Meet the New QuirkyMama! (and a few other “new” things at QuirkyBaby)

19 Sep

Wrapsody Orca Sea World
Hi! I’m Rachel, the new owner of QuirkyBaby. I’m so excited to take on this new venture, after teaching elementary school for close to 10 years, most of that time as a kindergarten teacher. So, here’s a little background on me and my journey to QuirkyBaby…

After graduating from Connecticut College with a degree in Human Development and having completed the teacher certificate program there, I dove right into the world of early childhood education. As a teacher, my goal was always to interweave pedagogy and best practice with my knowledge of childhood development. In today’s world, unfortunately, developmental appropriateness and elementary school curricula do not always go together, hand in hand, but that’s a story for another day…

In May 2009, I was finally blessed with the birth of my daughter, Jane (after a bunch of miscarriages and a lot of trying!). Words cannot describe how overjoyed my husband and I were at her birth and have been every day since then. I’m sure many of you can relate! I hadn’t read any books about parenting, wasn’t even familiar with the term “attachment parenting,” or anything of the like. We just followed our instincts with our new baby, and didn’t worry about following any set of rules laid out by any “experts” who didn’t even know us or our baby. Later, we discovered that many things we were doing with our baby did fall in line with what is called attachment parenting, but we always found it a bit funny that following instinct and meeting the biological and developmental needs of our baby actually had a name. It just seemed normal to us! And, one of those things that felt normal was to hold her…a lot!

It felt right to hold and cuddle our baby. On top of that instinct, Jane also had some reflux, so our doctor advised holding her upright after she ate…which was all the time. I wanted to hold her as much as possible, needed to hold her after feedings, so off I went to find one of those Moby wrap things I had seen in magazines, or one of those “my ties” my friend had (yes, I did mispronounce mei tai in those days –and just in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced may-tie)…

I discovered a tiny ad for QuirkyBaby in Mothering Magazine one day, sipping on tea at Borders, saw that it was local, and e-mailed the owner – Jane. Funny coincidence!

I went to my consultation expecting to walk away with one of those Moby wraps or mei tai, but, ended up falling in love with a CatBird Baby Pikkolo. It’s still one of my favorite carriers to recommend – as poppable as stretchy wrap and as easy to use as a mei tai!

Pikkolo at the Beach

About a month later, I decided I “needed” another carrier, something I could eventually use on my hip – enter the Maya Wrap ring sling.

Maya Wrap Cowgirl

And, of course, when Jane was around a year old, QuirkyBaby Jane demonstrated the NEW Boba 2G (now, of course, updated again as the Boba 3G) at the Central NJ Babywearing Group meeting, and I had to have one of those, too!

Boba Crossing the Tracks

Thus began my love of babywearing, and trying out anything I could get my hands on. I was interested in learning all about different types and brands of carriers and new ways to carry. Immersed in TheBabywearer, I read every how-to, tweaking/tips, tutorial thread, and watched tons of videos. I was very lucky to have a willing guinea pig (my Jane is pretty easy-going, making all of those hours bending over in front of a mirror a tad bit easier). As QuirkyBabyJane went back to work full-time and needed to give up leadership of the babywearing group, two other babywearing mamas and myself took over leadership, and then babywearing education became a part of my life.

After 2 years of leave from teaching, I returned to the kindergarten classroom for a year. But, I soon realized that I wanted to slow down life a bit, and have more time to spend with my family and spread the babywearing love. So, I chose to retire early and take on a this new venture, which still allows me to use my passion for and expertise in infant and early childhood development, but in a whole new way!

Babywearing Family in Disney

So, as the new owner of QuirkyBaby, I hope to continue Jane’s (QuirkyBaby Jane, for clarification) mission to help new parents find carriers that are comfortable and functional. I also want to thank Jane for her mentorship and friendship. She has helped me develop as a mother, as a babywearer, and as the new “mama” of her QuirkyBaby. My husband would say she’s my Obi-Wan!

I’m the new girl on the block, but there are some other things “new” at QuirkyBaby! As the weather cools, check out the Kowalli Baby Carrier Cover. There are also some new BabyHawks and ToddlerHawks in stock. One of the brand new, limited edition Beco Gemini patterns is already up for pre-order at QuirkyBaby, and keep your eye out for even more new patterns coming soon! Finally, QuirkyBaby has brought back local consultations, so if you’re in the Central NJ/Philadelphia Metro Area, check out the QuirkyBaby Local Offers page.

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