Success Through Play™ is pleased to feature an interview with Tonjia Coverdale, president of Divas N Babes™.
Can you tell us more about yourself and your educational background?
I am originally from Brooklyn, NY, but I currently reside in Wilmington, DE with my husband of 4 years, Greg, and our almost 23-month old son, Benjamin. I am a self-confessed “technogeek”, I have a B.S. in Information Science and Systems, an MBA with a concentration in Computer Information Systems, and I am a dissertation away from a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a major in Information Science and Systems.
What inspired you to babewear™ and how do you feel that it has benefited both you and your toddler?
I discovered babywearing and attachment parenting while sifting through research on gentle birth options when we were expecting Benjamin. Everything about it seemed so perfect: the ability to create a strong bond with your child, the cognitive stimulation that your baby receives from being immersed in your world and everyday interactions, the love, happiness, and security that mommy and baby experience from being together, the independent child that will eventually emerge from the attached baby, the many opportunities for fashion self-expression through coordinating your new accessory with your outfit (ok, so this one wasn’t in my research, but hey…accessories are always good!)…I decided to give it a try, why not?
Many wraps, pouches, ring slings, and mei tais later, I am so ecstatic with my choice to wear Benjamin. Everything that the research said would happen happened! Benjamin was born prematurely at 34 weeks gestation due to my sudden development of pre-eclampsia. At birth, Benjamin was 4 lbs., 12 ozs., and 18” long. Today, Benjamin is in the 90th percentile for height, in the 70th percentile for weight and is such a happy, loving, active, curious, intelligent, independent, strong and healthy little guy whose premature birth has never had an impact on his cognitive and physical development. I truly believe that is a testament to babywearing! Also, I have found that wearing him as a toddler has many benefits. Firstly, in crowded places (especially in my recent travels through the airport or on the subways in New York City), it keeps him close to me and I don’t have to worry about him breaking away from me, getting lost, or getting hurt. It also keeps him calm and helps me to avoid or quell tantrums, because being up high allows him to observe his environment and interact with his world on a different level, which keeps him busy in a productive way.
Benjamin, my experiences as a mom, and my experience as a babywearer inspired me to start Divas N Babes. Like many new moms, I struggled with being mom-me. I had to trade in my stilettos for sneakers and my skirts for sweats. I had a beautiful baby boy, the love of my life, but it was just so difficult to find clothes that were comfy and not frumpy. I decided to design a “comfy chic” apparel line for mommies, and their babes, that would allow them to be chic, yet comfy. Also, I am an avid babywearer, I wear Benjamin every day, we don’t even own a stroller! I have tried many ring slings, mei tais, pouches, and wraps that were comfortable, but didn’t have the high-fashion edge and sleek look that I desired. I wear my most valuable accessory everyday, which now, instead of designer heels and handbags, is the ring sling or mei tai that helps me to nurture and care for my baby, and I believe that mommies shouldn’t have to sacrifice fashion for function. I wanted to bring fashion to mommies in a different way; I wanted mommies to feel beautiful inside and outside while demonstrating one of the most loving acts that this world will ever witness: wearing their babies. Divas N Babes was born.
Can you tell our readers about your Product Line?
Divas N Babes has three lines: Divas for haute mamas™, Babes for cool babes™, and DivaBabe Couture™, our line of fashionable ring sling and mei tai baby carriers. Our Divas line™ consists of “comfy chic” gear for mommies designed especially for haute mamas, by haute mamas, that allow us to be cute, chic, and most importantly comfortable! Our Babes line™ consists of onesies/tees designed for the modern babe and also includes shirts for siblings and multiples.
Our DivaBabe Couture™ line of ring slings and mei tais are crafted from the finest luxury fabrics and allow you to nurture and bond with your babe while experiencing hands-freedom and they match your outfit ☺ At Divas N Babes™, we believe that mommies do not have to sacrifice fashion for function, you are a diva, go for it mama!
What do you attribute the success of your company to?
I am just humbled by the positive response that Divas N Babes™ has gotten thus far! I try to relate to each mom, customer, and boutique as a person and a friend and I really try to get to know everyone, their families, likes, dislikes, etc. In each package that I ship, I include a handwritten Thank You note with a “congrats on your new baby”, “thanks for shopping again, tell your sister hello for me”, or just a simple “have a great weekend”. I just try to connect with all of my customers at their level at their time in life right now and I hope that it is appreciated.
We understand that you will be launching an organic cotton range shortly? What inspired you to create this eco-friendly line?
I am totally committed to living life as naturally and organically as I can, especially when it comes to Benjamin and items that are involved in his daily life. When I found a source for organic cotton, I was so excited, because I wanted to be able to provide mommies and babies with the option to stylishly and organically wear their babes.
What can we look forward to seeing from Divas N Babes™ in the future?
Wow, there are lots of new things going on! In our next year, Divas N Babes™ is continuing our quest for comfy chic with the introduction of our new Diva Fashion shirts, Comfy Suit Velour Edition, and our hot new line of comfy chic Jeans. I truly believe that there are mama-divas everywhere waiting to be released and our new gear is definitely going to bring fabulous back to families everywhere ☺ We will also continue to push the fashion envelope for our DivaBabe Couture line and create haute ring slings and mei tais that are must-have accessories for mommies!
You have a fantastic website! Please can you comment on some of the items that you have listed on your site: blog, upcoming events, virtual playgroup!
Thanks so much! On our site, we have the Divas Den blog™, which has commentary from several moms in different stages of motherhood, as well as fashion tips and fitness tips. We are getting ready to revamp the blog, which is so exciting! The new blog will be updated more frequently and will include product reviews that are Diva-approved for haute mamas and cool babes. We are also getting ready to do a Podcast and Divas N Babes LIVE! video footage (think talk show/documentary/reality show with a twist), which is going to be so fun. Meanwhile, be sure to sign up for the Virtual Playgroup to receive exclusive sales, benefits, news, and access to private boutique events and stay tuned!
What distinguishes Divas N Babes™ carriers from others on the market?
The main factor that distinguishes our ring slings and mei tais from others is that they are designed primarily as an accessory for mommy and not as just a baby carrier. This means that current trends and high-fashion style are the drivers of each ring sling and mei tai that is created and strongly influence the color and fabric choices that we offer. Thus, instead of offering traditional baby blue, floral, or powder pink slings that are obviously geared towards baby, you may see a lemon curry colored sling with Pucci-inspired multi-colored silk print that can easily
be a blouse, purse, or dress and actually completes your entire outfit.
- Not your average front pack! Shoulder (lightly padded) and waist straps provide even weight distribution, which allows for extremely comfortable babewearing.
- Padded leg rails provide comfort to tender little babe legs.
- Built-in, flip up headrest supports a sleepy babe’s head.
- It’s reversible…double the fashion and double the fun!
- Enables breastfeeding on the go! Supports hands-free nursing…wow!
- Ability to carry babes ages newborn – toddler in various positions. Talk about hands-free versatility!
- Holds babes up to 36 pounds.
Shop online at the Divas N Babes Store
Retail locations: Divas N Babes™ is in the process of selecting retail locations overseas, however, they currently offer guaranteed shipping to customers worldwide.
Success Through Play™ Comments:
Divas N Babes™ has really impressed our panel with their professionalism, business ethics and passion for babewearing™. We are very proud to introduce our readers to Divas N Babes™ and their line of products and know that you will be equally impressed as we have been. Tonjia’s stellar professional background is clearly evident in the manner in which she runs her company and we can certainly see how Divas N Babes™ has achieved great success. Divas N Babes™ takes the time to connect personally with their customers and this personal touch is what sets them apart from their competitors. Divas N Babes™ sent us a sample of their new organic cotton Mei Tai and a Babewear™ Tee. The Divas N Babes™ Mei Tei is very well designed and constructed to place baby in an ergonomic position whilst supporting mom at the same time. The body of the Mei Tai is supportive and sturdy. An avid baby wearer on our panel was eager to test drive the Divas N Babes™ Mei Tai. The mom was very impressed with the solid construction and beautiful design and style and felt “super stylish” carrying her baby around town in it. “It was so wonderful to receive so many compliments from strangers about my beautiful Divas N Babes™ Mei Tai!”.
The mom wore the babewear™ Tee when she was carrying her baby and felt that it was a fun way to “spread the message about wearing her baby”.
Divas N Babes™ will make all moms feel beautiful and glamorous whilst wearing their baby! We applaud Divas N Babes™ for offering an eco-friendly line and we hope to review more Divas N Babes™ products next year. To learn more about Divas N Babes™, please visit: