It was the year 1999 when I had an “Ah-ha” moment in my life. My daughter-in-law and son brought a baby sleeping bag made out of down back from Germany. It brought back memories of 35 years before when I struggled to keep the children warm at night. I remembered the various contraptions I bought that were available at that time – some of them quite unsafe until I finally sewed a sleeping bag, and all was well.
I had totally forgotten that time, being busy with my working life as a Public Health Nurse. Yes, I heard many stories of frustrations by parents, but never really thought back to my own frustrations and how I dealt with them.
At that same time a big campaign was under way spurred by a release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Washington D.C. April 8, 1999). It had a warning to parents to “remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other soft products from the crib” because “as many as 900 infant deaths each year were still associated with suffocation in soft bedding.”
The combination of seeing this sleeping bag, remembering my frustrations and those of other new parents, along with my health and wellness background and the need to make cribs safer, caused me to ask my sister-in-law, a professional seamstress, to help establish Kangapouch Inc.
I searched the market and was surprised that this product was not available anywhere in Calgary. In the fall of 1999 I put Kangapouch on the market. One of my daughters gave the product the name as she was reminded of a Kangaroo baby sitting cozy and warm in it’s pouch while traveling and sleeping.
Kangapouch has brought me pride, joy, and satisfaction because I am told by many parents who have bought a Kangapouch that they sleep better now, as I finally did, because their baby is warm and safe. I am now mostly retired and since 2004 Kangapouch Inc. has been in the caring hands of my daughter, Johanna, whom I trained to carry on the creation of Kangapouch.