Behind the Scenes Archives - Baby Tula Blog

Behind the Scenes Archive

From Sketch to Free-to-Grow “Doodle”

From Sketch to Free-to-Grow “Doodle”

Part of what makes Baby Tula unique, is how we strive to provide an abundance of different prints and styles that let you express yourself, or special meaning, through our carriers, blankets, and backpacks (!!!). From bold, whimsical designs to more understated styles, we make an effort to have it all! A fun detail about some of our designs is that they usually start as sporadic doodles in the sketchbook of our creative graphic designer, Nicole! We chatted with Nicole to get to know her a little better and learn a bit more about the process of taking sketches into becoming our favorite Tula items that arrive at your doorstep or local retailer’s shop!

ABOUT TEAM TULA MEMBER, NICOLE:

Nicole comes to Tula HQ, in San Diego, by way of Madison, Wisconsin. She attributes her technical skills and honed “design thinking” to her time at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she received her degree in Fine Arts in Design and Visual Communication. In addition to her knowledge in graphic design, Nicole also spent time traveling to explore art and the design industry.

Nicole was not familiar with Baby Tula before joining our team, but when applying for the position she went onto our website and fell in love with what she saw! We are excited to have Nicole on the team and have her fresh perspective inform our long standing effort to be creative.

ABOUT OUR GRAPHIC DESIGNER’S PROCESS:

Often, Nicole works closely with Ula, our founder and president, to start brainstorming and looking for inspiration, researching what people are most excited about, do some trend forecasting, and collaborate with our team to give the community what they want! Our main goal is to create a design for everyone, so they can see a Tula item and think, “This was meant for me!”

When possible, Nicole will work internally or with a partner brand to develop hand-drawn designs, like our original print used for the Doodle Free-to-Grow. It started with a mood board and some hand drawn sketches in a notebook. Then she’ll bring the sketches into Photoshop and Illustrator to refine, refine, refine, colorize, and organize into a pattern. The best variations of the design are shared with Ula and other Tula Team members for feedback. After which, there are many iterations until we finally reach an, “OMG YES” moment. Then, then our production team works to bring the design to life as it’s printed onto fabric and constructed into carriers, blankets, or backpacks. The process involves different expertise, inspiration, and collaboration because we enjoy bringing lots of different designs and forms of expression to you! Be sure to follow us on Facebook for previews and updates on all of our newest prints.

 

Love the Look & Feel of Tula

At Baby Tula, intuitive design and distinct style have always been driving forces in our product development. Ula, our founder, began Baby Tula because she wanted to reflect her own personality in her carrier, while she comfortably held her baby. This founding belief in expression and design have always grounded us in products that not only look great, but function effortlessly and let you keep doing what you love.

As the Tula community has grown, we are continuously listening to your feedback, watching the newest design trends, and pushing ourselves to create appealing Tula Baby Carriers, Wovens, and Blankets! Whether your personal look is more muted or whimsical or feminine, Baby Tula has a carrier for you. We have found inspiration in various forms, such as: analogue film, tiled floors our design team has spotted on their travels, architecture, flowers, and of course, our children!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Spring we were awarded a European Product Design Award for our Cacti Tula Baby Carrier. The award celebrates excelled product design in products ranging from futuristic vehicles to intelligent gardening, and we are very pleased to have been recognized in such a distinct field of products bringing the best of design to our everyday lives.

Be sure to watch our Style Guide page for updates on seasonal trends, choosing the perfect baby carrier for you, and of course fashion inspiration from our photo shoots! We also love seeing what you wear while using your Tula baby carrier, so don’t forget to tag us on Instagram (@tulababycarriers) for the chance to be featured on our feeds.

 

Weaver Spotlight: Meeyoo Handwovens

Multiple visionaries come together to create every single Tula Wrap Conversion Carrier, beginning with the variety of woven wraps that are sourced from around the world. Each woven wrap is creatively and thoughtfully designed with the intention of producing a functional art piece. We value the opportunity to work with these textile artists and celebrate them in our weaver spotlights. In this post, we feature the sisters behind Meeyoo, Angel and Cameo.

Who is behind the scenes of Meeyoo? 

Just the two of us! From the initial design process to the warping, weaving, on to the final hemming of the wraps and even down to the marketing, photography, packaging and shipping.  We are a two woman show and wear many hats!

How long have you been weaving? How did you first become interested?

We have both always been artistic, but expressed our art in different ways. We began babywearing over six years years ago and we loved it!  After getting our first handwoven wrap, wearing our boys in it and just really appreciating the artistry and amazing qualities of handwovens, we started to entertain the idea of taking weaving lessons. It was actually just a joke between the two of us for a while. Then for Angel’s birthday, Cameo decided to surprise her with weaving lessons for the two of us and this amazing and fulfilling journey began almost four years ago.  Now, we have two looms and each have home studios so that we can work and create while balancing family life.

How did the name Meeyoo come about?

We decided to take weaving lessons shortly after Cameo had her daughter Mary Lou. At that time, Angel’s 4 kids and Cameo’s 2 year old all lovingly called her Meeyoo as it was difficult for the younger kids to say “Mary Lou.” Because she was so little, Mary Lou was with us throughout our weaving journey, making the 4 hour round trips to weaving lessons and listening to all of our ideas and plans.  She was our mascot of sorts.  Meeyoo is also a play on words – Me + You, Angel + Cameo, Caregiver + Child. It could really be applied to any relationship. Thus, we create our wraps in pairs and always give them special and meaningful names: Pog Pog + Lou Lou, Partine + Udi, Oliver + Avery, etc.

How does being a babywearer prepare you for weaving baby wraps?

Being a babywearer helped us define what we liked and wanted in the wraps we create. We both love the feel and support of cotton and the look, support and simplicity of plain weave. We learned this by wearing our own babies, and of course by trying as many wraps as possible!  Babywearing and keeping our little ones close has also given us the encouragement that we needed to weave and put our wraps out there so others can keep their little ones close as well. We weave all of our wraps with nothing but love and appreciation for the amazing babywearing community that we feel blessed to be a part of.

Where are your favorite places to draw inspiration from?

Honestly, we find inspiration anywhere and everywhere!  New wrap designs never seem too far from our minds.  We are especially inspired by the beautiful scenery and change of seasons in our small Ohio farm town.

Please tell us about your design process. How do you decide on color, fiber and weave structure for each piece?

Deciding on colors usually starts with a big pot of coffee and some sister time together while our kids play.  Since we spend a good deal of time with each warp, we always make sure that we absolutely love each colorway and are 100% committed to it before beginning.  We basically decide on colors by trial and error – winding yarn onto small pieces of cardboard to make little mock-ups.  Sometimes we use inspiration photos or ideas.  Sometimes we have certain wrap names in mind.  Sometimes we just wing it.  But we always bounce ideas off of one another, laugh at one another’s “flops”, and have fun while creating.

As for fiber and weave structure, there are so many talented weavers in the babywearing community that specialize in different fibers, blends, weave structures, etc.  Early on, we decided that our “thing” would be to keep things simple and focus on what we feel are our strengths – amazing and sometimes surprising color choices, flawless (we try!) weaving, really neat selvedges, beautiful photography and great relationships with our customers.  We definitely favor 100% cotton plain weave because we feel that it best highlights our strengths and suits our personal tastes best as well.   We both love the look, simplicity, support and ease of plain weave, and while we are certainly are not limited to a specific weave, we favor plain weave for these reasons.

What does Meeyoo have in store for 2017 and beyond?

As work at home moms, sisters and best friends, Meeyoo has become our passion and outlet.  Cameo has baby #4 arriving in September and Angel’s baby #5 will turn one this summer, so we are working on business ideas that will work well with both of our mommy situations. We would love to expand the Meeyoo brand and get our designs into as many homes as possible, and we are also always looking for new product ideas to bring Meeyoo into our customers’ lives.  We love working with our customers and feel truly grateful to be part of such an amazing community.  We also love working with Tula, sending fabric, and creating exclusive designs for them.   We plan to continue to create as long as our amazing customers allow us to!!

Thank you to Cameo and Angel for chatting with us! You can learn more about Meeyoo on their Facebook Page.

BABY TULA X JU-JU-BE

Ju-Ju-Be and Tula Collaboration

We are so excited to announce the first Ju-Ju-Be x Tula collaboration!

Co-Designed with Ju-Ju-Be, Rosy Posy is the first collection in a new partnership between Baby Tula and Ju-Ju-Be to bring you quality, gorgeously styled baby carriers and diaper bags. 

Moms just wanna have fun! And what better way to celebrate the whimsical beauty of all moms than with the newest, dainty ‘Rosy Posy’ print!

A classic beauty comes to life in a pretty backdrop of oatmeal brown and grey, with delicate pops of red, blue and pink florals. The floral design perfectly suits an array of  Tula carrier options including our Tula Coast Carriers, the Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier, and our Tula Mini Toy Carrier

Baby Tula and Ju-Ju-Be are perfect besties, of the baby product world! Like Baby Tula, Ju-Ju-Be offers a variety of stylish prints in many different diaper bag and accessories forms. They strive to offer great options and make parenting fun with their clever prints that range from classic to whimsy. They don’t stop at setting a high bar for style; their bags are all hand-sewn, made with high quality materials, and have savvy designs too.  

Both companies have enthusiastic communities, offering various prints and styles that fit their needs and wants. Their close connection to the people who love both brands has created a worldwide network of families that bond with each other, as well as, with the companies. Bringing these two communities of passionate families felt natural and we can’t wait to see what fun this will bring! 

Stay tuned to see more peaks into the collection as we prepare for an early Summer release!

Be sure to follow Baby Tula and Ju-Ju-Be for updates!

Growth with Tula: Quality and Sustainable Production

As we continue to grow and focus on innovative solutions for families, we are continually seeking new partners that help us strengthen our production process. Once the concept of the Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier was finalized, we identified a production facility that shared our commitment to quality, social responsibility, community, and most importantly: families!

 We are proud to bring on a new production facility in India, to support our production capabilities in Poland and Mexico. Our new partner is a recognized leader for their production capabilities and specifically baby carrier expertise, including nine years as a trusted partner for our parent company, Ergobaby.

 Beyond their proven quality standards, we are pleased to leverage a partner who is certified (and set the standard) for social compliance. We have seen first-hand the excellent facility and were met with warmth and kindness when some of our team visited India.

As part of our visit, our Director of Operations, Kamil, planted a tree. This is part of a long tradition that the production facility has with each of their partners. You can also see Yassin, from Ergobaby, visiting the tree he planted during a previous visit. Being able to see the facility and learn about how they contribute to their community was very inspiring.  

As a company with a female founder and leader, we were happy to learn of our partner’s commitment to women, offering training and development programs specifically designed to promote women’s empowerment within their 95% female staff.

Just like Baby Tula, our new production partner shares a strong commitment to the community. In addition to working with local NGOs to give back, our partner has also led initiatives to install solar panels and water treatment systems to help advance the community towards renewable energy and sustainable business practices.

We are very proud to be working with this team that embodies many of our own values and to be expanding the Tula Love around the world. As you receive your new Free-to-Grow carriers, we hope you’ll take the time to appreciate the craftsmanship and care expressed through our new partners, and help us recognize how this opportunity helps us support our mission of promoting babywearing worldwide.