If you have ever carried a baby, you know that you are always swaying to make up your mind between putting her down because it is not really convenient trudging a baby along whenever you go and wanting to hold her just because she is so adorable or she needs you. When you finally decide to put her down, your senses are assaulted by the wailing or pleading and back she is on your hip. Result: You are bone-tired( literally) just carrying her all day long. The inconvenient buckled saddles don’t do much to help because they are, well-inconvenient!
Research in Baby-wearing studies have shown several benefits that come from holding the baby close to you. Increased skin-to-skin contact can help dramatically in soothing colic babies, in increased attention spans and also in higher cognitive cognitive development for the baby. Studies also show it can dramatically reduce post-natal depression in new mothers resulting in increased bonding with the baby. For a detailed account of how babywearing should be done, here’s Babywearing 101 for you!
If you are wondering where you will find the perfect solution to keep your bones and your baby happy ; look no more. Meet Chinmayie Bhat, the founder of Soul Slings. Chinmayie is on a mission to help other parents find the perfect way to bond with their babies- just as she herself did.
Kidskintha did an exclusive interview with Chinmayie Bhat. Read on to know more…
What was the inspiration behind your start-up? Is your start-up an answer to some challenge you came across yourself?
The story begins with the birth of my daughter 6 years ago. She was a high needs baby who wanted to be carried constantly. At that point, I knew very little about babywearing. By the time I had my son a year ago, I had done a lot of research online and bought a baby carrier. I began to realize that this carrier did not suit me, my baby or the Indian climate. I decided to buy a ring sling from abroad as they weren’t available in India and I fell in love with it immediately!
My newborn son was comfortably napping on me while I sat and read books or went out for walks with my 5 year old daughter. Every time he was crying, all I needed to do was to wear him in my ring sling and he would settle down in minutes. I felt that every parent should have a ring sling.
That’s when I decided to start ‘Soul’. It was time India had a Ring Sling brand, which has locally made, well-constructed and elegant. So I decided to do it myself. We take care to make very stylish slings, in differnt fabrics and prints. The sling can occupy a very proud place in your wardrobe!
What led you to believe that this would be your niche?
Being a mother myself, and having used and loved ring slings, I knew that every parent would benefit from having a ring sling. I knew the ins and outs of baby-wearing, what its benefits are and how it could create deep and long lasting bonds between children and their loved ones. Everyday, parents who use Soul Slings share pictures, updates and stories of their lives and their children with me. Those are what make me believe that this is my niche.
What is your start-ups big picture? Do you believe your idea can change the world in some way?
Soul celebrates babywearing and attachment parenting. Both children and care-givers benefit greatly from baby-wearing physically, psychologically and socially. We believe that wearing your children can create a happier and healthier world.
Do you see the internet as your biggest online partner?
Yes! Social media networking is a growing resource, and can help increase your brand visibility. It is also a useful platform for parents to share their personal stories and experiences, upload reviews and share tips. Babywearing is a growing market in India, and the internet is one of the tools we use to promote the practice of babywearing, and help parents discover the joys of babywearing for themselves!
How big do you envision your market size and reach to be? What is your revenue model? Who are your competitors?
We currently ship all over the world, and so we hope our market size and reach will only continue to grow! We are our own competitors, as we constantly strive to grow and improve.
What is your brand proposition?
We strive to create emotional connections around the world, and promote the practice of babywearing through our locally constructed, affordable, stylish and elegant baby carriers.
What are the current marketing efforts being incorporated? What do you see as necessary to take your business to the next level?
We use Social Media and we network within the growing community of babywearers to reach out. We promote via Facebook and YouTube, where we have clear step-by-step tutorials. We have Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts where the newest updates and information is shared. We also benefit from word of mouth, as happy customers always recommend our ring slings to other parents or friends.
What does your typical day look like juggling between mom responsibilities and owning a business?
The biggest challenge is being able to manage work and home. Soul is growing and I kids are growing as well! I’m constantly on my feet all day long! Both require a lot of time, patience and energy.
Managing a start-up has lots of challenges. It’s hasn’t been easy to multi task and look over every little detail of the business. I really enjoy it though. It’s something I am passionate about. As a mother, I use my product myself and that gives me a great understanding of what I sell.
However, finding a balance between work and family has helped. I also prioritize my work so that I can spend time with my husband and children.
What is your personal mantra for motivation?
I get messages and emails from my customers everyday. People thank me for the products, and share snippets of their life with me. There was one mom who wrote to me about wearing her son when he had a little accident and how she could comfort him in the hospital in a Soul Sling. She told me how special Soul was to her and that had me in tears. As a mother myself, it is very satisfying that I am making a product which makes a difference in another mothers life. These stories are what keeps me going.
What message do you have for other aspiring Momprenuers?
Try to get as much help as possible from all possible sources. There is no point in doing it all and getting burnt out. Doing anything else while being a parent is like doing 2 full-time jobs! Prioritizing and keeping time for family is also very important.
Tell us what you like most about Kidskintha.
I really enjoy reading KidsKuips as it shows how children think. My 6 year old daughter sometimes says things that are so interesting, funny or surprising!