Jacq and Rose was founded by Katie Meakin in 2016 in the UK. The company is a Contributing Sponsor for The Wrap Show 2017. In the following interview, Katie shares more about Jacq and Rose.
How did Jacq and Rose come to be?
In 2014, I entered a competition to come up with a design concept for another UK wrap company. I was delighted to win and on seeing my winning design woven, sparked a strong ambition to set up my own wrap company. Fast forward two years, after a rollercoaster of challenges and lots of late nights working when the children were in bed, I was able to realise this dream.
What drew you to the world of wraps initially?
Using woven wraps helped us immensely with our second child, our son, as he loved to be carried in our arms, and it became our savior for sleep times. As he grew older, I appreciated the freedom wraps gave us, enabling us to spend time with his older sister while he slept and being able to go out for the day without interrupting his nap times.
What inspires you in your work?
I get a lot of inspiration whilst spending time with my children in the outdoors, such as at the park or on the school run. I literally see patterns everywhere and often draw sketches in a notebook that I carry with me. I take inspiration for colourways from things I see around me, which could be anything from the soft grey of a weathered wooden fence or the bright sunshine yellow of a fallen autumnal leaf.
Why do you think wraps are so important for parents and children?
Wraps provide a means to carry a child close, but they are so much more than just a piece of fabric. For the child, they come to associate the security, comfort and love it gives them, and for the parents, it gives them a way to reconnect with their child, coming together as one. All the experiences and memories along the journey of babywearing become entwined with the wrap, which is why so many wraps are kept as keepsakes.
What is your favourite part about using woven wraps personally?
I love that wovens have become such a huge part of my life. I have so many wonderful happy memories of using wraps with my children, and I have made some amazing friendships through babywearing. I have developed myself in terms of my confidence and skills, through the learning and the teaching of others to babywear. While I am sad that my babywearing journey has (almost) come to an end with my own children, I get a lot of joy and satisfaction in teaching others and seeing my wraps being used and loved around the world.
How do you encourage new parents who are interested but hesitant to try wrapping?
I always remind them that wrapping is a skill that needs to be learnt through practice. I always give them lots of encouragement, and I love seeing the look on their faces when they master a carry by themselves for the first time.
As a new company, what are you most looking forward to about working in this industry?
I think there are going to be lots of changes over the next few years with the changing regulations in the US and more wrap companies launching in the UK and around the world. We will be constantly reviewing our business, and we are looking forward to exploring new weaving techniques and introducing new patterns and blends to our product range.
Where do you see Jacq and Rose in five years? Ten years?
We are excited about celebrating our first year in the industry in June 2017. We have come so far in a short time and we have learnt so much. We will continue to grow and we hope that in five years time, our wraps will be being loved and used by many more people around the world. Looking forward to 10 years time is scary but also exciting, and we look forward to celebrating many more achievements over the coming years.
What experience do you hope for Jacq and Rose customers? In other words, what do you hope to accomplish or inspire through your work?
For us, the wrapping qualities are key, and we strive to ensure that our wraps not only look great but feel amazing to use too. We will never compromise on quality, and we will always seek to provide that personal checking service to ensure our wraps arrive looking beautiful, ready to be used straight out of the bag.
Is there anything about Jacq and Rose or its products that you’d like to share?
We are really excited about our new Babywearing Box, as it contains all the essentials for babywearing with a woven. The box contains a Jacq and Rose size 6 wrap, a set of etched rings, a pocket mirror, a “Why Babywearing Matters” book by Rosie Knowles, a J&R rucksack bag and a 30-minute consultation (via WhatsApp or Skype). We designed this with new babywearers in mind, but it can also be a great purchase or gift for experienced wrappers as the consultation can be tailored to suit their needs. These are available to purchase from our website while stocks last.