After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A little silly history

It's quite a phenomonon. You know--you find something you love and swear by it . . . until it doesn't work for you anymore. It's happened to me. Babies grow. Babies change. Carriers you once swore by no longer work the way they did.

It's why there is such a dizzying array of carriers to choose from out there. Mei tais, pouches, ring slings, wraps, soft structured carriers, and everything in between--not to mention those little front packs that make you want to rip it off and throw in the garbage can outside the store because it hurts your back and/or shoulders so badly. And it's why Silly Goose mei tais are designed the way they are.

As I've said before in a million places (or so it seems) the first carrier I really loved was a mei tai. But my baby grew and soon it was not meeting the needs she had--to have her legs out, comfortably.

So, I started sewing. The narrow based carriers I made were only a temporary solution and I knew I could do better. I'm sure the other adjustable base carriers out there are fabulous. I looked at them. But something kept me from buying them. I think it was the fact that my nearly-three-year-old would have had the same problem with them that she had with the original carrier. She would have hung in it.

I gathered some materials and my kids and went to visit my parents in a different state. What else do you do when you have a serious problem? My mom has a sewing business and I can sew and let my kids run wild with grandpa. We're all happy.

After presenting my problem and raiding her shop for additional supplies, I set to work. I measured both kids and drew up a pattern. A few hours later I had something. And it was quite the something. I don't think it's very often that I've hit on something so right on the first try--sometimes dinner even takes a couple tries, and I do that every night!

I made a few more and made a few small changes and showed it to a couple of my mama friends. One of them looked at me with a look I that I will never forget and said in a tone I will never forget, "Heidi, there is nothing like this out there!" Another friend took one to try and told me that she'd go into business with me if I'd let her.

So we did. And after several months of talking and planning and making them for local friends and friends of friends to use and test, we formed an LLC. Silly Goose Baby, LLC. Janurary 22, 2007. It was official.

I have since lost her as a business partner, but not as a friend. The carrier design has still changed very little. I've added a tall version, lengthened the standard shoulder strap length, settled on standard strap fabrics, and have improved the way the carrier is reinforced. But that's about it. I did try buckles, but I felt the comfort and versitility was lost in the design.

And business is good. It's just enough for me to make it worth my time, and not so much that I can't get it all done. It is, after all, just me. I sometimes still catch myself using 'we.' Sometimes it's a throwback from my days as a business partner. Sometimes it's me and my two kids (three in July). Sometimes 'we' just sounds better, less "Hey! I think pretty highly of myself!" Sometimes it's me and that silly goose Wisteria. But it's just me, with my kids on tow, doing the day to day stuff it takes to run this business the way I think it should be run between what it takes to keep up a marriage and a household the way I think those ought to be kept up, as well as raising a few kids. All a balancing act. But today we went outside and found an abundance of spring puddles to splash through.

What does the future hold? I know that just as well as you. In the mean time, happy babywearing!

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