Seattle and Manchester. Two north-western cities known to pioneer innovation and revolution and therefore not surprisingly cities where Diono has chosen to set up their head offices. This past June, Stephanie, Snuggle Bugz’s Director of Product, had the opportunity to join Diono in Manchester for a one-of-a-kind brand building and product knowledge session. She shares with us her experience below.
In my pre-children and pre-full-time job life, I was a travel junkie. Name a place on a map and there’s a good chance I’ve either been there, taught there, backpacked there, or drove a camper van through there. That being said, I have never been to Manchester, UK. So you can imagine my excitement when Diono invited me to represent Snuggle Bugz as one of their leading Canadian retailers at their first ever North x Northwest meeting overseas!
For 2 days, I absorbed all I could about Diono as a brand, their product plans for 2019, and the path they are carving out as leaders in the juvenile industry. Diono’s design and product development team resides in Manchester so hosting a worldwide event in their backyard was a perfect place to get in the minds of their top executives including Tim Maule & Nigel Plested (in photo below).
Tim Maule, Diono’s new CEO, took the time to sit and chat with me directly to learn about Snuggle Bugz’s business and vision. Not only did we find common ground about our love for travel, but it was obvious that Snuggle Bugz and Diono are aligned with their mission to support parents navigating the early stages of parenthood.
Nigel Plested, Chief Product and Brand Officer, started his career in designing furniture before moving in to the Juvenile industry. A man with a moustache, Nigel can fly at 30,000 feet overseeing the product development team for Diono but also work in the day-to-day to connect the needs and wants of parents with a view for developing aesthetically pleasing and lovingly engineered products.
While I can’t share with you the newness coming for 2019 (trust me – I tried!), I can tell you that innovation across many categories is finally coming to fruition. Last year in 2018, Diono acquired the brand WeMadeMe – a babywearing brand whose focus is on ergonomically correct carriers, slings, and wraps. It doesn’t hurt that it’s creator Daniel, is the kindest top-knot babywearing dad of all-time. At the same time, Diono also introduced their wheeled goods to the market with the full size Quantum and compact Traverze strollers -both of which debuted to the Canadian market late this Spring.
After learning about enhanced product offerings, having couch chats with the people behind the brand, and sipping on some of the finest gin Manchester had to offer – I flew home more excited than before to tell the story of how two brands – separated by an ocean – have come together to educate and empower parents when it comes to car seat and stroller safety.