American babywearing mom JoyLynn Wong, gifted artist and poet, invented a wonderful fun for babywearing enthusiasts. She designs different themes with woven wraps and makes pictures of her son in them. Colored cloth fabrics come to life and the boy Isaiah travels over these fabulous worlds. This is an interesting development of the idea of Finnish mother, designer Adele Enersen, who made pictures out of scrap materials for her little daughter. It has many followers in different countries, and we suggest you to catch fun by JoyLynn!
Why did you decide to wear your boy in a woven wrap?
Before my son was born I had only heard of soft structured carriers. A friend in a local mom’s group introduced me to woven wraps and I loved the versatility that they offered, as well as the free flowing form of the fabric. Wraps just seemed so beautiful and functional, and I was quickly hooked.
How old is your child now? He is still ready to ride on mum or more runs independently?
Isaiah will be two years old in a few short months. He began walking at 9 months and running by 12, but he still LOVES to be worn. Unfortunately, I can no longer wrap him comfortably due to back issues. Our carrier of choice now is a chunei, which offers the comfort of a double hammock wrap carry with the convenience of buckles.
Tell us about your collection: wrap which was the first, which instance most valuable?
My first woven wrap was Natibaby Kangaroos. I purchased it via the Facebook group Babywearing on a Budget for a great deal. It had cuddles many babies before mine and was so soft and snuggly. My most valuable wrap was a Pavo Klee ring sling, but I never felt very attached to it and it moved on after a couple months. The wraps closest to my heart are all of my Natibabys, since each has special meaning to me. Natibaby Notes is particularly special. The pattern is the sheet music for Ode to Joy. My son’s middle name, Leeran, means “my song, my joy” and he lives up to his name so beautifully. The wrap is our “legacy wrap”, meaning it will be an heirloom. I am keeping wrap splits of all of the Natibaby wraps in order to create a memory quilt and other keepsakes.
How do you get wraps: in the international community, did you stalking?
I never stalked for a wrap as I am terrible at typing quickly and actually remembering the release time. If a wrap was too difficult to purchase new I would simply wait for another mama to sell hers. Most of my wraps were purchased used in the Facebook groups Babywearing Swap and Babywearing on a Budget. Wraps that have already been thoroughly snuggled were and are my favorite.
How you got the idea to make a wrapscapes? Which scene was created first?
The idea to create wrapscapes occurred to me after a friend of mine did some fabric scene photography for a friend whose child had no muscle tone and could not walk or sit on her own. She created a scene to make it look as though the sweet little girl was frolicking through flowers. I thought it might be fun to see if I could create a unique stash shot using the same approach.
My first wrapscape was of my son as a butterfly at just three months old. He was so tiny and it was easy then as he could not yet roll over. I was hooked after that!
Why did you invented to publish a book?
I never intended to publish a book, but after posting my photos in the Facebook group Babywearing 102, several lovely moms made the suggestion. Once I had enough scenes created I thought it would be fun to follow up on their idea and I set out to publish Carried Away.
What is the text placed next to the pictures?
Each scene has an accompanying poem or nursery rhyme. I love writing poetry and decided it would be a fun touch to make it more than just a picture book. I managed to write all of the poems in one night, except for the very last poem in the book, which took me a good two weeks to finish.
You managed to raise funds to publish with the help of your fans? Нow much time it took?
I launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for Carried Away and was thrilled with the response! I received so much loving support from family, friends, and fellow babywearers, The campaign ran for a couple months and I was able to get about 1/3 of the final cost funded while providing perks such as photo cards, signed preorder copies, and personal acknowledgments in the book. My husband was very supportive of the project even though it didn’t end up fully funded, reminding me that the book is ultimately a gift to my son and was an investment in him.
Can we now buy the book?
Do you cooperate with “Babywearing: the magazine”? Tell us a little about this magazine.
This magazine is the most beautiful babywearing publication I have come across. I feel so privileged to have a regular feature in each issue. The magazine covers all aspects of babywearing and showcases various carriers, weavers, and mama makers. It is great source of learning and inspiration for babywearers with any level of experience.
When babywearing gain the whole world and will become a routine part of care for the kids?
Babywearing has historically been routine and necessary worldwide. It is really only in the last century that strollers, prams, and carseats have become popular modes of transportation for infants and toddlers. I would definitely say that it is making a comeback in the United States as more parents recognize the ease, convenience, and bonding provided by baby carriers. It really helps that carriers are being mass produced and are easily obtained even on the strictest budget.
What is the secret of your good mood? What gives you inspiration?
My joy comes directly from my relationship with God. He is the source of all beauty and creativity and tapping into that source when I spend time with Him gives me more inspiration than I can handle sometimes. And, of course, my son inspires me daily. He is a joyful, bubbly, silly ball of energy and I feel so blessed to be his mom. Every day I am in awe of him.
Interviewed: Julia Nurmagambetova.
Pictures: JoyLynn Wong.