Recently featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune, BabyHawk is a multi-million dollar business run by Robyn Collar, who designed a baby carrier that has simplified her life – and now, helps other moms as well. “My kids were born with some severe birth defects,” Robyn tells writer Nina Garin. “Both were in diapers and my son had some bonding issues to the point where I couldn’t put him down even just to change my daughter’s diaper. I needed to find a solution, quick.”
She couldn’t afford to buy something off the rack, so she developed the BabyHawk Oh SNAP, inspired by the traditional Chinese mei tai style that can hold a baby both in front and on a parent’s back. At first she sold them on eBay and then in 2005, she started BabyHawk.com and recruited her mother to help with the business.
Today, Robyn makes BabyHawk slings from a spacious Oceanside, CA warehouse and has eight employees, including her mother, some sewers and a customer service representative based in Indiana. She sells in more than 200 retail stores and has expanded her product line to include the BabyHawk Mei Tai and BabyHawk Hoodies, a soft and warm lining/head covering to add to the Babyhawk Mei Tai. Customers can also design their own BabyHawk products, too.
It’s all been a learning experience for Robyn, who dropped out of high school because she never really fit in and became a teen mom. “People have to find their niche and go with it,” she says. “A lot of people don’t realize their potential. It just takes a push, and my extra push was having kids who were disabled. None of this would have happened otherwise.”