Interview with Kristine Deppe of BabySpaceSlings
Here's a behind-the-scenes peak at the life of a sling-sewing, sling-selling, and sling-wearing mama: Kristine Deppe of BabySpaceSlings (formerly TheBabySpace).
Business QuestionsQ. Please tell us a little about BabySpaceSlings.
A. Everyone needs her own special space, which is true for babies, too. Babies love the space in their parents' arms. What better way to let them enjoy their own little space than in a sling, snuggling next to mommy and daddy?
Kristine and Mac Q. How long have you been in business?
A. Just over a year and a half.
Q. What inspired you to get started?
A. Well actually I am a forum addict (duh!) and was on a pregnancy board while pregnant with my youngest. I had never heard of slings before another member mentioned them, which started me on the path to irreversible sling addiction.
Q. The Baby Space AP: pouch or ring sling? Discuss...
A. Oh no - the question I have not been able to answer yet! It's a hybrid. There was no such thing when I started making slings. Sometime after I designed my sling someone called it a hybrid, and it stuck. It's a pouch sling with rings for adjustability, or a ring sling with a pouch. You choose!
Q. Tell us a little about the Cuddle Project.
A. The Cuddle Project is something I've been trying to get up and running from the start of The Baby Space. I make pouches and ring slings to donate to local low-income programs in hopes that other parents can get the great benefits from slings that I have. Mostly I have funded these slings on my own, but am slowly getting donations to help with this dream. I leave slings, babywearing information and resources for new parents and also encourage them to contact me for babywearing help.
Andy Q. You're a very active and helpful member of the online babywearing community. How do you find the time, in addition to running your business and raising a family? Do you have any efficiency tips for the rest of us - please?
A. Sleep, what's that? Actually, I just break it up and do a little posting, then sewing, then housework all while playing with my kiddos, rinse and repeat. And did I mention I work nights as well?
Q. From reading your posts and seeing your website's picture of the slings in your new sewing room, it's obvious that you've become quite the sling collector! Care to share some of the highlights of your stash?
A. Well I just thinned my stash a bit so it's not as impressive anymore, but here are some favorites: my own BSAPs of course - 2 in my own stash; a red dragon silk Zolo, and this week a cotton rose stripe Zolo will be arriving (I won the photo contest, woo hoo!); a Sari stretch Hotsling; a Natural Moby Wrap; several homemade pouches; several Asian baby carriers, a few I've made and one made by someone else. I recently passed on my Maya Wrap (#37) and my KKAFP.
Q. What drives you to buy another sling?
A. A unique design and mostly colors! And if I can find a good deal!
Q. Where do you live?
A. Western Wisconsin, land of the cheeseheads! But we are Minnesota transplants here.
Q. How common is babywearing in your part of the world? Do you find that your business is making any difference in the trend?
A. In my area I don't see much of it. I about had a heart attack when I saw someone wearing a sling at the mall! I hope I'm making a difference but I'm not sure. I do get a lot of questions and people now recognize me wearing my slings.
Jo Q. With whom do you live and how are they related to you? Please describe them a little bit.
A. My husband Nathan and I have been together for 9 years. We have 3 children: Joscelyne is 5 years old and will be starting Kindergarten this year. She's really excited! Andrew is 3 years old and is our bundle of energy. He's a very active kiddo. Mackenzie is 18 months and our "attached" baby. I did co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and babywearing with her.
Q. Do you have any hobbies? If so, what?
A. My hobby was sewing but now that's more than a hobby, so I guess my new hobby is playing with computer graphics. I love making pictures or editing ones I have. I also love photography.
Q. Tell us a little about your history before The Baby Space.
A. From the time I was old enough to work up until just a few years ago I worked in childcare, starting as an aide, then assistant teacher, then teacher, and eventually becoming a center director. I loved working in childcare! I had to give that up when we moved out of state, but I wanted to continue working with kids so I became a school bus driver. When our youngest was born we decided I would be a SAHM and I did daycare in-home. At the same time I started TheBabySpace.net (now called BabySpaceSlings.com).
Mackenzie Q. Choose any day of the week and describe it in as little or as much detail as you want.
A. Each day varies. When mommy works nights I get home at 6am and sleep for three hours while my husband cares for the kids. I wake up and say goodbye to him and get on schedule with my kiddos. I check my e-mail and do a quick run through on the message boards, then my kiddos join me upstairs for some playtime and sewing. We come back down and either do some activities or play outside. While the kids are busy playing inside I check messages again and get some cleaning done. Then it's lunchtime. After lunch the kiddos nap and mommy either sews or naps as well. I check messages again, answering questions etc., and the kids start waking up for more playtime. This is when we pack up to run any errands. We get back and have more playtime and I make dinner. After dinner is my relaxing time - this is when I can get caught up sewing or whatever, the kids retire to their rooms or the playroom for evening wind-down, and then we all go to bed. About three hours later I wake up for work. We have very full days!
Fun QuestionsQ. What is the last good book you read, and why?
A. The "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. I'm working on this book right now. I love a good mystery!
Q. The last good movie?
A. You mean other than "Finding Nemo?" Hmmm, actually I think Harry Potter was the last one I saw.
Q. What's your favorite month of the year, and why?
A. June! It's when summer really kicks off and when my birthday is.
Q. What are your three favorite websites?
A. www.TheBabyWearer.com of course, www.mothering.com, and a Parenting Debate board.
Q. If you could visit any place on the planet, where would it be?
A. Italy! It looks so intriguing and not anything like I'm used to here!
Q. What is one important thing you think we could all do to make the world a better place?
A. Slow down and help those around us.
Q. Is there anything else the babywearing community should know about you?
A. I can't think anything off the top of my head. I'm a certified sling addict but I think that's already established!
© Beth Manning, September 2004. All rights reserved.