How the Original Kalo Paani Play Mat Came to Life

How the Original Kalo Paani Play Mat Came to Life

Have you ever wondered how products come to life? I often talk about it on Instagram, how I make products my family loves and uses. I get asked all the time to make various products but if we won't use it, I have a hard time entertaining the thought. As a customer, I know I want to buy something from someone that loves and uses their own products, and not just sells something to try to make a quick buck.

When I found out I was pregnant with 'Imi (our 4th baby), I wanted a way to document his first year. Up until this point those milestone blankets where you put the baby down on and physically (or digitally) circle the number and weeks or month had been very popular. I actually made a bunch of them before, I even personalized them with the baby's name.

While these blankets are a great way to document that first year, the logistics of taking a photo on a blanket like this wasn't going to work with three excited older siblings. Taking the photo without someone else trying to jump into the photo would be difficult or near impossible. Not to mention, while our family may have grown, our house didn't, so space is a luxury and hard to come by.  

So instead of a milestone blanket, I wanted something that could be multipurpose and could be used after baby turned a year old. We've used chairs and dolls with the other kids but I wanted something that also wouldn't take up a ton of space and could be used as decor in the nursery, kids room, or in our case, living room. When I couldn't find anything that met all of these things, I started designing something of my own.

It started off as a sketch, based off our the kalo leaf in our logo. After some back and forth discussions, I was able to bring it to life with one of my manufacturers. While the concept seemed easy, making sure the stitching of the play mat captured the real life look of the veins of the kalo leaf was a little more challenging. I also wanted the mats color to reflect colors you might find in a loi or mala but still a color that would look aesthetically pleasing in the home. And lastly I wanted it to be thick enough to pad baby for tummy time but thin enough to be able to wash and dry easily. After 7 months the first Kalo Paani Play Mat was born. 

While it took a lot longer to bring this mat to life ('Imi was born a month or so before I got the first sample), it was worth the wait. We used this mat for tummy time, play time, and pictures. The older ones use it to sit and play with their toys or watch their ipad. I even have one in the car for a convenient diaper change when we're not home (I don't have any of those diaper changing pads but this is perfect for a day at the park or beach). It's the perfect size for baby to lounge on and it doesn't take up too much space in our living room.

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