You ever hear about an event or a place you’d like to go, but then back out at the last minute because the logistics of getting there–bringing yourself, bringing everything you need, parking–are just too much to bear? Now imagine throwing kids in the mix, who while adorable, can make even a quick trip to the grocery store a transportation nightmare. That’s why we were more than delighted to interview the makers of modern baby transportation units (you might know them as strollers) not because they look modern and cool, but because they are making parents’ ability to move baby from point A to point B much, much easier.
Bumbleride is helmed by the attractive and well-spoken husband and wife team of Matthew and Emily Reichardt. Parents of young kids themselves, they knew firsthand how tough it could be to find strollers that fit their modern aesthetic, were made well, did everything modern strollers needed to do and were safe and healthy for kids. Not happy with what was on the market when their kids were needing transportation, they combined their skills to start Bumbleride.
Even just glancing at Bumbleride strollers you can see that they’re unlike a lot of what’s available today. They have an elegant simplicity to them that makes them perfect for what many young modern couples are looking for. They really consider what today’s parents need in terms of different lifestyles, especially in tight and complex urban environments. Their attention to detail is evident, and they have a huge variety of accessories that can be added on to their products for ultimate customization depending on each family’s needs. I don’t have kids myself, but I sort of wish it were socially acceptable for anyone to use a stroller–I could really use these for carrying my stuff around!
We sat down with both Matthew and Emily to learn about their backgrounds, what sets their products apart and more. Check it out:
Our podcast music is “Dropping out of School” by Brad Sucks, licensed for use
under Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
As always, the transcript of this interview is below, but don’t forget to download the Bumbleride 2Modern Interview for your own personal listening pleasure. AND not only is Bumbleride a 2Modern vendor, they’re one of our newest. Welcome to 2Modern, Bumbleride!
2M: We’re here with Matt and Emily Reichardt, who are the husband and wife team behind Bumbleride. We’re very excited not only to interview them but also to welcome them as some of the newest venders to the 2modern website. Welcome and thanks for talking with us.
MR & ER: Thank you Adrienne
2M: So Matt, let’s start with you, complete this sentence: Bumbleride is a company that makes:
MR: We design and manufacture baby strollers. We consider ourselves in the baby mobility business, so any way to move a baby from point A to Point B.
2M: Do you guys have your own kids?
ER: We do, we have three kids actually. We have a seven-year-old, a five-year-old and a one-year-old. So we’re busy.
2M: Emily, was that how the company started? You guys started having kids and didn’t like what you saw out there?
ER: It did start…that’s definitely a big part of it. I was pregnant with our first child, Matt was already working in international business and doing importing and exporting and through that he was already dealing with some baby goods. But yeah, we definitely as consumers ourselves saw a large void in the industry at the time.
2M: What are some of the specific ways in which your strollers move kids from point A to point B?
MR: What we try to do is we try to look at what parents are trying to do…the challenges of getting the stroller in and out of the car or in a more urban setting like getting in and out of apartments, subways, whatever it may be. We try to design around that. The other thing is we really focus on what’s best for baby. So we look at the development of babies from birth to two, three, four years old using the stroller. What would be best from an ergonomic stand point for their development? In doing that, that’s kind of the objective. We try and do all that and put it in a really nicely designed and clean package.
2M: I guess I never really thought about how a baby uses a stroller versus a four-year-old. How are the ways that you design for those different ages?
MR: Well the biggest thing from an infant standpoint is…we’ve done quite a bit of research and talked with pediatricians about this…the most important thing with them is they don’t have the neck strength to hold their head up at an early age, so supporting their head and neck is very important. There’s also another important aspect for newborns which is hip movement, being able to flex and abduct their hips to be able to develop correctly. And from an emotional standpoint, the first year of life is building trusting relationships, so allowing your kids to interact, so whether it’s facing the stroller in one of our Carry Cots or with our reversible handle stroller or reversible seat stroller, so that’s the most important part for an early age. Then as they move into their second year, things change: they want to look out more and explore what’s happening. So to position the stroller in a comfortable way so that they can see what’s going on, and really just explore in the travels from one place to another.
2M: Emily, what do you guys as stroller designers look to for inspiration for your modern designs? Because I’ve seen your strollers and they definitely have a very cool-looking aesthetic to them.
ER: I mean of course we are aware of what competitors are doing, but I think firsthand, the most obvious, is that we are parents ourselves. We have children at three different stages of growth and so, looking to see not just as designers but as actual users of the product how we can improve or add a feature or add an accessory that makes the life of the parent that much easier or the comfort level of the baby. When we first got into the business, like I mentioned earlier, we definitely saw that void I was referring to. It was just seeing something fun, seeing something colorful, and seeing a design that wasn’t just black, gray or navy. And now we’re reintroducing some of those classic colors, but initially we brought in a lot of pop of color, a lot of fun prints and accessorizing with color. In little ways, like the lining of the hood, something enjoyable for the baby to look at whereas for years all you were seeing were more tacky prints.
MR: One of the things we also look to related to your business is chair design. We’re making chairs for infants and children. But looking at some of the classic chair designs and the more innovative chair designs and the way that they support and even fold.
2M: What do you think are the biggest differences between your products and other strollers?
MR: Probably the biggest thing that we differentiate ourselves in is we try to look at what’s best for baby, and all of our design decisions are based around that. But from a design aesthetic and design form perspective, we try to keep our designs clean and simple. We don’t like to over-engineer products. Typically the stroller industry is engineer driven. Our company, we like to think, is a little bit more design driven. So we come up with concepts and actual designs first, and then try to figure out how to engineer them, rather than vice versa. It’s clear that our designs have a simplicity to them, and a cleanness to them, and in our opinion that makes them very unique.
2M: I absolutely love talking to married couples who also run businesses, tell me, how does it work?
ER: Currently I’m very busy with the one-year-old at home, so I end up working some from home and coming into the office when I need to, and troubleshooting. Mostly my end comes in with the design aspect. I’ve very appreciative to be able to be home with the children. So Matt actually has a great work routine where he drops the kids off at school in the morning, I pick them up; during the day I’m at home with the baby. Of course it sounds simpler than it is; life is really hectic and always really busy. But we try to keep things simple, like Matt was mentioning with our stroller design, but we really love the word “simple;” we talk about it all the time because we’re trying to keep every aspect of our lives simple to be there for our children. Matt has a great schedule here at work where he works Monday through Thursday and if he has the need he’ll work from home on Friday but otherwise he can usually take Friday’s off and have a three-day weekend with our family. So we find that just to be vital, and then we he does come to work, he can bring that fresh approach and he has that balance in his life, but then of course it ends up benefiting all of us.
2M: So what is coming up for you guys in the upcoming months?
MR: Well we have two new editions that we’re really excited about. One is the Movement edition that’s going to be launching this spring. And it’s really focused more on the action, sports lifestyle, it’s featuring a stretch neoprene fabric, that’s water resistant and has an SPF 45 protected canopy. I think it’s going to be really fun. It’s coming in these two edgy colors, black and a gray. And the other is our Natural edition, which is going to launch later in the spring, and is focused on using a recycled fabric, polyester and bamboo-blended interior so it’s a really soft touch. They’re really elegantly designed and they come in a deep chocolate brown and a blue ocean color.
Part of our company direction and the branding is making a lifestyle company, so these two collections will help in the lifestyle branding because we’re addressing parents who live in different lifestyles and different locations and have different interests. So we try to tailor our products to the lifestyles that people have in different niches, the different activities they’re involved in, to see if we can more closely align our products with their lives. We have a lot of exciting things coming up for 2011.
2M: Cool. Well hey, Matt and Emily, welcome again to 2Modern and thanks for talking with us today!
MR: You’re welcome
ER: You’re welcome.
2M: If you want to know more about bumbleride, Matt or Emily, you can get all kinds of great information and product photos on their website, bumbleride.com. You’ve been listening to a 2modern designer interview. For more fun podcasts, inspiring design posts and design advice, check out the blog at 2modern.com