Let's hear it for the dads! The days of dear old dad staying out of the nursery are a thing of the past — today's pops are redesigning the baby's room, bottle, and more. With more fathers taking on child-rearing responsibilities, they're upgrading lil one's gear with some touches that both moms and dads can appreciate. Just in time for Father's Day, meet the men who are making baby-raising healthier, easier, and more stylish than ever.
As parents we use products that make family life easier, safer, more fun — even more beautiful, but in the rigmarole of daily living, we don't often think about the people who created those items. We looked into a few of our favorite brands. Meet the mothers and fathers behind the bottle, the bedding, the baby food, the game, and the crib.
Nurseries aren't just unicorns and rainbows for Robert Kwak, they're more cherry blossoms and boom boxes. The woodworker and soon-to-be father of two came up with the concept for Muu (pronounced Moo), his modern sustainable furniture company, as an expectant parent. The name is a zen term for the stage right before enlightenment and is appropriate since Kwak's designs have changed the way moms and dads think about tot decor. Muu offers families customization without commitment. Kwak isn't interested in mass production, instead he "makes things people are going to love and hold onto for a long time." We recently had a chance to chat.
LilSugar: There have been numerous crib recalls. Can you speak to if/why buying well-made furniture is important?
Robert Kwak: When we were starting the concept (of Muu) we talked to manufacturers all over the world, but ultimately we wanted to (have our goods) be (made) here in the United States for a number of reasons. One is quality, the people who make our furniture — it's a family-run business. We know them on a personal basis. And I think that going back to the concept of Muu, it's important for us to know the people who make our products both for the quality and safety issues. They use our products, we use our products, and we're not just trying to make (them) cheaper, faster, and quicker so it costs more to do more. A lot of children's products are inherently disposable and by buying something that is built to last, you can pass it on from one child to the next or it can grow with your child. It's an important aspect of sustainability and people talk about material sourcing, which is very important. We definitely strive to continue to make our products more "green," but I also think a larger part of the sustainability story is making it in a way that's not just going to be used for a couple years and just sort of thrown away, thrown in the dumpster and seen in a landfill.
To see if Muu plans on bringing its fine design to the mass retailers, read more
When buying nursery furniture, it's hard to imagine that you will be looking at the same pieces for two, three or even more years as the crib converts into a toddler bed, or it is used for subsequent siblings. Tastes change and children grow up to have obsessions of their own so take your time choosing.
Robert Kwak, the woodworker and parent behind the eco-friendly nursery furniture company Muu, had a nursery’s evolution in mind when he created the Sam Crib ($1375). The modern, clean design features decorative MuuPanels ($85 - $115), which are interchangeable, decorative crib graphics that can be swapped out as the room evolves. There are eight to choose from including vehicles, flowers, sea life and numerous designs for each theme.