Motherhood changes women in unexpected ways. Some find their hearts grow with their bellies as they become more selfless and amazed by just how much love they have to give. And for others, a child completely changes the direction of their lives—which is precisely what happened to Catherine Figler when she jumped from being a musician to a mother running her own handmade baby carrier business.
After doctors told her she couldn’t conceive, Catherine and her husband lived happily-married for almost 11 years before her son came along and gave them the surprise of a lifetime. Elated about the baby, Catherine ran to the store to buy all the baby essentials and a wrap to hold him.
When Nathan was born, they tried out their wrap and found it was too sweaty. Yet like Goldilocks testing out the chairs, Catherine kept trying until she found one that was just right.
“I either felt the carriers we tried wouldn’t work for me or if they did, they would be uncomfortable for him. I really wanted a carrier though, because in tight spaces and stores, everyone hates you when you have stroller!” she laughed.
Determined to carry her baby, she started making her own little prototypes and testing them with Nathan.
“My friend saw it and asked me to make her one too. And then her friend saw it, and then another friend saw it…and before I knew it, I had a baby carrier business.”
Since her son’s arrival 4 years ago, Catherine has made nearly 400 baby carriers. Now, it’s time to take her business, Kanaluti, to the next level.
“I want all moms to be able to experience the carrier. Women tend to categorize themselves as just ‘stroller moms’ or ‘carrier moms’—but it’s all part of motherhood,” said Catherine.
As she set out on her mission to make ergonomic baby carriers, she paid meticulous attention to detail when selecting and testing different materials.
Now, she makes her Kanaluti carriers with quite a fascinating combination of things:
- Polar fleece waist padding creates a strong hold, molds to the wearer and allows for airflow
- 100% cotton canvas skeleton can be customized with decorative fabric on the front
- Industrial polyester thread (the same kind used on sails) holds the carrier together with precision strength and features a special coating making it safe and non-toxic
- US military high-grade buckles keep the baby safe and snug with a secure connection
Catherine’s design also features unique elements specific to her carrier, including:
- Curved shoulder straps that match the curve of the mother’s body
- Weight distribution that stays mostly on the mother’s hips to keep the back free from strain
- Ergonomic support for the baby that keeps their knees resting higher than their bottom which creates an “M” shape as opposed to other straight leg carriers
Catherine already applied for a design patent on her carrier and is focusing her goal on meeting the current demand for her product. Up to this point, she has been making all of her carriers by hand with the help of a seamstress.
She now wants to scale production and make her baby carriers available to more moms. Best of all, this American girl is striving to make her product 100% in the USA. To accomplish this, she needs help taking her business to the next level.
If you are interested in helping Catherine or getting involved, reach out on Facebook.
“Don’t give up—always ask for help,” is the most important advice she wants to give for other moms.
As an inspirational mom, she certainly practices what she preaches. Thanks Catherine, for inspiring us with your passion and determination to get your business off the ground–and those babies on backs!