Blake Mycoskie may not be a household name but his TOMS shoes are quickly becoming a stylish wardrobe staple. The TOMS Founder and Chief Shoe Giver was armed with just an entrepreneurial spirit and a dream when he decided to be the change he wanted to see. Now, with every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need – One for One. Today, April 10th, is TOMS One Day Without Shoes, a day to spread awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life by going footwear-free for a day. But Blake’s unique story doesn’t stop there…
Inspired by Blake and the women of Haiti, mother of five Kathryn Wiley purchased Rockin’ Baby in 2011 and established a “Mother to Mother” movement. Realizing that Haiti has the highest infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere Kathryn stood determined that, with every sling sold, Rockin’ Baby would donate one to a mother in need. Today, the giving goes far beyond that to actually educating mothers about the benefits of babywearing, from bonding to breastfeeding. Not only can you feel good keeping baby close with a Rockin’ Baby sling, but you are also making a difference in the lives of other mothers. Read more about Kathryn, her mission and how you can help make the world a better place to be below.
Kathryn Wiley, of Rockin’ Baby Slings
Rockin’ Baby Mission
For every sling purchased, Rockin’ Baby donates a new sling to a mother in need, while educating her on the importance it holds in her baby’s life. Mother to Mother.
Rockin’ Baby Story
With every sling that is purchased, Rockin’ Baby will give a sling to a mother in Haiti. As a mother of 5, American and Rockin’ Baby owner Kathryn Wiley knows the profound effect a mother can have on her children. But the giving does not stop there!
As there are so many cultures that tend to not hold their children, Rockin’ Baby will also educate those mothers on the impact a sling can have on their lives. In addition to making it easier to nurture, bond and breastfeed, these slings will allow mothers to continue gathering food and water for their families.
The attachment of a mother and her infant could be a matter of survival — education and slings will impact this need dramatically. Today, you are actually giving the gift of life to another mother and her child in Haiti (and eventually beyond). The impact is huge! Now mothers can learn that slings can be part of their daily lives, no matter how they struggle with their basic needs. In turn, these babies will be healthier, more attached to their mothers and begin a life more fulfilled and optimistic. A gift of life, from you to them. Mother to Mother.
When were you established, how did you get started?
Through college and into my adult life, I have spent many hours in Haiti. As a mother, I understood the importance of baby wearing, and the strong impact it can have on the mother-child bond within a few hours of a baby’s life. With that being said, I saw that this opportunity was being missed through out Haiti. Mothers were tasking, working and providing food and water for their families sometimes hours after they have given birth. I bought Rockin’ Baby from two Los Angeles mothers back in 2010. Inspired by the one for one model of TOMS shoes, I knew that making Rockin’ Baby into a Mother to Mother company was the only way to go. Today for every sling sold, Rockin’ Baby will donate one to a Haitian mother, and educate her on its importance. Mother to Mother.
When and how did you get started working with mom’s in Haiti?
I know several people that live in Haiti, and I was given a contact within Heartline Women’s Program in Port au Prince. I began my discussions September, 2010, several months before purchasing the company. Beth McHoul has been in Haiti over 20 years was the person I spoke with first. She challenged me with how these slings were going to change women’s lives in Haiti. I was charged with a responsibility after speaking with her, and Nadene Brunk of Midwives for Haiti. After our first sling drop in August, 2010, they left with the request for us to bring thousands back!
What are some benefits of baby wearing?There are so many. First and foremost is the mother/child bond that develops. This is a magical time for a brand new infant to learn and be comforted by their momma and papa. There is also the opportunity to breast feed on demand. There is also scientifically backed studies that show children who were “worn” cry less, have higher learning potential, better problem solving skills, and are better organized.
Design philosophy:Rockin’ Baby’s design philosophy is sophisticated and beautiful. While studying the latest fashion trends, colors and fabrics, the seasonal offering will always have the Haitian culture in mind. In addition, our slings and pouches have the safest hardware on the market, to allow comfort and piece of mind for the child and its parents.
Inspirations/Influences: My mom, Gandhi, Blake Mycoskie, Mother Theresa
Favorite book: The Bible
Favorite Websites: TOMS.com,Roozt.com, shopwithmeaning.org
On Your iPod: Patty Griffin, The Civil Wars, U2, Josh Garrels
Must-See TV: I don’t watch much TV, but anything Documentary interests me.
Favorite expression: act justly, love mercy, walk humbly
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
To shop Kathryn’s entire line of beautiful and inspirational slings and pouches, please click here