Friday, July 28, 2006

Babywearing conference

I am super busy getting ready for the Babywearing Conference in Portland, Oregon next week. I'm scheduled to teach several sessions, many about breastfeeding and babywearing. I have a really great outline for ONE of the sessions - the other ones I'm still working on. I also somehow got roped into doing the fashion show! It will be fun, but it's going to be very busy.

I love Portland. The conference is at Reed College, and we get to stay in the dorms, which should be fun. It will also help me not be terribly nostalgic for dorm life and sharing a microscopic bathroom with three other teenage girls.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

KEYE video

Here's the video on KEYE - very, very nice. Thank you KEYE!

Southwestern @ Georgetown alumni profile

Southwestern University, my alma mater, profiled me in the alumni magazine, Southwestern@Georgetown, out today. The new magazine isn't on the SU website yet. I'll post the whole article later.

ZoloWear takes Central Texas today!

KEYE website: Local Woman's Designs Keeping Moms Stylish

The article about ZoloWear is on the KEYE website - but no video clip yet.

Here's the article:
Jul 26, 2006 3:38 pm US/Central
Local Woman's Designs Keeping Moms Stylish

Elizabeth DannheimReporting
(CBS 42) AUSTIN The idea to carry your baby using a sling isn’t new, but looking stylish while doing so is. A local mom designs the hippest baby slings around.

The idea to design a baby sling came to Darien Wilson through her daughter Zoe.

“I wore one I bought in town for the first 18 months of her life,” Wilson said.

The sling was useful but not very fashionable.

“Just because I wanted to carry my baby in a hands free, comfortable way doesn't mean I want to wear patchouli,” Wilson said. “I was definitely looking for a more urban look.”

So Wilson made her own baby sling and thus Zolowear was born.

“Zolowear is my daughter's name Zoe Love,” Wilson said. “She was born on Valentine's Day 2000.”

Modern, hip, cool are just a few words that describe Zolowear.

There's even a silk brocade sling. “You walk in a room with a silk brocade sling and all eyes are on you,” Wilson said.

A top seller for Wilson is her solarveil sling. “It's a mesh fabric that's sun blocking,” Wilson said. “It's really great in Texas, in the summer. Personally I love it.”

The slings are adjustable, which allows the mom to choose where to put the baby.

“The baby can be worn on the front, the baby can be worn on the back when they're a toddler and that can help distribute the weight too,” Wilson said. “They're really easy for nursing and the slings with the extra fabric, the tail, can be used for covering up when nursing.

Business has been good for Wilson. Most of the orders are made online, but a handful of stores around Austin, like Dragonsnaps carry Zolowear.

“We have increasing sales with them over the years,” said Shari Cargile with Dragonsnaps. “People love her slings. We'll definitely continue to carry them as long as she makes them.”

Wilson has no plans on stopping anytime soon. Running Zolowear out of her home allows her to be close to her kids--sometimes as close as her hip.

For the mom who doesn't like that extra tail, the sling provides pouches, which offer a more streamline look.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Monday, July 24, 2006

KEYE 42 news interview!


KEYE 42 news interviewed me today! They have a running segment about moms, and heard about me, so they came out to find out all about ZoloWear.

Thankfully we had the weekend to straighten up the office! It's usually fairly organized, but it was REALLY slick today.

They were over an hour late (and kept calling and apologizing about it - they were extremely nice). This gave me time to get really nervous. At the beginning of the interview, I was stumbling over my words. Later in the interview, I think I did better. It is hard to be calm and act natural with a giant camera right in your face. Making my babywearing video was easier, because when I stumbled over my words, we would just do it over. There are some very funny outtakes there, I'm sure.

They were here for almost an hour. They took a LOT of footage, yet I’m sure the clip will be really short. It will be on the KEYE website, she said, “forever”. Elizabeth Dannheim was as nice as she is pretty (very). She did a good job putting me at ease.

They photographed me putting Clark in the sling, and he was a wonderfully willing model. They got some great shots of him going into the sling and me walking around showing different slings with him in the sling. I also showed Liz how to put the sling on, while wearing Clark. It was only when he started chanting “nay nay” (that is what he calls nursing) that I tried to take him upstairs to the sitter, and that was a no go. He was content to work on a puzzle in the office, though. They took a shot of him working. They took lots of shots of stuff around the office, including slings. Elizabeth was really jazzed about the solarveil.

They wanted a shot of Zoe, since it all started because of her. She said she was fine with it, and nodded sweetly. Then they turned the camera on her, and she started screaming with her mouth closed, stiffening her body, and making animal noises. Turn camera away, she acts normal, put camera on her, she freaks out. So they took a picture of some pictures of her instead! Other than being embarrassed by her, which I was pretty much expecting, it went just fine.

They also went to Terra Toys, a retail store that carries our slings.

Elizabeth said it should be on this Wednesday at 5, and she’ll let me know if that changes. Very exciting stuff!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

NEW! Sapphire Solarveil, exclusively at Peppermint

Sapphire Solarveil

LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE. A dressy, pretty Solarveil®! Our popular Texas turquoise mesh pairs perfectly with our sapphire paisley cotton sateen pocket. Solarveil® will keep you cool at the park or wading in the pool. You can even wear it in the shower - bathe your babe right through this breathable mesh fabric. Featuring ZoloWear's secure zipper pocket and comfortable shoulder design. Small, lightweight silver anodized rings look great with turquoise and prevent slipping of this lightweight fabric. Breathable, open knit weave blocks 70-80% of the harmful UVA/UVB sun rays. 100% poly fabric dries quickly and softens with use. Crafted with pride in Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

July 20, 2006 press release: Texas Baby Slings Manufacturer ZoloWear, Inc. Unveils the “Sunscreen Sling”

ZoloWear helps baby carriers evolve into practical choices for every season.

Austin, TX (PRWEB) July 20, 2006 -- ZoloWear, Inc., manufacturer of baby carriers, helps parents survive the summer sun in style with their breezy mesh baby slings. The Sunscreen Sling is made of Solarveil®, a breathable polyester mesh that blocks 70-80% of harmful UVA/UVB sun rays. Quick-drying Solarveil® baby carriers allow families everywhere to stay cool at the park or wading in the pool. Useful year round, Solarveil® also works in the shower. Baby can be bathed right through the clever mesh fabric.

Unlike front carriers with narrow straps and two carrying positions, the ZoloWear Sunscreen Sling distributes baby’s weight evenly and baby can be carried in six positions, including front, side, back, and nursing. Best of all, every ZoloWear baby carrier includes a FREE interactive instructional DVD. Keys, money or sunglasses can be kept in the handy zipper pocket, available in solid colors or a variety of fun summer prints to spice up any parent’s fashion sense a bit. Because traditional sun block is not recommended for babies under six months old, the ZoloWear Sunscreen Sling’s loose “tail” is perfect for use as a blanket to protect baby from the sun. And the tail doubles as a cover for a new mama’s belly!

ZoloWear, Inc. was the brainchild of Darien Wilson, an Austin mom who has become a babywearing guru. Not just another mom trying to sell baby craft items, this “Mompreneur” has built a booming business based on one of today’s most convenient, must-have parenting items – the baby sling. Baby slings and pouches help parents carry their children safely and lovingly. And ZoloWear has turned baby slings into fashion accessories that are hip enough for parents around the globe. What sets ZoloWear baby slings apart from typical baby carriers are the delightful fabrics. No tie-dye or yellow duckies, only gorgeous, wearable fabrics. About ZoloWear, Inc.

ZoloWear, Inc. is a privately held corporation founded by Darien Wilson and named for her daughter Zoe Love, who was born on Valentine's Day 2000. ZoloWear’s core purpose is to bring mothers and babies together, beautifully. Products include silk, cotton, or Solarveil® baby slings and pouches. Products are constructed sweatshop-free in the USA. For more information about ZoloWear products call toll-free 888-285-0044 or visit the web site at http://www.ZoloWear.com.

June 28, 2006 Press Release: Texas Baby Slings Manufacturer ZoloWear, Inc. Showcases Its Incredible Designs with A New Look and New Web Site Features

June 28, 2006 – Austin, Texas – ZoloWear, Inc., manufacturer of baby wearing products, showcases their stunning merchandise with a marketing makeover and great, new web site features that make browsing and shopping online an enlightening experience at www.ZoloWear.com. The site is growing right along with this family-friendly local business that met its financial goals and celebrated profits for the 2005 fiscal year. ZoloWear, Inc. helps families across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and other countries experience the ease and comfort of babywearing instead of toting around heavy car seats or uncomfortable baby carriers.

This small, homegrown company is proud to unveil their easy-to-navigate new web site packed with high-tech navigation. The web site www.ZoloWear.com features side navigation that helps users sort by product type (slings, pouches, bags, etc.), by size, by price, or by fabric. The site also features a new photo gallery so that buyers can visualize patterns and materials as seen on models and moms actually using the products.

ZoloWear, Inc. was the brainchild of Darien Wilson, a local Austin mom who has become a top supplier in the baby wearing market. Not just another mom trying to sell baby craft items, this “Mompreneur” has built a booming business based on one of today’s most convenient, must-have parenting items – the baby sling. Baby slings and pouches help parents carry their children safely and lovingly. And ZoloWear has turned baby slings into fashion accessories that are definitely hip enough for Austinites and parents around the globe. What sets ZoloWear baby slings apart from typical baby carriers are the delightful fabrics. No tie-dye or yellow duckies, only gorgeous, wearable fabrics.

About ZoloWear, Inc.ZoloWear, Inc. is a privately held corporation founded by Darien Wilson and named for her daughter Zoe Love, who was born on Valentine's Day 2000. ZoloWear’s core purpose is to bring mothers and babies together, beautifully. Products include silk, cotton, or solarveil baby slings, pouches, and diaper bags. Products are constructed sweatshop-free in the USA. For more information about ZoloWear products call toll-free 800-609-7792, send an email to customerservice@zolowear.com or visit the web site at www.ZoloWear.com.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

overstocks


I just put a limited number of medium cornflower blue and sage green cotton slings in the factory outlet. They are 25% off - $59. There’s nothing wrong with them – we are just overstocked in this size only. This is a great opportunity to stock up on a gift!

Also, a discount code for free domestic shipping – FreeShip. It's good 7/19/06 to 8/1/06, and is not retroactive.

Monday, July 17, 2006

new print

We need a name for that new paisley turquoise and brown print. Ideas?

I am working on a trifold brochure and a packaging insert this week, along with general production stuff.

Friday, July 14, 2006

new stuff


Today we shipped out new solarveils to Peppermint.com - turquoise solarveil with sapphire paisley print pockets. Really pretty! No photos yet. We need to do another photo shoot - already!

Recent additions:
java silk slings
zen garden slings
isis cosmos pouches (no photo yet)

we're working on:
turquoise/brown paisley sateen (photo at left) - slings in production soon
reprint of jetson on fabulously soft sateen - ring slings AND pouches by fall
chocolate brown hemp - fabric on order
peppermint pink silk redux

Recent Press:
babygadget

vacation all i ever wanted


I went out of town last weekend, which required lots of work before, during and after. Also, both of my children have been sick in the past few weeks, and my husband has been very sick with unexplained fever. So I've had less time for work than I usually do. Now that I'm back from vacation, I need a vacation.

The vacation was a trip to Boulder, Colorado, for a dear friend's wedding. Naturally, I had to wear the new Java silk sling with my Ruby Pearl dress. Clark is 2 years 4 months, and he was grouchy and fussy, still getting over his illness, as the wedding began. In the sling, he fell asleep quickly, and stayed asleep through the entire wedding, about an hour and a half. He had been saying, "I HATE weddings" repeatedly earlier in the day, and thankfully he did not shout that during the wedding as I feared.

I own at least 30 baby carriers in brands other than my own, and have tried on and played with many more than that. There are a few other carriers that are very different from ring slings and pouches that I have really enjoyed using extensively - a stretchy wrap and a structured soft back carrier in particular. But I always come back to ring slings and pouches. They're fast, easy, comfortable and pretty.

This year, I've flown to Orlando, San Francisco, and Boulder, and we're going to Portland, Oregon next month. Ring slings are my favorite carrier for getting through the airport. I've tried back carriers, both mei tais and structured soft carriers, and while they get the baby out of the way for easier luggage toting, they take longer to put on and take off than a ring sling. The baby carrier has to be completely removed to go through airport security. And I find the ring sling a bit handier than a pouch because my ID and ticket can go in the pocket for easy access.

Although Clark is certainly old enough to walk, and we don't use the sling much around the house, I'm still so thankful for the sling when we travel. In the airport, I know exactly where he is in the sling. A toddler could get lost so quickly in those crowds! It's scary. And at the wedding, not only was he able to sleep during the wedding, but he was able to stay close when he woke up and was feeling groggy and unsociable and, well, clingy. Slings are perfect for those days with sick toddlers who don't want to be put down.

Many new parents are looking for the one perfect baby carrier that will take them through all their months (they can't imagine years yet) of babywearing. Yet even with a 2 year old, I pack three carriers when packing as light as possible - a soft structured back carrier, a cotton ring sling, and a silk ring sling. I could skip the silk if I wasn't going to a wedding, but then I'd probably want a solarveil for anywhere with swimming. On car trips, I often use my long woven wrap to cover and carry several bed pillows, and then I have another carrier handy if I need it.

Carriers are just accessories, like jackets or purses or shoes. They come in formal and informal varieties, summer and winter, sporty and spicy. I can't imagine wearing the same pair of shoes every day for three years, so why would I try to make one baby carrier fit every season and occasion?