In a world where “perfection” is used to describe the modern mother, Ubuntu Baba founder Shannon McLaughlin chose to find her happy place doing the best that she could for her son Leo.
Today, the mom and entrepreneur has built her sustainable brand on stylish, functional and organic baby carriers. Pity about the Woolworths debacle where the retailer was forced to withdraw its similar-looking baby carriers after an outcry from McLaughlin and social media followers.
While the store was selling the carrier at a third of the price because it was manufactured in China, Ubuntu Baba carriers are made exclusively in South Africa, supporting job creation and ensuring the money gets pumped back into our economy. Now that Woolworths has apologised, McLaughlin has called on it and other big corporates to support and develop small businesses.
“Big corporations, like Woolworths, should NOT be allowed to take advantage of local SMEs the way that they have clearly been doing. Instead, they should be looking into ways where they can support, rather than hinder small businesses in South Africa,” she wrote on her blog shortly after meeting the retailer.
The Ubuntu Baba carrier has been receiving widespread attention, but it’s a pity it had to take a social media storm to highlight the brand.
The idea to start Ubuntu Baba came from McLaughlin’s frustration as a first-time mom who had no idea what she was doing. Twelve weeks in, and with Leo constantly in her arms, she needed a way to stop the crying. And so started her mission for the perfect baby carrier once he became too heavy for the stretchy wrap. After purchasing six different carriers, she was getting nowhere and realised she had to make her own.