Tuesday

cxd baby™



Success Through Play™ had the pleasure to speak with Chi Lan, Owner/Designer of cxd baby™ who resides in Canada with her family.

Chi Lan is a self-taught sewer and designer, and has been sewing seriously since her late teens. (In another lifetime, she’s worn many hats, as a teacher, writer, editor, and translator, when she was living in Montreal with her husband.) She’s now mother to two wonderful kids, aged 6 and 1 ½, who both serve as fabulous spokes babies. She lives with her husband and children in Bowmanville, a lovely small town near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In her spare time (ha!), she still manages to write, edit, and translate several projects a year, in addition to homeschooling her kids.

Please can you tell our readers about your company and what inspired you to start it?

Soon after our daughter's birth in 2001, we discovered that there was a name for the parenting philosophies and ideals that we instinctively wanted to practice: "attachment parenting". It all started with an on-line search for information on cloth-diapering, something that we knew we really, really wanted to do once our child was born. Readings on cloth-diapering led to breastfeeding and lactivism, to co-sleeping, to babywearing . . . and before we knew it, we realised, “Oh wow. This is how we feel, and someone’s already come up with a name for all of this!” When it came to babywearing, we tried an uncomfortable front-pack carrier, an uncomfortable padded sling (both well-known brands), and a WAHM-made unpadded sling that wasn't quite our style (and that, to tell the truth, fell apart within three months). Our local La Leche League only carried bulky-looking padded slings with zoo animal themes or dull colours, or what we called “drapery florals”. So owner Chi Lan decided that she could design her own fashionable, comfortable, unpadded sling. She floated the idea among friends about possibly selling some, received many curious requests and compliments, and the company was born in January of 2002. Chi believes that at that time, cxd baby was the first in Canada to openly associate the terms "fashionable" and "stylish" with baby slings (where previously, they had been merely “functional”), and many customers told us that cxd baby was a trailblazer back then, when we exhibited at a trade show in Toronto, wearing slings of silk brocade, silk dupioni, and beaded detailing. (Sure enough, visiting the same trade show this year, other vendors came up to me and said, “Oh we remember you four years ago. You were the only one walking around here with silk brocade and fashionable slings. Now look—there are at least five other sling-makers here this year, doing the same thing.”)




How did you come up with your company name "cxd baby™"?

We named our company "cxd baby" because our first-born child's initials are CXD (and she was the inspiration for this, after all). Besides, we thought that the pronunciation of the letters "CXD", when said as a word, sounds like "kissed", so it made for a cool slogan.

We asked Chi Lan about her personal experiences with babywearing in Montreal.

When I was slinging my babe in Montreal six years ago, people would come up to me and say, “Oh, did you invent that?” or “Is that how they do it where you come from?” (Being of Asian ethnicity, I got that question rather frequently.) And it was so weird to me, because Montreal is so multicultural and open-minded, that you’d think they’d seen it all before. But no, slinging was still a bit on the fringe back then. So I had a feeling then that my mission with this company was, and still is today, to make slinging more accepted in mainstream parenting by making it look great, so that it’s viewed less as a “granola” or “ethnic” way of parenting.

I want to make parents proud of what they’re wearing, so that each parent goes out and becomes a walking billboard for babywearing (and hopefully from there, for breastfeeding, co-sleeping, cloth-diapering, etc.). I want parents who are wearing a great-looking sling, with a happy-looking baby, to turn heads in a positive way, so that people are no longer saying, “What a novel idea to keep your child happy and comfortable, and what do you call that thing?” But rather, “Oh, I already know all about slinging! Now tell me, where did you buy that fabulous-looking one?”


What inspired you to create the Ecologic collection?

We’ve been offering organic cotton since about 2002, but we always made sure to include possibilities to make it more stylish (with embroidery, or ribbon trim, or beading, etc.), just to set it apart from the other organic sling options out there. Now, the bamboo is new to cxd baby since January of 2007, and we’ve been playing with it since 2006. This was purely because 100% bamboo had not been made widely available before, and especially never been made into baby slings, to our knowledge. It just made sense to take organic fabrics to a new level. After all, we’ve been growing bamboo in our garden (in zone 5, at that!) for six years, and eating it our whole life. So we had already known of bamboo’s wonderful qualities long before it became “eco-chic”. To be the first to offer baby slings in fabric made of this truly versatile and all-round fabulous plant makes us extremely proud.




Please tell us the unique properties of your 100% Bamboo fabric?

This super-soft bamboo is a jersey knit that is a dream to hold against your skin, and everyone to whom we’ve introduced this fabric has said that they can’t believe it’s bamboo. It feels more like a silk than something that people would associate with a tough, woodsy plant. In addition, the stretch makes it especially suitable as a pouch sling, for a snug but comfortably stretchy baby-carrier. Our supplier tells us that these knits are “finished and dyed in an closed, environmentally-friendly facility. No dyes, bleaches, or finishing residues are released into the environment.”


FEATURES OF THE cxd baby Bamboo Mei Tei and Slings (according to cxd baby)

  • naturally anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial
  • requires no pesticides in its cultivation
  • reduces body odours
  • highly breathable, as with all natural fibres
  • has wicking properties that are far superior to cotton
  • suitable for those sensitive to allergens
  • purported to have an inherent UV protection factor
  • being the fastest-growing plant on Earth, can re-generate to its full mass within six months, and can be continually harvested every three years.


PURCHASING


Shop at one of cxd baby's™ retailers:

http://www.cxdbaby.com/Retailers.html

Shop on-line: http://www.cxdbaby.com/ShopOnline.html


Success Through Play™ comments:

cxd baby™
offers Mei Tais, Rings Slings and Pouch Slings in a variety of different fabrics and trims. The Ecologic collection from cxd baby includes carriers made from organic cotton and carriers made from 100% bamboo fibre! "For the environmentally-conscious among us and those who want the best for our children, it's only "logical" that we choose these ecological and sustainable fabrics. We offer continually-stocked solid colours, as well as a changing selection of prints, in both Bamboo and Organic cotton" says Chi Lan.




cxd baby™ sent us a gorgeous brown bamboo Mei Tai (100% bamboo fibre) to review. Chi Lan explained that "this newer version of the Bamboo Mei Tai have flat, reinforced straps, so that they don’t roll as much". The cxd baby™ Mei Tai is beautifully made and one can clearly see the time, effort, skill, dedication and love that has gone into the manufacturing of each cxd baby™ product! The bamboo fabric is a dream to touch and feels like a blend between silk and an ultra-soft cotton! Our parent panel couldn't stop touching the bamboo fabric and couldn't wait to test drive the Bamboo Mei Tai as they felt that the soft luxurious fabric would be ideal to carry baby in! The panel were fascinated by Bamboo's natural properties (anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, grown without any pesticides) and commented that it would be an excellent choice for baby! The parent panel commented that the cxd baby™ Mei Tai was supportive and felt "so wonderful to wear!". Baby was content and enjoyed being carried in the Mei Tai. We applaud kissed baby for their Ecological Collection! Each cxd baby™ product is manufactured in a fair work environment . cxd baby™ offers a full range of products including innovative accessories and adorable organic cotton T-shirts for babies. and is committed to bringing out new designs and products to meet their customers expectations.

Highly recommended


4 comments:

David said...

I am very glad to see products that are viable for Dads as well as for moms. The slings, wraps, carriers etc shown here are really great to help the Dads bond with their babies as well as the Moms. This is so important, compared to strollers where the parent and child cant usually see each other. For a working Dad this is very important since there is already so little time available for bonding with the child.

Alyssa said...

Wow, bamboo carriers! This is awesome. We have bamboo flooring throughout our house! I had no idea that Bamboo can be turned into a soft fabric and possesses those unique qualities. This is exciting!!

Anonymous said...

New Balance has started to make running clothes out of bamboo for the same reason's listed for baby carriers. I'd love to see more things made out of such a green product

Success Through Play said...

Stay tuned because we will be featuring a variety of products made from bamboo fabric in the months to come.