The Birth of MangoBaby
Welcome. I'm Grace, a busy mother like you. And perhaps like you, I found myself very disappointed by modern baby carriers. They were bulky, uncomfortable, and impractical and my daughter did not like being in them. I felt there had to be a better way. And I desperately needed something that worked!
I tried looking to my Chinese background to find a solution. After finding a traditional baby carrier in the family, I was surprised to discover the simplicity and practicality of the mei tai. And my daughter loved it too! To my amazement, it comforted her and often, put her to sleep within minutes. And I loved that I could roll it up and take it with me where ever I wanted to go!
However, the family mei tai was small and my daughter quickly outgrew it. Unable to find a larger baby carrier, even in Chinatown, I had to hunt down some fabric to design and make my own. It turned out not only to be extremely comfortable and practical, but also attracted a lot of attention.
I soon discovered that I was not the only mother disappointed by the modern baby carrier. After making a few requests for friends, I decided to start a business.
Mangoes are a favourite fruit of the Chinese and of my daughter, and was one of her very first foods. She often reminds me, "Mangoes are a baby's favourite lunch!" Thus was born... the MangoBaby baby carrier.
The Twist & Tuck Mei Tai
In China, babies and toddlers in mei taiís are a common sight. Parents, grandparents, and siblings alike take their babies with them everywhere. Particularly in rural China, and still popular in Southern China, mei taiís and babies are part of the natural rhythm of everyday life.
Traditionally, the mei tai is given by the maternal grandmother to her daughter when she is expecting. Embroidered with many symbols of luck, long life, and prosperity and happiness, baby carriers are specially made to celebrate each new child.
Mei tais (pronounced "may dai") are mainly used as a back carrier because it is more practical. The MangoBaby baby carrier is based on the twist & tuck style of mei tai that is popular with the Cantonese, even today. It is the one most often spotted in Chinatowns, or used by your mother or grandmother if you are of Chinese descent. Made with four straps of equal length and not really tied on at all, this mei tai uses a simple twist and tuck that keeps the straps in place.
This style of carrier also traditionally has pockets at the ends of the shoulder straps that can be used to carry small items like change or keys. We have designed optional longer straps that are cleverly tucked away in the pockets, allowing you more variations for tying to suit your needs.
Other traditional elements that have been preserved are the method of construction, the wide body and curved shaping that keep baby securely in the carrier, and the decorative panel with the traditional marker at the top. For modern mothers, we have updated the look by using modern colours yet keeping an oriental feel within the fabrics chosen for each carrier.
Note: Above painting is part of the Children of Aberdeen series by Kee Fung Ng of San Francisco.
So many domestic garment manufacturers have gone under in the climate of outsourcing to foreign countries. Ironically, many immigrants, including many Chinese women and my mother, came to Canada and North America as trained seamstresses, and up until about ten years ago were being paid a decent wage. Now, outsourcing to countries such as China has quickly put these seamstresses out of work, or barely making a living doing piecework.
At the present, MangoBaby is run by my mother and myself, with plans to include my aunt, and hire locally as we expand. All of our seamstress will be paid decently and work from home, allowing them to work at their own pace and control their own hours, and allowing them to be available to their families. We want to provide you with a product for your baby that you can be assured was made by a mother who is making a decent living.
Read more reviews at
Nana, mother of newborn
"The MangoBaby baby carrier has been a huge help. It's freed up my hands to do regular every day things. So far I've used it to carry my baby while eating, both at home and at restaurants, go to a concert, nurse her (upright with my breast and baby's head supported), and walk the dog. When we went out of town we brought two carriers but the mango was the one I used. It folds down so small that it was easy to stuff it into my bag. I also really like that the shoulder straps are so wide that they don't put a lot of pressure on my shoulders. The fabric is beautiful. The carrier feels like it's part of my outfit. I actually find this carrier easier to use than the sling style carrier. Recommendations - dress baby lightly, it warms up quickly!"
Kim, mother of 10 month-old
"The MangoBaby has been amazing because it is so easy to bring along anywhere, is beautiful and affordable. I really enjoyed it when we went away as it takes up very little space and was perfect at the cottage to slip her in quickly when I needed an extra hand or to carry her easily."
Heather, mother of 2.5 year-old
"I bought my Mango Baby carrier over a year ago when my 30 pound 1yr old outgrew or was too difficult to carry in all my other carriers. I loved it because his legs wrap around me (no more get kicked by his long legs) and it was lightweight and much cooler than the other carrier I had been using. Fits in a diaper bag, is beautiful, durable and wash and wear. I carry my now 35lb 2 1/2 yr old all the time. I can go for long periods and we're both comfortable. The wide shoulder straps really spread out the weight. I could not live without this carrier. Amazing for bigger babies and older kids."