Meet Kayleigh Medeiros from Heritage BabyJun 26, 2022
As we wrap up Black Babywearing Week we want to close with some words from a very special friend. Kayleigh Medeiros is a Black Canadian mom of two with an obsession for reconnecting to her roots as she raises her babies and moves through motherhood. She works as both a business operations manager and the owner of Heritage Baby Designs.
Kayleigh, how did Heritage Baby Designs come to fruition? What drove you to start a babywearing brand and what sets HBD apart from other companies?
“When I was young, my Nan had a collection of Nat Geos. One had a picture of an African woman carrying her baby in a wrap and I was instantly hooked. It looked so practical and convenient. I had seen parents struggle to hold their babies in the grocery store or while running out to their cars and I thought "but the baby can just be ON a person with their hands free!" Fast forward to my becoming a mother, I just knew I'd take on the practice. I bought and borrowed a number of carriers, but my ring sling quickly became my go-to. When I decided to buy a third one, I couldn't find the product and brand combo that I wanted to give my money to so I decided to just jump in!”
“My unique offers as a carrier brand are that we make size inclusive carriers (not just the length, but in the details) out of quality fabrics, and it's about the practice, the product is simply the medium.”
This year Black Babywearing Week’s theme was “Home”. What does that word mean to you?
“Oh man, my brand is built on "home". When naming Heritage, I wanted it to give a nod to a theme I could carry through for years to come. When I thought about what was important to us in our home and in our families, it was that my husband and I were both raised in immigrant households but also in the melting pot that is Ontario, Canada. When you look around and talk to others in our area, everyone comes from a different home but has made home where they are now. I wanted to pay respect to all of the 'homes' our world has to offer.”
What are some of the largest challenges you feel Black women face in the motherhood community?
“The hardest part about parenting Black is raising Black kids in a world that's still not ready to accept them as they are. Whether intentional or not, people do/will say things that are extremely harmful and I accept that part of my job will be equipping my kids with the confidence, kindness and knowledge to handle them when they come.”
What would you want everyone to understand/know about Black babywearing and/or Black Babywearing Week?
“That it exists out of a need for awareness. So many people don't know the more malicious history of babywearing and how it was one of many practices enslaved people were stripped of. I've had people try to remind me that "black people aren't the only ones", which isn't a great argument...no one should have been stripped of their traditions, but when someone is focusing on their own hurt and generational healing, the wrong answer is to diminish their feelings by pointing out other wrongdoing. When we know better, we can do better and awareness is the first step.”
Lastly, what does the future of HBD/Black babywearing look like to you?
“This brand is about the community and the practice, so growing in those areas is a major focus for me. What exactly that will look like? I don't know!”
We are so grateful to Kayleigh for taking the time share her stories and experiences with us. Make sure you check out her AMAZING content and carriers on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. You can also learn more about Kayleigh and Heritage Baby Designs at https://www.heritagebaby.ca/