It was the year 1999 when my mother, Hanne Bollhorn had an “Ah-ha” moment in her life. Her daughter-in-law and son had purchased a baby sleeping bag filled with duck down and had brought it back from Germany. This sleep sack took my mom back to memories of 35 years earlier when she struggled to keep her babies warm at night. She remembered the various contraptions purchased that were available at that time. Some of them were quite unsafe. She finally sewed a baby sleeping bag, and all was well.
She had totally forgotten that time, being busy with her working life as a Public Health Nurse. She heard many stories from frustrated parents, but never really thought back to her own concerns and how she 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 her own frustrations and those of other new parents, along with her health and wellness background and the need to make cribs safer, caused her to ask her sister-in-law, a professional seamstress, to help establish Kangapouch Inc.
She searched the market and was surprised that this product was not available anywhere in Calgary. In the fall of 1999 she put Kangapouch on the market. One of her daughters gave the product the name as she was reminded of a Kangaroo baby, sitting cozy and warm in its pouch while traveling and sleeping.
Kangapouch has brought Hanne pride, joy, and satisfaction. She was told by many parents who had bought a Kangapouch that they sleep better now, because their baby is warm and safe. Hanne is now retired and since 2003 Kangapouch Inc. has been in the caring hands of me, her daughter, Johanna, whom my mother trained to carry on the creation of Kangapouch. I have been running and growing the business since 2003 to the present. Kangapouch continues to provide a warm, safe and cozy sleep for babies everywhere.