Alex Kaslowitz works for Beco Baby Carrier in sales and marketing. His passion and excitement are contagious! Those who have met Alex in person will tell you that his enthusiasm for babywearing and helping caregivers is inspirational.
I was lucky enough to be able to “sit down” with Alex – He in a coffee shop in Philly and I, from my home. We chatted over Facebook to find out more about Beco Baby and the legendary Alex.
Kathy: Tell me about Beco!
Alex: To ‘Beco’ is to love… we try to use it as a verb. Beh-ko (verb) to carry baby with love, with complete care and affection, without your own limitations. Sentimental enough for you?
Kathy: Yes! You taught me at [2014 International Babywearing] conference the correct pronunciation is Beh-ko!
Alex: A lot of people say ‘bee-co’, so maybe that will be useful for people to know! Anyway, without speaking directly for Gabby [Gabby Caperon is the owner and founder of Beco Baby Carrier]… The Beco design evolved from Gabby’s real experiences with her son, Duke. She wanted to be with him all day, while also not limiting herself to where she could go or what she could do. She didn’t really love anything she’d seen or tried… so Gabby acquired a broken sewing machine, fixed it, and learned how to sew in 3 weeks! So it was a truly real-time tested product, with the best interests of both Duke and Gabby in mind.
The Beco Gemini (our flagship product) offers each carry position for that very reason… to support you and baby through your daily adventure, and the variables that come along with it. Gabby didn’t come to the United States with much, which is another reason why she made her own carrier. She never planned to sell or anything! Gabby was in the supermarket with Duke, and another mom approached her and asked her how much she would want for the carrier. She obviously didn’t want to part with hers, so she sewed another for that mom. First Beco Baby Carrier sold for $40!
Kathy: I can see how that would happen! I always have lots of questions when shopping, in fact; it’s one of my favorite places to wear. $40 is a great deal!
Alex: So, it just went from there. The Beco product lineup is a true symbol of her mentality and way of life: one simple single piece, no frills, slim profile… that does EVERYTHING.
Kathy: Does Beco have a mission or a goal in mind when creating new products?
Alex: Well… From a product perspective, the overall goal is to limit any pain points where you’re worrying about the actually wearing of your kid and dreading to support that weight on you like it’s a chore, so that you can instead just share your day with baby. We really focus on getting a perfect combination between comfort (so you can power through your mommy/daddy duties while keeping baby comfy and safe along with you) and style (so you actually WANT to wear all day because you’re confident in a look and style that fits you).
From a company and outreach perspective, the ONLY goal is INCLUSION in a world of baby gear (the carrier category, mainly) that hang their hats on EXCLUSION. No qualifiers necessary to be a ‘Beco mom/dad/grandma/caretaker/
Kathy: Sounds like one of the reasons you are a perfect fit with Babywearing International! Making babywearing accessible to everyone is one of our goals.
Tell me about your role with Beco and how you came to work in the babywearing industry.
Alex: The reason I came to Beco is because I wanted to be a part of a team that…. ‘out-cares’. Maybe we can’t out-spend or out-price, but we can out-care. It was…. 2007. As a junior in college, I became president of my school’s chapter of the American Marketing Association. As president, I created this ‘anti-job fair’ because the classic job fair system was flawed, in my opinion. A bunch of quick speed dates followed by handshakes and resume deposits. So I worked on a more involved series of workshops where students could help each other in learning how to create value for themselves in companies. So we’d reach out to local companies to come in and provide insight in the workshops- and at the end of each series, these companies would match up with students for internships. It was awesome, and an additional perk that I didn’t expect was that I always had ‘first dibs’ on the spots. Starting from these workshops, I ended up working for a few different baby-related companies around the country carrying products from around the world. There’s too much story left, but long story short- I wanted to work back home in Philly because my grandparents were in their 90s and I wanted to be around them as much as I could, along with my Dad (my main man). Gabby and I just sort of magically found each other in the mix of it all. I work from home in Philly even though headquarters are in California. I don’t have any siblings, but I definitely consider Gabby my big sister.
Kathy: That is so wonderful that you have such a special connection and that you are able to stay close to your family!!
[Alex shared a very personal video with me- NBC Philly actually did a short segment on his grandparents celebrating their 70th anniversary a few years back! Love Still Strong After 70 Years]
You do travel for Beco though. Where will this year take you?
Alex: Well- we’re going to be everywhere again! Probably 40-50 expectant/parenting events this year. I LOVE the shows, but I’m also excited about our new Beco Ambassador program. Steffany Kerr [former BWI President and Master Babywearing Educator for BWI of Oahu] is championing that so that we can build the Beco family and get more new parents wearing! Steffany and I will both be at the first MommyCon event of 2015, next month in Chicago.
Kathy: Why did Beco chose to support Babywearing International during 2014 International Babywearing Week, 2014 International Babywearing Conference, and in other ongoing efforts?
Alex: I can sum it up by recalling a conversation I had with Angelique Liu [Master Babywearing Educator with BWI of DC-MD-VA]. She wrote to me after the 2014 International Babywearing Conference, telling me that someone posted about being amazed that I thanked her when I was handing out carriers at the dinner.
[A dinner was held by BWI for all Volunteer Educators in attendance at the 2014 conference to thank them for their time and talents. We were honored that many of our sponsors were able to join us and many made in-person donations to our chapters that evening].
To be totally honest- that moment when each chapter came up one by one, and I got to introduce myself and hand over some Beco carriers… it was one of the most special moments I’ve been a part of in the industry. I know it sounds totally lame, but I had like tingles during the entire thing. It felt like an Olympics medal ceremony… in reality, it really was. You guys had won the Babywearing Olympics and were all receiving the gold medal. BWI chapters do so much in amplifying the messages we’re trying to communicate, and spreading such an amazing concept that was once just a secret. I loved being a part of that so much, and I hope that it never stops.
Kathy: Any sneak peaks, hints, especially photos for us of anything new coming from Beco?
Alex: Oooh what can I actually talk about? Well, 2015 is our 10th year anniversary, so look forward to some incredible anniversary collection limited edition carriers. I wish I could show you. OH…. and BECO TODDLER launches in the next 2 weeks. We have an exciting offer for BWI Chapter Volunteers and libraries that will debut in the next few days, so stay tuned! We want everyone to have access to this great new carrier!
Look what Alex has shared with us. The very first released specs sheet on the NEW Beco Toddler! Check out that weight range.
Kathy: Alex, thank you so much for your time, your talent, and your continued support of BWI. We appreciate you and Beco Baby Carrier!
Beco Baby Carrier is a Diamond Babywearing International Sponsor. They were a Gold International Babywearing Week 2014 Sponsor and sponsor of the International Babywearing Week 2014 Award Winners. Beco Baby Carrier was also a Gold 2014 International Babywearing Conference Sponsor. We are so thankful to have Beco Baby Carrier as a continued and generous supporter of everything we do here at BWI from sending carriers to local chapters to creating new and exciting programs for BWI Chapters and Volunteers. We look forward to continued partnership efforts in 2015 and beyond!
Kathy Low •BWI Board of Directors •Master Babywearing Educator for BWI of Grand Rapids