Hi everyone! My name is Anne, I’m a mom of two beautiful babies and we live in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. My son Kai is 4 years old and my baby girl Nala is 2.5 years old. Before moving to Costa Rica I was living in London and working as a corporate lawyer at a huge law firm. I moved to Costa Rica in 2013 and started my family here. I started Nalakai, which we originally called Pura Vida Slings, when I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter Nala. I knew that with 2 babies under 2 years old, I was going to have to babywear a lot!
I discovered ring slings and fell in love with how easy and comfortable they are to use. What I really love is that you can put them on yourself, you don’t need someone to buckle you in the back. I found 100% linen to be too thick and scratchy. Bamboo clothing is very popular here in Costa Rica because it is so soft, lightweight and sustainable. Bamboo grows very quickly and easily, so it doesn’t need to be sprayed with fertilizer or pesticides, which damage our waterways.
Long story short, I found a supplier that works with eco-textiles and they developed a bamboo and linen fabric blend with me. When I first touched it, I just knew it was perfect. They weave our fabric for the slings just for us when we make an order. I love how lightweight the fabric is, we can go for walks in 90 degree heat on the beach and not overheat!
Babywearing is amazing! It is so much more than just putting your baby in a carrier. Babywearing is a central part of attachment parenting. The idea is to keep your babies close to you as much as you can when they are young (especially during the first year).
Babies have a strong instinct to be near their mother. When they aren’t touching mom, they feel stress. So the idea is that the more you wear your babies, the more safe and secure they feel. And from that place of safety and security, they develop confidence and independence.
You can wear your little one in a sling everywhere. Because they are so light, they are great to wear at home, getting things done around the house. I literally built my company with Nala in the sling while I worked on my laptop at the kitchen counter!
At Nalakai, we really care about our customers. I listen to you. I personally do all the customer service because I love to connect with my customers. We adjusted our fabric blend to add more linen to make the fabric stick better in the rings. We have 20 amazing colors, many requested by our customers. We made 85 inch longer length slings to support our taller and beautiful plus size moms and babywearing daddies. Our ring slings are eco-friendly and vegan. My kids and I are vegetarian, so it was important to me not to use a leather label (we use vegan leather). We also have a youtube channel with several video tutorials to help you get started if you’re new to slings.
Ring slings do take a little practice at first. But once you find the right position, they are so quick to put on and easy to wear. I recommend watching our youtube video tutorials and practicing with your sling in front of the mirror, it really helps to be able to see yourself.
Since I started this business, I have found that my passion lies with supporting and empowering women as they begin their journey through motherhood. There are so many mixed messages online. So many sites telling us we are too fat, we aren’t doing it right, we need to spend more money. It’s so important to me that our brand message and social media are really positive and supportive. Motherhood is hard, and we are all doing amazing.
My website is www.nalakai.com