  How are they different than other slings and carriers on the market?

Robyn: BabyHawk offers an unmatched selection.  We have 16 strap colors and over 300 fabrics, making the possibilities literally endless, so that any parent can find a combination that suits them and their lifestyle.  The design is simple and classic and the BabyHawk can be used by many different people, because each time you put it on you get a perfect fit for you. The carrier can be shared amongst many caregivers with no adjustments to the carrier.

ME: How challenging is it to convince new parents of the benefits of babywearing?

Robyn: A lot of new parents put a standard big-box, front carrier on their baby registries thinking that they will just use it for a few months, but soon come to realize that the carrier may not fit them correctly or they outgrow it.  So it’s not necessarily convicing them to babywear, its convincing them that there is a BETTER way to babywear that will get you beyond the first three months of their baby’s life.  Babies don’t magically wake up one day and not need their parents to hold them anymore- all babies enjoy being close to their parents.  Babywearing makes getting back into the world after you have your baby possible. I’ve often found myself in a place that has a “no stroller” sign, but its no problem because when you are wearing your little one, you can breeze through all of the crowds- and no stroller areas, no problem.

************************************************************************************

Thanks, Robyn!  Awesome interview!  And just so you guys know, I got my first mei tai carrier that same year (2009) and if Baby #3 rolls around, guess where I’ll be shopping?  Check out BabyHawk’s website for more information about Robyn’s business and to support babywearing.

0 Shares