Hello to all my readers and welcome to my first official giveaway on my blog! It’s a great one too! Please enjoy the following interview with Rachel Panush, founder of the Posh Papoose babywearing company. Of all the ring slings out today, Posh Papoose offers some of my absolute favorites. They are made of rich, high-quality fabric, and with quality in mind. I’m thrilled to feature this wonderful company today! I am very interested in the wonderful, family-run babywearing companies that are on the market now, and this is the first of four such interviews.

Keep reading to find out how to win a Posh Papoose Babywearing Prize!

Andrea: The first thing I noticed about Posh Papoose® slings was the abundance of beautiful, unique fabrics you use. Can you tell me about your fabric selection process? How, where, and why do you choose the fabrics you do?

Rachel:I evaluate potential fabrics based on different criteria: my own reaction, aesthetics, customer potential , functionality, wearability, appeal, texture, and price.
After deciding if I like a print or fabric on a visceral level of color & design, then I basically ask myself various questions:
Would it appeal and be flattering to women of different colorings?
Could it be unisex?
Does it have a nice hand feel? Is the fabric the right weight for a sling? How would it look as a sling?

I’m very drawn to sophisticated, contemporary designs and beautiful colors. I like unusual color combinations and abstract designs. My personal design taste includes Klimt, Matisse, Japanese and Scandinavian textiles, Art Nouveau, and mid-century modern. I’d love to make slings in lush fabrics decorated with beads and crystals but it probably wouldn’t be baby-safe!

I find fabrics at  fabric shows, fabric company showrooms, and sometimes if I see something great at the fabric store, I’ll track down the source.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also take into account color trends I’ve noticed in my business and try to predict what I think people will go for. It’s an art, not a formula, and sometimes I’m taken by surprise by the successes and failures in the collection, but I learn from that. I try to have something for everyone.

Andrea: Could you tell me a little bit about the evolution of your business? How did you make the decision to start a babywearing company? How many slings did you make yourself before hiring freelance seamstresses? What do you think the next step will be for Posh Papoose®?

Rachel: I was a professional silk painter for many years before I had children and I always loved beautiful textiles, modern design, fashion, and art. When I was pregnant, I became aware of slings, but the ones I saw in stores did not appeal to me. I went crazy at a fabric store. I made myself about seven slings and then I could not stop! I needed one in every color, to match every outfit. Nesting instincts gone wild, you might say. I was having fun with this concept and hoped that other moms might agree that these were some unusual and attractive slings.I can sew, but not at a professional level, so I hired good seamstresses early on. They have mostly come from entertainment & design backgrounds but my most valuable seamstress, Julie, is a full time mom who hails from Ireland. I’m very grateful for her talents.

I’ve been gearing up to handle more volume so that we can sell to more bricks & mortar shops both in the US and internationally. Our web sales are strong, but I think it’s a plus to be able to see our slings in person. I think the fit and fabrics impress even more in real life.
 
 

 

 

Andrea: How did you come up with the name Posh Papoose®?

 Rachel: I wanted something memorable, but catchy, and to convey the sense of style and quality hat drives our company. How many different ways can you refer to a baby sling? It was a creative challenge, and I’m glad I found something no one had thought of yet! I always planned to make other items too, so I tried to use a name that might extendable to the range of products we offer, not just slings. A “Papoose” refers not just to the sling itself, but also refers to the baby. And “Posh” lets you know that we’re about having fun with style too, and that a sling doesn’t have to be made from dull or juvenile fabrics – it can be sassy and have flair. My last name is “Panush”, so I thought that if our trademark was rejected (it wasn’t), then I’d call it “Posh Panush” instead.

Andrea: What sets the Posh Papoose® ring sling apart from all the other slings out there?

Rachel: There are many little details that go into our deceptively basic sling. Firstly, I hand pick high-quality, unique, beautiful fabrics from a variety of sources. We even offer eco-friendly Bamboo and Bamboo blends. Some of our pima cottons are very soft and light. I buy the biggest sling ring for the best adjustability. I have fine-tuned the length of the sling, the length of the rails and the size of the batting in the shoulder pad and pocket to be as perfect as possible for most people.  We customize upon request, but you can tell from our reviews that most people find our sling  very comfortable. It has a big pocket and a Velcro® tie that allows you to shorten the tail. When you put stuff in the pocket, it’s annoying when it bangs against your leg, so you can just hook it up to the rings, and voila, it’s not on your leg anymore! Our batting is very light and soft. We could make an unpadded sling, and it would be easier for us to make, but I think a little bit of cushion in the right spots makes it more comfortable for wearer and baby, and makes it easier to use by making the sides easier to find. When your baby is screaming, you don’t want to be searching for the sling rails and fiddling with the fit. You want to throw it on quickly and get your baby settled fast! I pride myself on quality construction and design, and they are all made in the USA, under my picky guidance.


Andrea: What is your favorite thing about owning a babywearing company?

 It’s  an extension of who I am – a mom with creativity and passion. I love design, textiles, parenting, babywearing, and entrepreneurship.  I get to help other parents be closer to their babies without sacrificing their own sense of style.  I think good products can be attractive, well made too, and it’s very satisfying when customers tell me they are happy with our slings and that they can’t live without it! I’m also having fun, by the way. I pick fabrics that I think have a playful spirit and I am enjoying myself. It’s just a pleasure to have an identity and activity that does not require tushy-wiping, you know?

Andrea: What is the most challenging/difficult thing about owning a babywearing company?

A lot of people still aren’t familiar with babywearing. It’s not a “Main Street” type of phenomenon yet in most of the country. So the burden is on us to explain what a sling is, what it does, why you should try it, and finally, why you should try ours!

 

Thank you, Rachel, for this interesting and inspiring interview, and for the high-quality product that you have put so much heart into.

If you would like to win a Posh Papoose gift pack, including a sling, child’s hat, and wipe pouch, please surf on over Posh Papoose and take a look at their non-silk slings. Then, come back here and leave a comment below, telling me which bamboo-cotton sling is your favorite.

Note: Rachel cannot promise that the hat, pouch and sling will match, but she’ll try her best to make sure the size and color of hat are appropriate for your baby’s age and gender.

To obtain extra entries for all of this week’s babywearing giveaways, feel free to do any or all of the following:

  • Blog about my babywearing Bonanza
  • Email five friends, with a Cc to me at: wamcmann(at)telebeep.(dot)com
  • Post the Babywearing Bonanza button in your sidebar
  • If you choose to do any of the following, please let me know, so I can add you to my extra entries list!

This giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m., CST, September 7.

 NOTE: There has been a change in the prize. The prize will be a non-silk Posh Papoose sling of winner’s choice, instead of bamboo-cotton. Bamboo-cotton is eligible, but subject to availability. No change on the hat or diaper pouch.

 


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