My name is Yuko and I am from Japan. My husband is American and we met while he was stationed in Japan 2002. We dated for a few years and then he proposed to me in Venice, Italy and we married shortly thereafter in 2005. A few months later, I moved to Germany where he was stationed. We had our first son, Kai about two years later. To help with my busy lifestyle, I cannot remember how many baby carriers I purchased but I was addicted to finding a suitable baby carrier that fit my style. Before I knew, I had bought two slings, a BabyBjorn, a hip baby carrier, and multiple wraps. However, none of them were my favorite until I finally I found the ergo. I loved it!
Soon after, I had my second son – his name is Kobe. My life was busier by a factor of two, which was a big challenge for me as a mother. Fortunately for me, my husband got a job in Japan and we moved from Germany back to my home. After living in Japan for a few years, the time came and we had to move back to the United States. I had to prepare myself for what was to come and what was waiting for my future as a non-native English speaker in an English environment. But at least it was sunny Florida and soon after we had a surprise; we were about to have a third baby.
My third boy, Ryan, was such a comfortless and fussy baby. He constantly needed to be calmed and demanded, with his cries, to continuously be held. However, behind the scenes, there were also the two little boys, Kai and Kobe, who were waiting for me to take them to play outside. I remember the time I packed snacks, bottles of water, diapers, and milk for Ryan. Another bag for towels, and a change of clothes Kai and Kobe. Then I became irritated because of the burden on me to carry the bulky, heavy, baby carrier. I had many things that had a higher priority to take with me when the three kids wanted to go outside. But In case, Ryan asked to be held and the other boys asked to play at the same time. I had to take the baby carrier with me – it was my insurance.
At the time, Ryan was sleeping only a few hours a day and night and I started finding time for myself while my other boys were at school. But NO friends and NO family and postpartum was affecting me badly; I was not happy. So, I started making baby carriers for myself. The inspiration carrier came from Japan. I loved the design, which we now use, and I loved how light-weight and compact the features were while also maintaining comfort on my shoulders.
At one point I was crazy making baby carriers, I just wanted to focus on something and forget where I am while I was making baby carries. I even made for people who I randomly met at the library soccer filed for my son's soccer practice and whoever I saw a lady with baby I just made for them. I loved to see people look so surprised when the realized how comfortable the carrier was. Those words means a lot for me and something to live for.
Soon after, I had more orders for baby carriers than I could sew. Orders began to pile up and I needed help. I began thinking about outsourcing the production and starting a real business. It was such a long journey to get to this point – however if I can see parents that are happy when they are using our baby carrier, this long journey was worth every step. I want to see our Obi Baby Carrier helping parents with their daily lives, reconnecting and creating an even stronger bond with their baby.