Tula Families: Jen, Shane, Nakoa, and Kaleo
While Baby Tula grows, the people that make up our company continue to be our essence. We work closely with our community and have, from our early days, worked with real families for our photo shoots. We would like to introduce you to the families that make up Baby Tula. Mothers, fathers, and children that enjoy Baby Tula carriers and the closeness that babywearing brings them. This very special family is the incredible photography duo, Acqua photo, who photographs all of our photoshoots! Meet Jen, Shane, Nakoa and Kaleo!
Tell us more about you two and your family! How did you meet or anything fun you want to share on our blog?
Today is our 12 year wedding anniversary– whoohoo! We first met way back when we were 17 & 18 years old at Neiman’s in Carlsbad. Here’s the story from Shane: I was listening to a big band play swing & jazz music when Jen came up and asked me to dance! I was totally floored that such a gorgeous girl would ask me to dance, and I had no idea what I was doing– so I stepped all over her feet, but she was very sweet and gracious about it. After that, I took dance lessons and really impressed her the next time we danced together When we were dating, Jen introduced me to photography and we’ve both been addicted to making beautiful images ever since!
How old are your children?
We have a 5.5 year old daughter (Nakoa) & baby 4 month old son (Kaleo).
When our daughter was born, we made sure to get a BOB stroller because everyone had one at the time. We ended up using it about three times total, lol! It was just was so much easier to pack only the essentials and wear her wherever we went. Plus, it was quite satisfying to jaunt past families taking forever loading and unloading in the huge stroller parking lots at Disneyland. For us, strollers were far too inconvenient compared to simply wearing her. She loved being so close to us and we got a bit more exercise in the process.
We have worn our baby boy at some point every single day since he was born. Carrying him in our Tula using the infant insert has been really great. He loves cruising around and is perched up just high enough to look around while still being supported. If he’s at all fussy, a ride in the Tula quickly does the trick. We’ve done photoshoots with Tula both behind and in front of the camera while wearing our favorite Tula carriers, slings, and blankets. And, we have taught our nanny how to use the Tula!… it helps a ton to keep up with our 5 year old while still having a close eye on the baby.
Is there a favorite photoshoot that you have done with Tula?
There are so many that we’ve loved!!
We are HUGE fans of the San Diego Zoo, so it was super exciting that Tula partnered with them for a special edition Tula Carrier featuring the Zoo’s awesome Centennial Celebration logo. We were able to go all around the zoo for the photoshoot, and had the pleasure of having a couple of our very favorite families as models.
We especially enjoyed all the holiday themed shoots where we were able to incorporate fun props! A favorite was the 2015 Christmas shoot where we collaborated with Adore Folklore and went to a local Christmas Tree Farm for the location. We used a vintage airstream trailer, mistletoe balls, wreaths, and the annual tradition of Christmas tree hunting with the family to show off the new Tulas. Everyone dressed so adorably, and the kiddos loved the candy canes (maybe even a bit too much!!).
A couple weeks after our boy Kaleo was born, we did a Tula blanket shoot where both Nakoa and Kaleo got to model together. It was so special getting to have them be a part of this wonderful company that we adore!
Do you have any advice for parents of newborns who also work or run businesses?
Divide and conquer, find a way to get organized, and be sure to make time to enjoy your family every single day!
Before kids, we were quite used to always doing everything together. After the first baby comes along, it is much more difficult to do that. We figured out which parts of life each of us were best at and divided responsibilities up! Some of it happened naturally, and some was assigned after weeks of negotiation (who was in charge of taking out the trash or filing taxes for instance). As small business owners, it can be a life saver to delegate parts of your workflow to competent, trustworthy help whenever possible.
Also, we try to do things as a family even if we are working! A great example – last month we did a shoot up in San Francisco and brought the kids along. We were able to do the shoot and also had the opportunity to enjoy the city all together. We think that it’s really neat for our kids to see how much we love what we do for a living and to learn that work can also be your art and can be fun!
How does your Tula carrier help you to keep doing what you love?
We rarely leave the house without one, so it really helps with everything! Beach, zoo, traveling around the world, shoots with the kids in tow, even trips to Costco! Our kids are cuddle bugs that love being carried and snuggled, and we love that they can easily be close and then get down to explore and discover the world!