A couple months ago, some design-obsessed friends anticipating their first child posted about an amusing conflict: one wanted a beautiful mobile that matched their décor, while the other insisted that varying shapes and colors were necessary for child development (this is true, by the way).
What intrigued me was the hundreds who reacted, and how many dozens of parents jumped in to empathize or share suggestions. It reinforced my thesis that many parents face this tension: they can buy something beautiful and minimalist that fits their style, OR they can buy something that promotes child development.
But why does it have to be an either/or?
We believe there’s a massive opportunity in this category to build trust as a company that’s deeply thoughtful about child development outcomes – removing the need for hours of research by parents – while creating beautiful products that parents are proud to buy.
This is a big secret behind the magic of our partner, Sesame Workshop, which makes content that parents enjoy as much as kids – so they watch it together. When we found an early child development company that took this approach, it was a no brainer to partner with Sesame (via our fund, Collab+Sesame) to become their largest institutional investor.
When we met Jessica and Rod, the Lovevery founders, we were blown away by their thoughtfulness about their product development pipeline. They want to give parents confidence that they’ve done all the scientifically rigorous work and research so parents can enjoy spending time with their kids. We’ve seen many fantastic businesses that aim to teach parents about child development, but generally do so through tools and tech that parents use independently in their very limited spare time.
Lovevery is the first company we’ve seen to ask: what if we teach parents about child development through activities that they and the child can enjoy together? What if we take a minimalist approach that means parents can buy fewer toys and development products, because they get everything they need – in a beautiful, aspirational format – and nothing they don’t? That’s why Lovevery’s recently launched Play Kits include play guides and board books about development milestones that the parent and child can read together, plus all the products needed for each development phase.
This investment sits at the intersection of a few of our theses: consumers want fewer, better things; the best brands are at the intersection of “better for me” and “better for the world;” and new parents are demanding more from kids products and technology, just as they are from the food they eat and the software they use. That thesis is proving out thus far: the consumer response since Lovevery’s launch has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’ve seen an outpouring of excitement and gratitude by parents about the company’s approach.
Lovevery’s cofounder, Jessica, knows this space well. She previously cofounded HappyFamily, the leading organic baby, toddler, and kids food company in the US, where she remained as its COO after its 2013 sale to Group Danone. Her cofounder, Roderick, led the marketing and behavior hacking teams at Opower and has a deep understanding of consumers. Roderick and Jessica are longtime friends, but it was their shared passion for child development that led them to found Lovevery together. We’re thrilled to see such a talented team tackling products for babies’ first thousand days.
So if you’re a parent (or love a parent) who wants beautiful products backed by scientifically rigorous child development research, check them out!