A misleading photo circulating the Internet has spurred completely baseless allegations of racism, taking the models on our packaging out of context. The photo in question shows two of our several packages, representing but a sample of our full line: a Caucasian/Hispanic couple using our baby carrier, and an African American woman using our baby carrier. Other Baby K’tan packaging currently in the marketplace portrays various mothers or caregivers holding their baby in our carrier.
Since Baby K’tan was founded in 2007, our mission is to provide great baby products for parents and caregivers all over the world. Our employee base and customers are diverse, and our company has prospered because of our focus on quality products and diversity and inclusion.
Frankly, it’s insulting that some choose to infer that an African American woman alone with a baby is automatically a single mother – that itself is a form of racism that has no place in our company whatsoever.
We wholeheartedly reject these false and unfounded claims of racism, and we will continue to showcase a variety of loving caregivers utilizing our nurturing and simple to use baby products.
We are a small company, founded by necessity when our own children with special needs required a carrier with more support. To even suggest that we meant anyone any harm is both shocking and hurtful, and against everything we believe in as inclusive and caring business owners.
It has come to our attention that there is a misleading photo circulating around the internet. Our company takes these matters very seriously and wishes to address them without any further delay.
The photo in question shows two Baby K’tan Baby Carriers on the shelf at an unidentified retailer. One Baby K’tan product features an African American woman holding her baby, and the other Baby K’tan product features a Caucasian couple with their baby. This portrayal has left many of our loyal patrons concerned that this is an unfair representation of African American families. Furthermore, the box bearing the African American woman was inaccurately priced lower than the box with the Caucasian couple. Let’s address these pressing matters head on:
1) We have a total of 5 different products, each featuring a different image on the front of the packaging. One box has the Caucasian couple on the front, and the other four boxes have individual mothers with their babies on the front (including African American and Caucasian women).
2) The Baby K’tan product featuring the African American woman is from our organic line which should actually be priced higher than the other product displayed.
3) The couple considered to be Caucasian is actually in fact an international couple, featuring a Caucasian mom and a Hispanic dad.
Our company was built and has prospered because of our focus on diversity and inclusion. We wholeheartedly reject any false, unfounded and baseless claims of discrimination as depicted in the above misrepresentation. We here at Baby K’tan fully support exposing any unfair and inaccurate stereotypes, racism and/or discrimination wherever it may exist.
We plan to continue including diverse parents, both individually and as couples, throughout our images. In fact, we are proud to have such wholesome and loving caregivers as the faces of our company.
Discount does not apply to regular cotton or organic. Enter coupon code “Breeze20″ at checkout to apply 20% discount. Valid at babyktan.com and at select participating retailers. Offer valid July 4-13, 2013.
As a small business, we absolutely love it when we see someone on the street wearing a Baby K’tan. It may not seem like much, but it always puts a huge smile on our faces to see that we are actually making a difference. Of course, Michal Chesal, President of Baby K’tan, is always thrilled when she hears from a friend or family member that has spotted one as well. Here is a message she received from an old high school friend just today!
My daughter is expecting her first child in September and she and her husband live in Israel. She was telling me about all the baby gear she’s getting and mentioned Baby K’tan! So I asked her if she picked that one because it’s the brainchild and product of one of my friends from school and her reply was “huh?”
So, I told her all about you and she thought that was cool, but picked the Baby K’tan because of the design and materials and for the fact that in the product picture, the dad was wearing it…..which strongly appealed to my son-in-law!
She ordered one made of mesh and cool, breathable cotton fabric and is completely excited to finally get to use it!
Michal Chesal, President of Baby K’tan, was highlighted in the Miami Herald Business Monday section in their wonderful article about “Mompreneurs.” You know how much we love those business savvy moms! Each of these amazing moms took an idea or concept relating to their own personal lives and situations and they turned their ideas into a successful business model.
The article highlights six moms who created their own businesses from scratch, and we are so proud to have Michal listed among them! All of these stories are wonderful, so we strongly encourage you to click here and read the entire article, but below is the section about Michal Chesal.
After Michal Chesal’s son, Coby, was born with Down syndrome in 1999, she wanted to carry him with a wearable baby carrier. But a physical therapist told her it wouldn’t give Coby, who had poor muscle tone, the right kind of support.
So Chesal, of Hollywood, began playing around with the baby slings on the marketplace, crisscrossing and wearing two of them together. She took the slings to a seamstress to connect them, eventually marketing the wearable baby carriers as Baby K’tan, www.babyktan.com, a play on words that means “little baby” in Hebrew.
The carriers can be used for kids from birth to 35 pounds. They come in adult sizes and a variety of fabrics, and range from $50 to $60.
Chesal partnered with a family friend, Isaac Wernick, to start the business after Wernick tried the product for his own son.
Chesal and Wernick developed the carrier in an all-cotton fabric with no connectors or snaps. They connected the over-the-shoulder loops with an adjustable back support band and a waist sash.
“No one had a design background, but it was a simple idea,” Chesal said.
For more than a year, the partners ordered samples from factories, rejecting fabric that was too thin or straps that were too wide. A prototype was ready in 2007, and the partners placed an initial order of 200. Since then, they have tinkered with different fabrics and sizing.
The product is now manufactured in China and Guatemala and warehoused in Davie, near the company’s offices.
Chesal and Wernick spent about $50,000 initially on setting up the business, patents, samples, testing, trade shows, marketing and initial inventory. Baby K’tan sells about 110,000 items a year and became profitable in 2011. The partners have five full-time and three part-time employees. The product is sold in 900 U.S. retailers and distributed in 10 countries.
To promote, Chesal partners with other mom entrepreneurs in press releases, advertising campaigns and trade shows. A Brand Ambassador System allows moms who demo the product and distribute brochures at parenting events to earn points toward merchandise.
They also have expanded the line with the K’tan Cloth, which attaches to a baby carrier and can be used as a burp cloth, nursing cover or blankie.
“Follow your heart. If you have an idea and keep putting it off, somebody else is going to come up with that idea,” Chesal said. “If I had to do it over again, I would have started so much earlier.”
Thank you, Miami Herald, for recognizing the creativity and perseverance of these six amazing women!
Amazing! The Baby K’tan Baby Carrier made the Babble Blogger Favorites: Best Baby Carriers of 2013!
The Baby K’tan was tested by Babble’s very own blogger and reviewer, who also polled moms, scanned through social media channels and posts and put together her very own list of favorite carriers, wraps and slings.