Safe, Stylish Glass Baby Bottles
We recently caught up with Pam Marcus, developer of WeeGo baby bottles, which combine cool, modern design with safe materials. They're getting lots of attention from new moms and the design community alike.
When did you begin developing the WeeGo bottle -- and your company, BabyLife?
My partner Daren and I started developing baby products over 3 years ago. As a pediatric physical therapist for over 20 years, I had worked with infant toys and products for a long time and I saw that many of the toys did not function optimally for developmental levels. Also, designs of toys had not changed much during that time and they were really unattractive.
Daren is an exceptional designer and I knew that together we could make a difference in the look and function of future baby products. It took a little while; Daren and I went through many design cycles of what we thought we should bring to market.
I thought we could make really cool tableware for infants. I asked Daren to design something and he came up with a modern, organic shaped sippy cup with a mesh type of cover for gripping. I said, "Let's put that on a glass baby bottle and see what it looks like." Thus, the WeeGo bottle was born.
What gave you the inspiration to do so?
I had been keeping up with the news of dangers of plastics from early on and did not want to drink out of plastic myself. I work in a nursery at a hospital as a feeding specialist for premature infants and saw that the disposable bottles were all plastic. I had a feeling that the dangers of plastics were going to become more and more of an issue, and that glass was an excellent alternative.
With latex allergies present in the hospital, I saw more use of silicone to replace latex. I liked the properties of silicone, saw that it was well researched, and thought it would be a great alternative for plastics and should be used more in infant products.
Was it a difficult process?
Since I am in the medical profession and Daren is a designer and architect, I would say yes! We had no background in business or manufacturing. We learned as we went along and are still learning so much. It is a fabulous and challenging experience though. We read Tamara's book when we were starting our business and we found it both informational and inspirational.
Tell me more about your baby bottles.
I think it is important to give parents a choice. What I like about glass is that it is a natural and easy to clean material. You can put it in the dishwasher (in our case, with the silicone sleeve together since silicone can take very high temperatures) and not have to worry about scratching or degradation like you do with plastics. You are not supposed to re-use plastic bottles after your baby is done with them, but you can with glass bottles. This reusability is so much better for the environment.
Safety, being eco-friendly and simplicity are of utmost importance to us. Our bottles are totally non- toxic. The glass bottle, cap and ring are recyclable. All of our materials are FDA approved and we have put our bottles through third party testing to assure safety. The silicone sleeve not only gives the bottles a unique, modern look, but also helps an infant's grip on the bottle and prevents the bottle from breaking. Even our packaging is minimal and low-impact.
What are your plans for future BabyLife products?
We have been both surprised and delighted by the success of the WeeGo bottle. There has been a lot of demand for the bottles both here and internationally. Even the Museum of Modern Art in New York is interested in them! We are very much looking forward to expanding the line of Babylife products and are happy to announce here that the 4 oz. Mini WeeGo bottle will make its debut in July.
We will also be making products for adults and the rest of the family under the name of "Lifefactory" so stay tuned!
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